Chadwell Heath is a suburban area in north Dagenham and east Ilford in East London, England. It is situated on the boundary of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and the London Borough of Redbridge, around 2 miles (3.2 km) west of Romford and 4 miles (6.4 km) east of Ilford town centres, and 12 miles (19 km) north-east of Charing Cross.
The name was first used in the 17th century for a settlement in the parish of Dagenham in Essex, which later absorbed the neighbouring hamlet of Chadwell Street in the parish of Barking (later Ilford). Chadwell Heath railway station, on the Great Eastern Main Line, opened in 1864, connecting the area to Central London. After the First World War, the area developed as a residential suburb and formed the northern limit of the Becontree estate, causing an increase in population density. The area became part of Greater London in 1965.
Chadwell Heath is within the Romford post town and the London 020 telephone area code. The area is home to one of the most successful schools in the country, the Chadwell Heath Academy. It was the final residence of Eva Hart, a survivor of the RMS Titanic, and a local pub is named after her.
The name ‘Chadwell’ is first recorded in 1254 as Chaudewell and means ‘the cold spring’. The name was first applied to a settlement on the Barking (later Ilford) side of the ancient boundary between Dagenham and Barking and it was also known as Chadwell Street; ‘Street’ having the older meaning of a hamlet. In the 17th century the Blackheath Common in Dagenham parish was renamed Chadwell Heath. As the settlements merged the Chadwell Street name was lost in favour of Chadwell Heath.
The railway was constructed through the area from Romford and Ilford and in 1864 Chadwell Heath railway station was opened. It was the ‘end of the line’ for both the London tram system and later the electric trolley bus service from Aldgate. The trolley buses turned around at Station Road and Wangey Road.
The area suffered several bomb hits during World War Two. A large parachute mine also exploded causing extensive residential damage in Bennett Road, destroying the school, while a second failed to explode and its parachute became entangled in horse-chestnut trees near Chadwell Heath station. It did not explode because it was cradled in very soft soil as the result of digging near Hemmings Bakery. It was found by Walter Wiffen, a train guard from Cedar Park Gardens on his way to work at the station early the next morning. He reported it at the police station, which is now the Eva Hart pub, and oversaw the evacuation of Cedar Park Gardens to the bomb shelter at the corner of Wangey Road and the High Road. A V2 rocket landed on Blackbush Avenue killing several people and blowing out windows for half a mile around. Later, the local council replaced the windows with much more modern frames, and the results provided an incongruous look to the older house designs. A heavy anti-aircraft battery was located east of Whalebone Lane North and traces of the concrete emplacements remain today. A V2 Rocket destroyed two houses in Woodlands Avenue and damaged the houses that had been repaired after the landmine that had destroyed the Whalebone Junior school in Bennett Road.
Chadwell Heath is served by London Buses services and TfL Rail at Chadwell Heath railway station which is currently being upgraded as part of the Crossrail Project. It has easy rail access to Liverpool Street Station in the City of London. London Buses routes that serve Chadwell Heath are the 62 from Marks Gate ‘Billet Road’ to Barking ‘Gascoigne Estate’; 86 from Romford Station to Stratford Station; 173 from King George Hospital ‘Goodmayes’ to Beckton Station; 362 from King George Hospital ‘Goodmayes’ to Grange Hill Station; 368 from Chadwell Heath ‘Police Station’ to Barking ‘Harts Lane’ and night bus N86 from Stratford Station to Harold Hill ‘Dagenham Park Square’.
West Ham United’s training ground was located in the area until late 2015. On 10 December 2015, Slaven Bilic, then West Ham manager, announced that from 14 December the club would be moving from the old training ground (at Saville Road) to the new training ground at nearby Rush Green. Similar to many parts of East London, the area has a large “Hammers” following.
A number of famous sports people hail from the area. Former England rugby union legend Jason Leonard is from Chadwell Heath, and attended the town’s Warren Comprehensive School. Former England and West Ham United player Tony Cottee and former WBO world boxing champion Colin McMillan also attended Warren Comprehensive School. Portsmouth defender Nicky Shorey also went to the Chadwell Heath Foundation School. Boxer Frank Bruno, Cricketer Graham Gooch and Darts player Bobby George lived here, as well as footballers Mark Lazarus and Mark Lazaridos (Leyton Orient). Former F1 driver Keith Jack “Jackie” Oliver was born here on 14 August 1942. Jim Peters, the marathon runner who gained worldwide fame when he collapsed and was unable to finish the marathon in the 1954 Empire Games in Vancouver, Canada, lived in Chadwell Heath during the 1950s.
There are two lawn bowls clubs in the area, ‘Barley Bowls’ and ‘St Chad’s Bowls Club’, the area is home to a private lawn tennis club ‘Mike Ellames’ and adjacent to Warren Comprenhensive on Whalebone Lane there is a golf driving range.