St Mary’s Lane, North side: Part 1 – from the Cranham boundary to Garbutt Road

The earlier article about the south side of St Mary’s Lane ended at the Cranham boundary so that’s where this exploration of the opposite, north side starts. The south side had historically formed the New Place Estate, only developed for shops and housing in the 1920s and 1930s, but in contrast the north side was made of up a variety of plots of land in various ownership, developed in a piecemeal way over more than two centuries. This article covers the eastern part of the north side, from the Cranham boundary to Garbutt Road, approximately a 320 yard road frontage. Continue reading

Posted in Upminster Buildings & Places | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Tales from the grave: the Rowe family of Upminster

I never planned to write this article! I fully intended to keep my promise to publish the history of the north side of St Mary’s Lane. But in local history research the path is rarely straight and narrow – it can lead you down dead ends or spring off in unexpected directions. So what  started as research into a family who lived in St Mary’s Lane led me to detailed exploration of something quite different and revealed fascinating insights into Georgian Upminster. Continue reading

Posted in Upminster People & Events | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Road to Cranham – Part 1 South Side

It’s almost half a mile from the main Upminster crossroads eastwards along St Mary’s Lane to the parish boundary with Cranham and although this now forms a continuous stretch of shops and houses, a century ago the stretch of road looked very different and remained a tree-lined country lane with few buildings, much as it had in throughout the Victorian era.  The post is one of two that covers the development road once known as Cranham Lane – now St Mary’s Lane – and looks at the south side. Continue reading

Posted in Upminster Buildings & Places | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

The hidden history of Harold Court

Where in Upminster parish was a building erected as a gentleman’s house, that became a children’s home, a “lunatic asylum”, TB sanatorium, local hospital, education college and now flats? Give up? It’s Harold Court, close to the northern extremity of the parish by the main Greater Anglia railway line. Continue reading

Posted in Upminster Buildings & Places | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Historic Upminster Hill

The stretch of St Mary’s Lane running westwards from the main crossroads towards Hornchurch, running down Upminster Hill to the River Ingrebourne at Upminster Bridge, is an area steeped in history, with the greatest concentration of old and listed buildings in the parish. What follows provides a summary of the history of those buildings that stand or stood on either side of this route. Continue reading

Posted in Upminster Buildings & Places | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Upminster’s Victorian Scandal: Rev P M Holden’s life and times

On this day, 19th January, in 1873, now 143 years ago, the congregation assembled as usual to worship at Upminster’s St Laurence Church and to hear the sermon of their Rector, the Reverend Philip Melancthon Holden, whose “fire & brimstone” orations were rarely dull. His sonorous voice and eloquent speech were a marked contrast to his predecessor, his aged uncle John Rose Holden, who had died 11 years before. But when Mr Holden entered the pulpit about 50 of the more influential members of the congregation abruptly arose and left the church. What on earth had prompted this public protest against their clergyman? Continue reading

Posted in Upminster People & Events | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

A walk down Corbets Tey Road

Earlier articles have looked at the history of the area of Upminster south of St Mary’s Lane, including New Place, High House, Hoppy Hall and Gaynes Park. This piece takes a look at the history of the other properties which stood, or in two cases still stand, along the east side of Corbets Tey Road from south of Byron Parade down to the stream which runs into Gaynes Parkway. Continue reading

Posted in Upminster Buildings & Places | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A village at war: Upminster 1914-18

St Laurence Church Hall

St Laurence Church Hall

When the newly completed St Laurence church hall had opened on 17 April 1914, “the result of a year’s labour”, few would have guessed that within four months it would be pressed into emergency service as a hospital as part of the war effort. Within a few days of the outbreak of war on 4 August 1914 a proposal to convert the new premises “into a convalescent home for the care of men discharged from hospital”, initially with twelve beds but with the capacity to expand to 20 beds if so required was put forward. Continue reading

Posted in Upminster People & Events | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Going Up The Junction?

To folk of my generation the phrase “Up the Junction” conjures up distant memories of a controversial 1965 BBC play, starring Carol White (later of “Cathy Come Home” & “Poor Cow” fame), made into a film a few years later featuring a host of British stars including a young Dennis Waterman & Maureen Lipman. To a slightly younger generation it’s more evocative of Squeeze’s hit of the same name, which reached No.2 in the charts in 1978. But for future generations of Upminster folk it may well bring back memories of times spent in the former Essex Yeoman pub, which reopened on Wednesday 28th October as the rebranded “The Junction”. Continue reading

Posted in Upminster Buildings & Places | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The sorry legacy of Hoppy Hall

P1000385A Royal Mail sorting office, a BP Petrol Station and a car park bearing the name of Hoppy Hall are a sorry legacy for the site of one of Upminster’s oldest houses, whose grounds were graced by one of the majestic cedar trees which grew at many of Upminster’s grandest homes. And as Havering Council appears to have renamed the car park “Corbets Tey Parking Facility” it may be only a matter of time before the historic name Hoppy Hall disappears from Upminster entirely. Continue reading

Posted in Upminster Buildings & Places | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments