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History of Barking in 1848, Whites Directory

History of Barking

Barking 1848

Barking is an improving town and fishing port, on the east side of the Roding, about two miles north of the confluence of the river with the Thames; 2 miles S of Ilford Railway Station and 7 miles E by N of London. Its Parish comprises 12,515 acres of land, and about 10,000 inhabitants, but is divided into four Wards, of which the following are the names, with their population in 1841, viz, Barking Town, 3751; Ripple, 467; Great Ilford, 3742; and Chadwell, 758. They support their poor conjointly as one township, but Great Ilford, Chadwell, Barkingside, Aldborough Hatch and all the north part of the parish in and adjoining Hainault Forest, have been ecclesiastically formed in to the “Parish of Great Ilford”, as afterwards noticed. When the census was taken in July, 1841, no fewer than 980 fishermen and their apprentices, were absent from Barking. Including its floating population, the town now has about 5,000 inhabitants. It has been greatly improved during the last eight years, by the erection of many new houses and shops, and the formation of several new streets. It is now well paved and lighted. The Gas Works were established in 1839, at a cost of £1500, in £5 shares. The river or creek is navigable to Barking for vessels of 3 or 400 tons burthen, and was made navigable in 1739, up to Ilford for vessels of 80 tons. Here is a toll-free quay, and the fishing trade gives employment to about 200 smacks, of from 40 to 60 tons burthen, each carrying 8 or 10 men or boys, and constructed with wells for the purpose of preserving the fish alive, which consists chiefly of turbot, soles and cod, taken on the Scottish and Dutch coasts, chiefly for the London markets. Two large ice-houses have recently been built to afford a supply of ice in packing fish for distant markets. The fishery is a nursery of a hardy and industrious race, who seldom fail to become excellent sailors. Many of the inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood are engaged in the cultivation of potatoes and other vegetables for the metropolis. In the parish about 600 acres are often cropped with potatoes, and 150 with cabbages, etc. The market, held on Saturday, is now a trivial consequence, but here is an annual fair for cattle etc, on the 22nd October, and a pleasure fair is held on the first Friday, in July, at Fairlop, near Barking side, and within the bounds of Hainault Forest, of which about 1000 acres, covered with fine timber trees, are in Barking parish, though distant from 4 to 6 miles N N E of the town, and now included in the district parish of Great Ilford, which see. The Town Hall, erected in the reign of Elizabeth, over the Market House, is a wood and plaster building, in which the court leet, public lectures etc are held.

Barking, called in some records Berking, Berckingas, Berekingum, etc, is supposed to have had its name from Burgh-ing, a fortification in the meadow; and the remains of considerable entrenchments are still visible in the fields adjoining to Uphill farm, about a quarter of a mile north of the town. The form of this entrenchment is not regular, but tending toa square of about 48 acres. On the north, east and south sides, it is singly trenched, but on the west, near the river Roding, it has a double trench and bank. On the south side is a deep morass, but on the north and east sides the ground is dry and level, the trench, from frequent ploughings, being almost filled up. At the north west corner was an outlet to a fine spring of water, which was guarded by an inner work, and a high keep or mound of earth, Mr Lethieullier, a late lord of the manor, in his unpublished history of barking, “thinks this entrenchment was too large for a camp;” his opinion therefore is that it was a site of a Roman town, but he confesses that no traces of buildings have been found on the spot, and accounts for it on supposition that the materials were used for building Barking Abbey, and for repairing it after it was burnt by the Danes. As a confirmation of this opinion, he relates, that, upon viewing the ruins of the Abbey Church, in 1750, he found the foundations of one of the great pillars composed of Roman bricks. Whatever may have been the origin of the town, its consequence in after times was certainly owing to its Abbey, of which scarcely any vestiges now remain. The following particulars relating to this richly endowed nunnery, are abridged from the late Mr Lethieullier’s manuscript history.


And Last updated on: Thursday, 16-Apr-2015 00:20:46 BST