1066 And All That
Well, Mr Godwinson owned a lot of land to the North East of London, based round estates at Havering-atte-Bower, as in the London Borough of Havering. Hence the suburb of Harold Wood, a name which has existed since the 13th century.
Harold Wood lay on the Great Eastern main line and in 1866, 300 acres of Gubbins farm was purchased by a group of developers who planned a new town there and contracted with the Great Eastern Railway for the building of a station in Gubbins Lane.
The station opened in February 1868.
Initially, travellers wishing to stop at Harold Wood Halt had to request from Romford or Brentwood, giving two days notice, or if they were on the train, jump off at Romford and inform the guard to stop at the Halt!
The original development soon petered out.
The big villas were not posh enough and smaller properties were too far from London, making "commuting" slow and expensive.
In 1877 the estate was bought by John Compton, who built the Grange ...
Harold Wood grew much more slowly than intended, however, and until the First World War remained hardly more than a village.
The map below, although dated nominally in the 1940s, shows little change from the inter-war years.Haroldwood Hall (far lower left - on the A12 red road) still stands ...
Of course, the whole area has splurged significantly since WW2 with housing filling in north of the A12 and called Harold Hill.
Just round the corner from the LNER labelled entrance we espy a sweet little Transport for London single decker.
Next Harould Would blog : Wednesday 6th October