|Population||63,583 (2011) |
|OS grid reference||TQ535865|
|• Charing Cross||15.2 mi (24.5 km) WSW|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||RM11, RM12|
Hornchurch is a suburban town in East London, England, and part of the London Borough of Havering. It is located 15.2 miles (24.5 km) east-northeast of Charing Cross.  It comprises a number of shopping streets and a large residential area. It historically formed a large ancient parish in the county of Essex that became the manor and liberty of Havering. The economic history of Hornchurch is underpinned by a shift away from agriculture to other industries with the growing significance of nearby Romford as a market town and centre of administration. As part of the suburban growth of London in the 20th century, Hornchurch significantly expanded and increased in population, becoming an urban district in 1926 and has formed part of Greater London since 1965.  It is the location of Queen's Theatre, Havering Sixth Form College and Havering College of Further and Higher Education.
|# no census was held due to war|
|source: UK census |
Hornchurch is an Anglicised version of the Latin Monasterium Cornutum (Monastery of the Horns), a term that was also applied to the mother Abbey in Savoy. The earliest recorded use here was in 1222, meaning "church with horn-like gables" and it was recorded as "Hornechurch" in 1233. The horned bull's head mounted on the eastern end of St Andrew's Church, near the town centre dates from much later, around the 18th century.
In the Anglian Ice Age, 450,000 years ago, the ice sheet reached The Dell, just south of St Andrew's Church in Hornchurch, the furthest south any ice sheet reached in Britain. Hornchurch Cutting is a Site of Special Scientific Interest just north of St Andrews Park which exhibits the geology.  
Stone Age tools, Bronze Age and Iron Age artefacts have been discovered in Hornchurch, indicating a lengthy occupation in pre-history. Roman remains, sufficient to indicate a settlement have also been found in South Hornchurch.  Hornchurch originates from around the 12th century when Henry II gave 1,500 acres (610 ha) to the hospice of St Nicholas and St Bernard, Mountjoux, in Savoy as a gift.  A prosperous Hornchurch Priory was established, near the parish church, but the monks were forced out during the 14th century when a new law banned foreign land ownership. The lands were then given to Lord Chancellor William of Wykeham who made major renovations to the church. He subsequently gave Hornchurch to endow New College, Oxford, which still owns all the local church lands and buildings. Due to this, Saint Andrew's Church was not adopted into the Diocese of Chelmsford until agreement was reached in the 1930s. The parish remains staffed by a vicar temporal and his curates.
Hornchurch was a large ancient parish in the Becontree hundred of Essex; it was divided into the three chapelries of Havering-atte-Bower, Hornchurch and Romford. The Hornchurch chapelry stretched from the River Thames in the south to Harold Wood in the north and was located between the River Ingrebourne in the east and the River Beam in the west. It was also known as 'Hornchurch side' and consisted of the North End, South End and Town wards. Town ward was absorbed into North End and South End around 1722. Hornchurch chapelry occupied 6,783 acres (2,745 ha) of the 16,100-acre (6,500 ha) ancient parish.  The local authority was the Hornchurch vestry. The royal manor of Havering, which was conterminous with the ancient parish of Hornchurch, enjoyed special status and a charter in 1465 removed it from the Becontree hundred and the county of Essex to instead form an independent liberty. By the 16th century 'Romford side', comprising the five northern wards of Romford Town, Harold Wood, Collier Row, Noak Hill and Havering, had grown larger than Hornchurch and had achieved some degree of independence from the Hornchurch vestry. Havering ward grew independent in its own right and became a separate parish in the late 18th century.
Following the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834, Hornchurch and Romford became separate civil parishes in 1836 and were grouped into the Romford Poor Law Union. The area of the union, excluding the town of Romford, became a rural sanitary district in 1875. The special status of the Liberty of Havering was abolished in 1892 and the area was reincorporated into Essex. In 1894 the Hornchurch vestry was abolished, to be replaced by Hornchurch Parish Council. The rural sanitary district became Romford Rural District and the local authority became Romford Rural District Council. As the population of Hornchurch was rising, the parish council was abolished in 1926 and the parish was removed from the rural district. The parish of Hornchurch became Hornchurch Urban District and the local authority became Hornchurch Urban District Council. The council met at Langtons House from 1929. The urban district was significantly expanded in 1934 when the parishes of Cranham, Great Warley, North Ockendon, Rainham, Upminster and Wennington were added. The area formed part of the London Traffic Area from 1924 and the London Passenger Transport Area from 1933.  The whole area was included in the London Borough of Havering in 1965 and it was administratively transferred from Essex to Greater London.
During both the First World War and Second World War nearby Hornchurch Airfield was an important RAF station; it was known as RAF Suttons Farm during the Great War, with its HQ as far away as Upminster Hall. During the Second World War, the airfield was known as RAF Hornchurch, and was home mostly to a number of Spitfire squadrons, with an advanced sub-station at Rayleigh. The land has since been reused for a large housing development and Hornchurch Country Park. During the First World War a large vacant country estate called Grey Towers on Hornchurch Road was commandeered by the Army Council as a military depot. In January 1916 it became the first Command Depot for the New Zealand Contingent in Britain but was found to be more suitable as a Convalescent Hospital Camp for New Zealand Servicemen, and was run as such until June 1919.  Like most suburbs of London, Hornchurch had been entirely rural until the arrival of the railway which spurred huge property development during the early 1900s. Whole estates were constructed such as Emerson Park to the north. Development was fuelled further by the arrival of the electrified District line during the 1930s with inter and post war housing developments south and west of Hornchurch in places such as Elm Park.
There are 35 buildings listed by Historic England in Hornchurch. In the centre of Hornchurch St Andrew's Church is Grade I listed, and a further 11 buildings, including Langtons and Fairkytes, are Grade II listed. 
The town forms part of the Hornchurch and Upminster UK Parliament constituency. Elm Park and South Hornchurch are within the Dagenham and Rainham constituency. The local authority is Havering London Borough Council, with three councillors elected from each of a number of wards covering Hornchurch. The central part of town is within the St Andrew's ward and the area around Hornchurch tube station is within the Hacton ward. Western Hornchurch is within the Hylands ward, and there are also wards for Elm Park, Emerson Park and South Hornchurch. All of Hornchurch is within the Havering and Redbridge London Assembly constituency.
The town lies about 82 feet (25 m) above sea level. The former Hornchurch civil parish was bounded with Upminster and Rainham by the River Ingrebourne to the east, with Dagenham by the River Beam to the west, with Romford to the north and by the River Thames to the south. It included the contemporary districts of Ardleigh Green, Elm Park, Emerson Park, Hornchurch town centre, Hornchurch Marshes and South Hornchurch; and parts of Gidea Park, Harold Wood and Upminster Bridge. Hornchurch is a post town in the RM postcode area, consisting of the RM11 and RM12 postcode districts. RM11 covers north of the high street including Ardleigh Green and Emerson Park, and RM12 covers south of the high street including Elm Park. The Hornchurch Marshes and South Hornchurch are within the Rainham post town and postcode district RM13.
Hornchurch is identified in the London Plan as a local district centre with 31,000 square metres (330,000 sq ft) of commercial floorspace.  It is not considered a significant commercial office location.  Within Havering, it is identified as one of seven town centres in the borough,  with a retail area extending along High Street, North Street and Station Lane. 
There are no stations in central Hornchurch, but five stations are located within the town; Upminster Bridge tube station is located just within its eastern boundary, Hornchurch tube station is located about 1⁄2 mi (800 m) south of the high street, Elm Park tube station is about 1+1⁄2 mi (2.4 km) to the south west on the London Underground and Emerson Park railway station on the London Overground is located about 1⁄2 mi (800 m) to the north, and Harold Wood railway station on the Great Eastern Main Line to the far north for TFL Rail.
Hornchurch is served by the following Transport for London contracted London Bus routes: 165, 193, 248, 252, 256, 365, 370 and 372.
St Andrew's Church, on High Street, is the original parish church of Hornchurch. It has been Anglican since the Reformation. There are two other Anglican parish churches: Holy Cross in Hornchurch Road, and St George's in Kenilworth Gardens, both built in the 20th century.
Hornchurch also has two Roman Catholic churches: St Mary Mother of God in Hornchurch Road, and the Church of the English Martyrs in Alma Gardens.
Hornchurch Drum & Trumpet Corps Boys marching band formed in 1959 and perform around the country.  They were the first winners of the National British Marching Band Championships in 1976 and performed at the Edinburgh Tattoo in 1977.[ citation needed ]
The Towers Cinema on Hornchurch High Street opened in 1936. The Kemp & Tasker building, which was converted into a bingo hall in 1973, is noted for its Art Deco architecture. It has now been demolished to make way for a supermarket.  
Hornchurch is served by Time 107.5 FM, located in Romford. The station covers Havering and surrounding areas. Bedrock  is the local hospital radio service available online to the Havering area and broadcasting a range of health-related information and locally produced entertainment.
Hornchurch F.C. is the local football team, with Havering Hockey Club (formerly Hornchurch Hockey Club) accommodating the field hockey fixtures from their Harrow Lodge Park base. The Rom skatepark is located in the west of Hornchurch and is a Grade II listed structure.[ citation needed ]
The local music service is Havering Music School located on Wingletye Lane. Hornchurch is also home to the drum and bass record label RAM Records.
Cranham is a residential area of east London, and part of the London Borough of Havering. It is located 17.5 miles (28 km) east-northeast of Charing Cross and comprises an extensive built-up area to the north and a low density conservation area to the south surrounded by open land. It was historically a rural village in the county of Essex and formed an ancient parish. It is peripheral to London, forming the eastern edge of the urban sprawl. The economic history of Cranham is characterised by a shift from agriculture to housing development. As part of the suburban growth of London in the 20th century, Cranham significantly increased in population, becoming part of Hornchurch Urban District in 1934 and has formed part of Greater London since 1965. The 2011 Census population of Cranham was included in Upminster.
Harold Wood is a suburban neighbourhood of Romford in the London Borough of Havering. It is situated 16.5 miles (26.6 km) east-northeast of Charing Cross and near to the Greater London boundary with Essex.
Romford is a large town in East London and the administrative centre of the London Borough of Havering. It is located 14.1 miles (22.7 km) northeast of Charing Cross and is one of the major metropolitan centres identified in the London Plan. Historically, Romford was a market town in the county of Essex, and it formed the administrative centre of the liberty of Havering before that liberty was dissolved in 1892. Good road links to London and the opening of the railway station in 1839 were key to the development of the town. The economic history of Romford is characterised by a shift from agriculture to light industry and then to retail and commerce.
Upminster is a suburban town in East London, England, within the London Borough of Havering. Located 16.5 miles (26.6 km) east-northeast of Charing Cross, it is one of the district centres identified for development in the London Plan.
The London Borough of Havering in East London, England, forms part of Outer London. It has a population of 259,552 inhabitants; the principal town is Romford, while other communities are Hornchurch, Upminster, Collier Row and Rainham. The borough is mainly suburban, with large areas of protected open space. Romford is a major retail and night time entertainment centre, and to the south the borough extends into the London Riverside redevelopment area of the Thames Gateway. The name Havering is a reference to the Royal Liberty of Havering which occupied the area for several centuries. The local authority is Havering London Borough Council. It is the easternmost London borough.
Elm Park is a suburban planned community in East London within the London Borough of Havering. Located 14.3 miles (23.0 km) east-northeast of Charing Cross, it is identified as a district centre in the London Plan with several streets of shops and a priority for regeneration. Prior to the construction of the extensive Elm Park Garden City development in the 1930s it was a scattered settlement of farms in the south of the parish of Hornchurch. Elm Park has been connected to central London by the electrified District line service since 1935 and the planned development of the area formed part of the interwar private housing boom that was interrupted by World War II. After the war Elm Park expanded with social housing and it has formed part of Greater London since 1965.
Emerson Park is a suburban neighbourhood near Hornchurch in the London Borough of Havering, east London. Predominantly affluent and residential, it is located approximately 15 miles (24.1 km) north-east of Charing Cross.
Harold Hill is a suburban area in the London Borough of Havering, East London. 16.6 miles (26.7 km) northeast of Charing Cross. It is a district centre in the London Plan. The name refers to King Harold II, who held the manor of Havering-atte-Bower, and who was killed at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The suburb is peripheral to London, forming an eastern edge of the urban sprawl.
North Ockendon is the easternmost and most outlying settlement of Greater London, England, and part of the London Borough of Havering. It is 18 miles (29 km) east-northeast of Central London and consists of a dispersed settlement within the Metropolitan Green Belt. It was historically an ancient parish in the county of Essex, which was abolished for civil purposes in 1936. North Ockendon is the only area in Greater London outside the M25 London Orbital Motorway. North Ockendon is north of South Ockendon, in Thurrock, Essex.
Upminster Bridge is a crossing of the River Ingrebourne carrying the A124 road between the suburbs of Hornchurch and Upminster in northeast London, England. The bridge is known to have existed since at least 1375 and the current brick bridge was opened in 1892, replacing a series of wooden bridges. It gave its name to the nearby Upminster Bridge tube station, which opened in 1934, and has also been applied to the neighbourhood around the station in the London Borough of Havering.
Harold Park is a place in the London Borough of Havering.
Wennington is a small village in the London Borough of Havering, in east London. It is situated 14.8 miles east of Charing Cross. Wennington was an ancient parish in the county of Essex that was abolished for civil purposes in 1934. It is peripheral to London, forming a ribbon development extending from the eastern edge of the urban sprawl and surrounded by the Metropolitan Green Belt. Wennington was added to Hornchurch Urban District in 1934 and has formed part of Greater London since 1965.
Havering, also known as Havering-atte-Bower, was a royal manor and ancient liberty whose area now forms part of, and gives its name to, the London Borough of Havering in Greater London. The manor was in the possession of the Crown from the 11th to the 19th centuries and was the location of Havering Palace from the 13th to the late 17th century. It occupied the same area as the ancient parish of Hornchurch which was divided into the three chapelries of Havering, Hornchurch and Romford.
The RM postcode area, also known as the Romford postcode area, is a group of twenty postcode districts in south-east England, within nine post towns. These cover parts of eastern Greater London and south-west Essex. Inward mail for the area is sorted, along with mail for the E and IG postcode areas, at the Romford Mail Centre.
Hornchurch was a borough constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elected one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election. At the 2010 general election parts formed the new seats of Hornchurch and Upminster; and Dagenham and Rainham.
Hornchurch was a local government district in southwest Essex from 1926 to 1965, formed as an urban district for the civil parish of Hornchurch. It was greatly expanded in 1934 with the addition of Cranham, Great Warley, Rainham, Upminster and Wennington; and in 1935 by gaining North Ockendon. Hornchurch Urban District Council was based at Langtons House in Hornchurch from 1929. The district formed a suburb of London and with a population peaking at 131,014 in 1961, it was one of the largest districts of its type in England. It now forms the greater part of the London Borough of Havering in Greater London.
South Hornchurch is a locality to the south of Hornchurch in London Borough of Havering, east London. It is a suburban development situated 13.6 miles (21.8 km) east of Charing Cross. The area is a relatively recent addition, compared with the more mature suburbs in Havering. It was built on open farmland and the former site of RAF Hornchurch.
Rainham is a suburb of East London, England, in the London Borough of Havering. Historically an ancient parish in the county of Essex, Rainham is 13.6 miles (21.9 km) east of Charing Cross and is surrounded by a residential area, which has grown from the historic village, to the north and a commercial area, fronting the River Thames, to the south. As part of the suburban growth of London in the 20th century, Rainham significantly expanded and increased in population, becoming part of Hornchurch Urban District in 1934, and has formed part of Greater London since 1965. The economic history of Rainham is underpinned by a shift from agriculture to industry and manufacture and is now in a period of regeneration, coming within the London Riverside section of the Thames Gateway redevelopment area.
Public transport in the London Borough of Havering, in east London, England, is a mix of National Rail, London Underground, London Overground and Crossrail and London Buses services. Rail services are primarily radial to central London with bus services providing most of the orbital connections. The public transport authority is Transport for London and the local authority is Havering London Borough Council.