Barking Road, E6

Place Name

Directional, the road leading to Barking. John Field in his book Place Names of Greater London says that the name Barking comes from the Anglo-Saxon Berica’s people or settlement. First mentioned in records as Bercingum around AD730, by the first millennium it had become Bercingum and in the Domesday Book in 1086, Berchinges. Norman Gunby however dates the name even earlier in his book A Potted History of Ilford, saying it was first on record as Berecingas in AD695. The road itself however is not an ancient one. In A History of the County of Essex its development is explained: “Plaistow was at last provided with a main road, by-passing Stratford, about 1812, when the Commercial Road turnpike trust built New (now Barking) Road from the East India Docks, across the Plaistow marshes, to East Ham and Barking, with an iron bridge over the Lea by Bow creek, and a toll-gate in Barking Road, near the bridge. That road did not immediately influence local settlement, but it eventually became the main thoroughfare and shopping centre of south West Ham. It was controlled by the Commercial Road trust until the trust expired in 1871.”

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