The latest web browsers are making it impossible to avoid
providing a fully secure website, but unfortunately that costs. The History Files
is a non-profit site and hosting fees are also an issue, so we need your help.
Please click anywhere inside this box to make a small donation via PayPal so that
we can continue to provide highly detailed historical research on a fully secure
site. If every visitor donated just a penny then we'd cover a year's running costs
in a day! Your support is highly appreciated.
Target for 2019: £0£75
Gallery: Churches of East London
by Peter Kessler, 10 July 2011
Havering Part 13: Churches of Harold Hill,
Harold Wood & Harold Park
Romford Common Chapel stood between the
Colchester Road and Neave Crescent, adjoining Widecombe Close in
Harold Wood. The chapel seems to have originated in 1861, when a
schoolroom at Harold Wood Hall was registered by Congregationalists.
It was taken over by the Baptists of the Metropolitan Tabernacle
about 1866. It was still active in 1882 when Hornchurch Baptist
Church replaced it. Romford Common Chapel was apparently closed
The Methodist Church Harold Wood occupies
the south-western corner of The Drive and Gubbin's Lane. The church
originated in 1889, when Athelstan Chapel (see below) was registered.
Around 1908 it became Harold Wood (United) Methodist Church
and in 1929 the members built a church on the present, much larger
site, with the aid of funds from (Sir) William Mallinson (Bt). The
present building was erected in 1962, and the 1929 building behind
it became a hall.
Athelstan Chapel is on the western side of
Athelstan Road, at the northern end of the street. The small chapel
was opened in 1889 when it was registered as an undenominational
mission hall. It was taken over about 1908 by the United Methodists
before they moved to a new site on Gubbin's Lane in 1929. The hall's
use after that is unknown, until it was taken over by the Brethren in
1952, one of many small meeting places that were created either side
of the war.
St Peter, Parish Church of Harold Hill
occupies a large plot on the eastern side of Gubbin's Lane, midway
between Squirrels Heath Road and Rosslyn Avenue. The church originated
in 1871, when an iron building was erected in Church Road. In 1939 the
present brick church was opened with the help of contributions from
James and George H Matthews, local millers. The church gained its own
parish soon afterwards. The annexe on the right was added in 1963.
Harold Park Baptist Church stands in a long,
narrow plot on the northern side of Ingreway, very close to Harold
Court Road. It was founded in 1930 with help from Romford Baptist
Church, joining the Essex Baptist Association in the same year. In
1932-1933 the church had grown disenchanted with the Association's
apparent departure from traditional practices and by 1959 had joined
the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical churches. The building was
extended in 1960.
Hall Lane Chapel stood on the western side of
Hall Lane, midway between the Southend Arterial Road and Warley Road.
Surrounded by open countryside, a chapel was first opened here in
1850 for Upminster Congregationalists. Still in use in 1888, it was
inactive until reopened in 1915, and it had to be reopened again in
1940. It was destroyed by bombing in 1944 and the site was sold. The
new chapel shown here was built in 1953, but was demolished between