In his book A Potted History of Ilford, Norman Gunby offers several potential reasons for how the ancient parish formerly in the Forest of Essex got its name. It is first mentioned as Cingheuvella in the Domesday survey of 1086; it appears in the Pipe Rolls in 1187 in the more recognisable format of Chiggewell, which may have come from the Anglo-Saxon personal name Cicca, literally meaning Cicca’s well. Alternatively it could be a corruption of the Old English word ceacge meaning gorse. Another theory suggests it was influenced by the nearby Chingford, meaning shingly ford; and finally it could refer to the King’s Well, the site of which is marked at today’s Brocket Way on the 1898 Ordnance Survey map. This was formerly Roding Lane which was laid out in 1890 (although plans for its development had been discussed by the parish vestry in 1855 and 1864) as the first proper road between Buckhurst Hill and Chigwell. The stretch known today as Chigwell Rise was named in the 20thCentury perhaps to reflect the elevation of the land. The medieval manor of Chigwell, mentioned in the Domesday survey, once stood to the north of Roding Lane, where the RAF station now is.
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