Thames Tributary Beam River - Dagenham Country Park
The Beam River flows south east towards the Thames. It is joined by the Wantz stream from the north west which itself has been joined by the Marley Stream from the north west.
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Suburban Dagenham with some countryside and a never-happened canal
Post to the west Fords
Post to the north Dagenham East
Post to the south Dagenham Marshes
The Beam River is the divide between Barking and Havering
The Wantz joins the Beam River just north of Beam Bridge. It is a small, gravelly stream.
Sluice. Below the confluence of the two rivers is a sluice. A pipe bridge above it marks the presumed line of the Romford Canal.
Beam Valley Country Park.
The Park lies at the southern end of the Dagenham Corridor, and crosses the Borough boundaries.
The channel of the Romford Canal runs parallel to the Beam on the Dagenham side and is flanked by a row of hawthorns.
Dagenham Hospital. In 1897 West Ham Corporation built a fever hospital on the site of Rookery Farm, an associated problem being caused by land owned by the Romford Canal Co. Rookery Farm was demolished and West Ham small pox hospital opened in 1899. In 1912 it was converted into a sanatorium - West Ham Sanatorium, later Dagenham Sanatorium - for adults with TB. It was closed as a sanatorium in 1965 and then became Dagenham Hospital, closing in 1996. The site is now an extension of the Beam Valley parkland open space
The Leys Children’s Centre
Theresa Greene Occupational centre. Now gone.
Newtons Primary School.
Beam Bridge. Bridge over the river built originally by Tilbury Fort Turnpike Trust, which about 1810 built this stretch of road as part of the access for the military.
Coal post – a City of London coal duty marker should have stood here and is presumed moved during construction works.
Romford Canal - A lock was built at Beam Bridge and some parts of this were once still visible. This was the first of six locks which were planned.
Mill – A windmill is shown on the east bank of the Beam River in 1610 and a Beam River Mill are listed in directories until the 1880s.
Mill House Club.
Mardyke Estate – this is east of the Beam on some of the land of Mardyke Farm and there are many infilled gravel workings. It is now Orchard Village, having been transferred to Old Ford Housing Association in 2008. The name Orchard Village reflects the previous use of part of the estate as an orchard which supplied fruit to Wilkin & Sons. The former estate was the setting of the 2009 film Fish Tank by Andrea Arnold.
Oval Road North
Beam Primary School. Built in 1951 in brick and concrete with single-storey classroom blocks and a water tower. The playing field extends over what was the site of the proposed Romford Canal.
A canal to Romford from the Thames was first proposed in 1809 and plans for a canal along the Beam valley were drawn up in 1824. In 1875 an act was passed to enable construction work to begin. Work was started on the lower Beam Valley section, including a bridge and a lock. Some of the canal was used for defence in the Second World War and subsequently infilled. Between Rainham and New Roads and channel is generally dry. About mid way is a military pill box. The canal bed above the lock became a school playing field in 1974.
Mardyke Community Centre
Beam School. Web site
London Borough of Barking. Web site
Lost Hospitals of London,. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. East London
Victoria History of Essex. Barking and Dagenham