Harold Wood


Europe, United Kingdom, London

Harold Wood is a place in the London Borough of Havering, east London, England. It is a suburban development situated 16.5 miles (26.6 km) east-northeeast of Charing Cross. The Great Eastern Main Line passes through the area, the M25 motorway forms the easterly boundary and the A12 and A127 roads form the North-West and South-West borders respectively. Harold Wood is so named because King Harold Harefoot hunted deer in the forest that covered this area in the 11th Century. Some of the original roads are named after Anglo-Saxon kings such as Æthelstan and Alfred the Great. Under the Local Government Act 1894, Harold Wood formed part of Romford Rural District. With suburban house building, the area became increasingly urbanised and from 1926 Harold Wood formed part of the Hornchurch Urban District, which in 1965 was abolished to form the present-day London Borough of Havering. Harold Wood Hospital, on Gubbins Lane, closed on 13 December 2006 with all patients moved to Queen's Hospital in nearby Romford. The site vacated by the hospital has been earmarked for a 470-home housing development. However, this development has faced fierce opposition from the local population as the developers now wish to build over 800 properties on the site.