Some Geography and History


Before proceeding to the next generation I think it would be helpful for the reader to have more clearly in mind the everyday surroundings that our family enjoyed. This was spent largely, but not exclusively, in two general locations. The Roothings and Havering-atte-Bower, all in Essex.


The Roothings, or Rodings, is a group of villages. They are the largest in the country to bear a common name. The Rodings do not lie within a single district in the county; they are arranged around the tripoint of the boroughs of Chelmsford, Uttlesford and Epping Forest.


        Abbess Roding

        Aythorpe Roding

        Beauchamp Roding (note, pronounced Beecham Roding)

        Berners Roding

        High Roding

        Leaden Roding

        Margaret Roding

White Roding



This extract from the Church Registers details the occupants of White Roding in 1810.




They are believed to be the remnants of a single Anglo-Saxon community known as the Hroðingas, led by Hroða, who sailed up the River Thames and along a tributary in the sixth century and settled in the area. This was one of the sub-kingdoms that were absorbed into the Kingdom of Essex. The River Roding and the villages derived their name from Hroda. The typical pronunciation of the name is "Roadings".


The villages are recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Rodinges in the Hundred of Dunmow. In the time of Edward the Confessor, it was held by the Abbey of St ®thelthryth of Ely; however, after the Norman Conquest, part was taken by William de Warenne. Part was also held by the de Veres and de Mandevilles families, who became the Earls of Oxford and Earls of Essex. By the 14th century, the boundaries and names of the villages had become fairly established. Abbess Beauchamp and Berners Roding now form a single parish in the district of Epping Forest.

The River Roding is a river that rises near Dunmow, flows through Essex and forms Barking Creek as it reaches the River Thames in London.


Havering-atte-Bower is a village and outlying settlement of the London Borough of Havering, located 15 miles (24 km) northeast of Charing Cross and close to the Greater London boundary. It was one of three former parishes whose area comprised the historic Royal Liberty of Havering. The village has been the location of a number of palaces and large houses including Bower House, The Round House, Pyrgo Palace and Havering Palace.


The name is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Haueringas. It is an ancient folk name which means settlement of the followers of a man called H¾fer. The name is recorded as Hauering atte Bower in 1272. The atte Bower suffix means at the royal residence and refers to Havering Palace, which was situated here. The West London equivalent to Havering-atte-Bower is Old Windsor in Berkshire, where there was a Saxon Palace which predated Windsor Castle. Edward the Confessor would have travelled to and from his palaces at both Havering-atte-Bower and Old Windsor. Both villages are on situated on high ground and have great views into London.


The village is steeped in royal history. Edward the Confessor was the first royal to take interest in the area as he established a hunting lodge here which over the years would become a palace or 'bower' and it is believed, though disputed, that he may have died in the house that he had loved so much before being buried at Westminster Abbey.


The surrounding areas, including the parishes of Hornchurch and Romford, formed the Royal Liberty of Havering from 1465 to 1892. For the next 600 years royalty would use the house of Havering Palace for various reasons adding the architectural style of the day to the expanding palace.


Another palace was purchased by Henry VIII to the east of the village called Pyrgo to relieve the now ageing Havering Palace. Into the 17th century the Royal Palace of Havering was in decline and was pulled down. Pyrgo later followed in the 18th century. Only one set of plans exist from the original Havering Palace, courtesy of a survey by Lord Burghley in 1578.


Dame Tipping School in the village was founded by Dame Anne Tipping who was daughter of Thomas Chief a governor of the Tower of London. The school opened in 1891 and is still running today with the same main building since the school was founded, but through the years the school has had many various changes and extensions.


Immanuel School, on the site of the old Havering Grange, at the bottom of Orange Tree Hill, is a Christian school operated by Immanuel Ministries for children from age 3 to 16.


The village green still has on display its original village stocks, while on the opposite side of the road is a pond known as "Ducking Pond", rumoured to have been used for trials of witches. Though the name of the pond suggests such a history, hard evidence is yet to be uncovered. However, there are currently plans to construct a replica ducking stool at the site.


The history of the area dates back to Saxon times and archaeological finds in and around Havering Country Park suggest that there was most likely a Roman Villa or similar structure in the area.


The ancient village is perched on one of the highest points in London, in the far north of the borough and near to the M25 motorway. It is situated 344 feet (105 m) above sea level with striking views of east London, Essex and Kent. To the north of Havering-atte-Bower is open countryside and to the south are the large suburban developments of Harold Hill and Collier Row.












The Chapel at Nunhead Cemetery







This street is mentioned several times through this history. It lies alongside the Nunhead Cemetery in South London.




The houses on Linden Grove as they appear today.


It seems likely that Linden Grove suffered extensively during the Blitz. Most of the Northern side of the street has ben rebuilt since the war.

Only some of the original Victorian terraces survive at the Western end on the Southern side although some of the adjoining streets retain their original character intact.