Inventory Site Record

St Paul's Churchyard, Woodford Bridge (Redbridge)

Brief Description

Woodford Bridge was so-called for its position near an important crossing point over the Roding River. It was one of four hamlets that made up Old Woodford, which became villages then suburbs in the 1850s after the arrival of the railway. The first subdivision of the old parish took place here and by 1851 services were held in a rented room and St Paul's Church was built in 1854, but later rebuilt in 1886 following a fire. The churchyard is surrounded by hedge from the village green and has C19th monuments and a number of yews, conifers and shrubs. The entrance is through a wrought iron gate at the end of a roadway flanked by an avenue of trees.

Practical Information
Site location:
Manor Road/Chigwell Road, Woodford Bridge Green
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Open to public?
Opening times:
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Tube: Woodford , Fairlop (Central) then bus. Bus: 275
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.stpaulswb.com

Full Site Description

Woodford Bridge near Claybury Hill was so-called for its position near an important crossing point over the Roding River and was one of four hamlets that made up Old Woodford, along with Woodford Row now Woodford Green, Woodford Wells, and Church End now South Woodford, separated by fields and meadows. The hamlets changed to villages then suburbs following the arrival of the railway in the 1850s. The ford at Woodford Bridge was replaced by a bridge in 1761 that was only demolished in 1962 when the M11 was built. It was maintained by the Middlesex and Essex Turnpike Trust, with a Tollhouse formerly located near the White Hart public house today.

The first subdivision of the old parish of Woodford took place at Woodford Bridge. By 1851 a room was being rented here so that services could be held to save the community from the long walk to St Mary's Woodford (q.v.). The stone church of St Paul's was built on Woodford Bridge Green (q.v.) in 1854, an Early English style building. It was rebuilt in 1886 following a fire in 1880. Five years after the church was built its first vicar, Revd Charles Blackmore Waller, organised the building of the adjacent church school, with a schoolmaster's house modelled on a design of Prince Albert seen at the 1851 Great Exhibition.

The church has a pleasant churchyard with C19th monuments and a number of yews, conifers and shrubs, and is surrounded by hedges from the village green. The entrance to the churchyard is through a wrought iron gate at the end of a roadway flanked by an avenue of trees. Among memorials in the churchyard are that of Revd Charles Blackmore Waller (d.1901) with his wife Florinda (d.1876) and their two daughters who died young; the Watkins family who owned Gales Farm; and the Revd Cecil John Mead-Allen (d.1933), who was vicar here from 1928-33 and also Chaplain of Claybury Hospital. There are three Commonwealth War Graves and a gravestone to the widow of Col Robert Parker Campbell of the 90th Highland Light Infantry (d.1858). In the 1980s Manpower Services Commission undertook a review of the churchyard. The tall spire of the church is a landmark visible from the nearby M11.

Sources consulted:

Edward Walford, 'Village London, the Story of Greater London, Part 2 - North and East', first published 1883/4 (1985 ed., The Alderman Press); Ian Dowling and Nick Harris, Archive Photographs Series: Wanstead and Woodford, 1994; Peter Lawrence and Georgina Green, Woodford, A Pictorial History, Phillimore, 1995. See church website for Giles Monks, 'History of St. Paul's Church Woodford Bridge',1988

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ426918 (542625,191809)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
Church of England, Diocese of Chelmsford
Site management:
Listed structures:
LBII: St Paul's Church. Local list: houses in Chigwell Road
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:


Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
In Conservation Area:
Conservation Area name:
Woodford Bridge
Tree Preservation Order:
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Yes - Archaeology Priority Area
Other LA designation:

Please note the Inventory and its content are provided for your general information only and are subject to change. It is your responsibility to check the accuracy.