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A half-forgotten mini-suburb situated between Romford and Collier Row, and traversed by the River Rom. During the fourteenth century the manor of Romford came into the possession of the celebrated soldier Sir Walter de Mauny. Thereafter, the manor was called Mawneys – a form still used by local people and by the council. In the nineteenth century Mawney was known for its gypsies, who worked in the fields and sold brushes and doormats to the cottages of the surrounding villages. The manor’s 265 acres were sold for building in 1883 and Mawney’s letter ‘A’ street pattern was laid out in the 1890s in a development that marked the beginning of the outward expansion of Romford. Houses were built in small groups over a period of decades, gradually eroding the nurseries and smallholdings that had characterised the locality. Mawney Road school (located at the Romford end of the road, and now the Mawney school) opened in 1896 to serve the new estate, and was enlarged in 1907. In 1925 the arrival of Eastern Avenue divided most of Mawney from the town that had spawned it. Shortly afterwards came the estates of Collier Row, of which Mawney is now a satellite locality. Sixteen houses were demolished when one of the last rockets to fall in England hit Mawney Road, near the corner of Forest Road, on 26 March 1945. After the war the creation of the green belt preserved farmland to the south and west.

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A window in Mawney. The birds are on the inside.

When the Mawney Arms closed for refurbishment in 1999 its old fixtures and fittings were removed and reinstalled in a bar in Koh Samui, Thailand. The Thai establishment was renamed the Mawney Arms and displayed the original pub sign.

Postcode area: Romford, RM7
Population: 12,556 (Mawneys ward)

Brewer's London Phrase & Fable

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