Place:Gidea Hall, Gidea Park, Essex, England


NameGidea Hall
Coordinates51.5878°N 0.1942°E
Located inGidea Park, Essex, England

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Gidea Hall was a manor house, located in Gidea Park, the historic parish and Royal liberty of Havering-atte-Bower, whose former area today forms the north eastern extremity of Greater London, England.

The first record of Gidea Hall is in 1250, and in 1466 Sir Thomas Cooke (c.1410-1478), a lord mayor of London, was granted a licence to crenellate, which is a licence for the manor house to be fortified. The manor work started in 1466 with the construction of a moat and other alterations which were not finished until 1568. The main manor house and two adjacent wings formed three sides of a courtyard with an open colonnade on the fourth side[1] and various outbuildings. Maria de Medici, the mother-in-law of King Charles I stayed at Gidea Hall in 1638 on her way from Harwich to London, although the hall was falling into decay. By the time of the Commonwealth the buildings were ruinous, but were not finally demolished until 1720 when a mansion was built on the site.

In 1783 a book entitled ‘An enquiry by experiment into the properties and effects of the medicinal waters in the County of Essex’ includes an entry for Gidea Hall water, describing the source as rising on the "bank of the canal in the park of Richard Benyon, Esq". The canal referred to is now the lake in Raphael Park, Romford which was recorded on the 1888 Ordnance Survey map as Black's Canal after the Black family; a map prepared for Alexander Black in 1807 clearly shows the spring. An investigation into the spring in 1910 recorded that it had "been drained, filled up and turfed about 4 years ago". The later Gidea Hall was of brick.

The Gidea Hall estate was purchased in 1897 by Sir Herbert Henry Raphael, and in 1902 he gave , including a lake, for use as a public park; a further was subsequently purchased and Raphael Park opened in 1904. In 1910 Sir Herbert and two fellow Liberal MPs formed Gidea Park Ltd with the aim of building a garden suburb on the Gidea Hall and Balgores estates, and during World War I they offered both properties to the Artists' Rifles for use as an Officers' School. The house was demolished in 1930.

The wall, railings and gate from the early 18th century remain here and are now Grade II listed buildings.

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