Unlike its more famous City namesake, this Pudding Lane has nothing to do with remnants of the butchery trade. It is in fact a rural joke, coming as it does from a nearby field name. John Field in his book A History of English Field Names says it was a common reference for farmers traversing “sticky or boggy land” since the soil’s consistency was that of a plum pudding mixture. It took on its current name in 1875, prior to that it had known as Patsalls Lane since 1518, after a late medieval house, which since 1905 has served as a lodge to Pettits Hall. The area remained largely rural until the 17th and 18th centuries when new houses were built along the lane. In 1777 it was the main route between Loughton and Collier Row. From the crossing at Manor Road it continued as a footpath (today’s Romford Road) into the medieval Hainault forest. It would have been gated at the forest end to keep out stray animals.
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