The name is thought to have originated from Richard le Gant, a 13thCentury Norman landowner who was steward of Barking Abbey, the area first being recorded as Gantesgrave as early as 1291. Thirty years later, a Ralph le Gant is also recorded as a steward and similarly Richard and Gilbert le Gant in 1456. However, it has also been suggested that the name is a reference to the marshland habitat which was home to swarms of gnats. Landowner Lord Parham had the area drained in 1803 and the village then became known as Gnat’s Cross, which in turn became Gnat’s Hill. Gnat’s probably became Gants due to a printing error in the reproduction of local maps.
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