Fairlop Plain

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Post to the west Fullwell Cross & Fairlop Station

Post to the north Hainault Station

Post to the east Seven Kings Water Hainault Farm

Post to the south Aldeborough Hatch

Named from a famous oak tree, in what was then Hainault Forest called ‘Fair Lop Tree’ in 1738. Fairlop Oak is marked on the Ordnance Survey map of 1805, and cut down in 1820. In spite of other colourful traditions about the origins of the name, it means ‘lopped tree where fairs took place'; an annual fair was held under the shade of the tree in the 18th century. Fairlop Fair" founded by Daniel Day 1683-1767 a block- and pump-maker of Wapping, who owned a small estate near Hainault Forest.  When he went to receive his rents there, on the first Friday in July, he used to take a party of friends to eat bacon and beans in the shade of the Fairlop Oak.  By about 1725 this private picnic had developed into a regular fair. The block- and pump-makers of Wapping used to go there in a large boat mounted on wheels, accompanied by others in wagons, on horse-back and on foot. The roistering that accompanied the fair displeased the authorities, who made several attempts to suppress the fair, but it survived Day's death, the destruction of the oak, and even the disafforestation of Hainault. About 1856 the government enclosed the site of the fair and shut out the public

Fairlop Oak
Fairlop Oak. The massive Fairlop Oak blew down in 1820. The annual fair was held beneath its shade, which covered an area of 91 metres in circumference. No booth was allowed to be erected beyond the extent of its boughs. It was His favourite tree, out of which he made a coffin for his own interment. It was judged that the act did not injure the tree but was a 'fair-lop'! The pulpit and reading desk in the church of St Pancras were constructed from its remains. It stood about a mile north-east of Aldborough Hatch, on or near the site of the present Hainault recreation ground in Forest Road. Peter Kalm, the Swedish naturalist, who visited it in 1748, measured the circumference of the trunk, at a height of 4 ft. from the ground, as 30 ft. and the spread of the branches as 116 ft. By the end of the 18th century the tree was moribund; a writer of 1791 thought that its decay had been hastened by the lighting of fires in the bole during the fairs. After further damage by fire in 1805 the oak was blown down. The remains of the tree were uprooted with the rest of Hainault Forest in 1851. In 1909 a new oak was planted in the recreation ground, on a site thought to be that of the old one. Another tree, called the 'new Fairlop Oak' was planted on the green at Fulwell Cross in 1951.
The oak is said to have been near the boat house at Fairlop Waters

Fairlop Plain.
Nature area. A small proportion of this wide flattish former farmland is to be developed in a habitat recreation scheme concentrating on wetland. Farmland which still retains hedges was used in both World Wars as an airstrip but was bought in the 1950s by Ilford council for gravel or sand extraction and for the disposal of rubbish. Of over 1,000 acres just over half may continue to be farmed but the rest of the site is to become a country park and golf course. 5.5 hectares, which include former gravel workings, is to be a lagoon nature reserve at the suggestion of London Wildlife Trust. 
Fighter aerodrome. RAF Fairlop, 1941-5.  Used in the Great War with Sopwith Camels.  The City of London wanted to build a large civil airport here but were interrupted by the Second World War.  Used again then. Plans for a civil airport here abandoned in 1953 and Ilford Council bought it from the City of London.
Society of Archers, called the Hainault Foresters, founded about 1770, held their meetings on Fairlop Plain. The posts used for roping in their ground were still standing early in the 19th century.
Forest Farm. Land became a balloon station in the First World War.  

Fairlop Waters
Open ground created by clearance of part of The King's Wood in 1853. The Crown divided the land between three farms - Hainault Farm, Forest Farm and Foxburrows Farm . Its preservation from development seems to have been an accident.  Pits dug for gravel extraction were flooded as boating lakes and the ground opened as a country park and golf course. Plans in 2001 for the London City, also plans for a Racecourse designed by Foster & Partners were refused in 2002.
North Road
School of Dame Alice Tippy, rebuilt nineteenth century, Queen Victoria gave 


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