Hidden London

Marks Gate

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Barking & Dagenham

A northern outpost of the borough, situated a mile north of Chadwell Heath, and still surrounded by the fields of wheat, oats, barley that were once its raison d’Ítre. Around 600BC a fortified hilltop village was established here, of which almost nothing remains but the hill itself. The medieval manor of Marks was one of Barking’s oldest free tenements (an estate held for life or longer), with its own manor court from the fourteenth century and special rights in Hainault Forest. Marks Hall, the twenty-bedroom moated manor house, was built in the mid-fifteenth century and demolished in 1808. The estate, which was much reduced over the centuries, was sold to the Crown in 1855. It is now part of Warren Hall Farm, where part of the moat survives, as does a seventeenth century brick barn, which is still in use. Nearby were two other hamlets, now lost. Roselane Gate had its own entrance to the forest, at the northern end of Rose Lane near the Harrow public house. Padnall Corner was virtually wiped out when the Eastern Avenue was constructed. It was located at the bend in Padnall Road and Padnall Hall stood to its west. Dagenham council built an estate at Marks Gate in the late 1950s. Much of Marks Gate’s housing remains in municipal ownership and the area suffers from high unemployment. City Limits is a popular local leisure facility, with tenpin bowling, a fitness centre, bars and a restaurant.

click for area map (opens in a new window)
Sign at the entrance to the City Limits leisure complex

Postcode areas: Romford, RM5 and RM6
Further reading: AE Baker, A Miscellany of Marks Gate, Barking and Dagenham Libraries, 1990

Brewer's London Phrase & Fable

 
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