Victorian Ilford factsheet

The London Borough of Redbridge was formed in 1965 by the joining of the parishes of Wanstead, Woodford and Ilford, but historically Ilford was a part of the parish of Barking. Robert Surman and Sir Charles Raymond, owners of Valentines in the 18th century, were buried at St.Margaret's church, Barking.

A separate ecclesiastical parish was formed for Great Ilford in 1830 with the parish church dedicated to St.Mary in the High Road. The parish was in the Romford Poor Law Union from 1836. However, it was not until 1888 that Great Ilford became a separate civil parish from Barking. A local board was formed in 1890 and Ilford became a borough on 1926.

  • The railway station on the London to Colchester line opened in 1839.
  • Power was granted to supply water to Ilford under Acts in 1853 (East London Waterworks Co) and 1861 (South Essex Waterworks Co.).
  • Ilford was lighted by gas (Ilford Gas Co. formed 1839) and in 1898 Ilford UDC obtained powers to supply electricity. A power station opened in Ley Street in 1901.
  • In 1861 the population of Great Ilford, including Chadwell ward, was 5,403.
  • From 1830 education for local children was provided by a National School for boys and girls in Ilford High Road. An Infants School was built nearby in 1846 at the sole cost of the Misses Nancy and Eleanor Thompson. In 1842 a National School was built at Barkingside, other schools were built later.
  • Miss Eleanor Thompson was also responsible for the establishment of a reading-room for the benefit of the working classes, which was well supported.
  • Kelly's Post Office Directory for 1866 lists the Postal Service with letters delivered at 8.32am, 1.32, 6.25, and 8.47 pm, and dispatched at 9.45am, 12.45, 4.15 and 9pm.

For details of public services please see The Victoria County History of Essex Vol.V page 256.

Please see The Victoria County History of Essex Vol.V pages 264-5 for more information about schools.(NB National Schools were run by the established church, the Church of England, while British Schools were run by the British and Foreign School Society, i.e. non-conformist church).

For further information contact the Redbridge Museum Manager, Gerard Greene ( on 020 8708 2317.

For further details about the Ingleby family or the history of Valentines Mansion please contact Georgina Green.