Ilford village, in 1653, comprised about 50 houses, mostly north and east of the central road junction, along that part of the High Road now called the Broadway. 1) South and west of the junction was Spurle Grove, an 'island' site belonging to Ilford Hospital, on which there were only two or three buildings apart from those of the hospital itself.There were also a few houses on the south side of Back (now Roden) Street, and in Green Lane.It was stated in 1650 that the 'town' of Ilford contained 'above 60 families'. 2) Ilford grew considerably during the next two centuries. At that time building was also taking place on the Birkbeck estate, about a mile north of Ilford village, at the Horns (now Newbury Park).This seems to have been largely due to the development of the hospital estate, in and near the centre of the village. This small estate lay east of Horns Road in the area now bounded south by the King George V Hospital and east by the railway. 13) It was a curious piece of development, comprising Birkbeck Road, Perrymans Farm Road, and five other streets, laid out on a gridiron plan in isolated rural surroundings.In the later 18th century the Gascoynes, as masters of the hospital, began to grant plots of land on building leases. 5) In the north of the parish, along the edges of Hainault Forest, were hamlets and farms, which in 1650 were said to contain 100 families. 6) The main settlements there were Barkingside and Little Heath. 11) North of the High Road, between Cranbrook Road and Ley Street, the Ilford Lodge estate (fn. Building of small urban-type terraces had started by the 1870's, but it proceeded very slowly, with many gaps, now filled by later houses.Mark Gibbard, who took up one of these leases in 1765–6, was in 1771 granted a lease of the whole hospital estate, on terms authorizing him to develop Spittel Field, in Ilford Lane, as a brickfield. 3) The village was also expanding north and east (fn. In 1801 the population of Ilford ward was 1,724 and that of Chadwell ward 317. 8) spread over a wide area, including that brought under cultivation, in the 1850's, by the destruction of Hainault Forest. 9) but its distinctively urban growth was beginning. 10) was broken up in 1879, substantial parts of it, lying immediately south of the High Road, between Ilford Lane and Green Lane, were bought for building by Aaron Withers, of Ilford Hall, with his partner James Withers of Southend, and by A. By 1891 the population of Ilford had risen to 10,913.It rose to 3,742 (Ilford) and 758 (Chadwell) in 1841. 7) During the 1840's the population of both wards remained almost stationary, probably because the opening of the railway had weakened Ilford's substantial coaching trade, but growth continued in the 1850's. During the next twenty years it grew phenomenally, to 78,188 in 1911. 14) The principal developer during this period was A.
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West of Ilford Lane development was less continuous.At Seven Kings and Goodmayes most of the building was north of the High Road, between Aldborough Road, Meads Lane, and Barley Lane, but there were also a few streets running off Green Lane.By 1910 a few more streets had been added between Wanstead Park Road and Cranbrook Road, along Green Lane, and at Loxford and Uphall, (fn.24) but the pace of growth was slackening, and between 19 the population rose by only 7,000, to 85,194. 25) In 1921 the London County Council started work on the Becontree housing estate.
The Ilford portion of this, mostly completed by 1926, comprised only 10 per cent.
of the whole, but it was a substantial addition to the town: some 2,500 houses and 11,600 people, in the Becontree Avenue area. 26) Private building also went on rapidly between the World Wars.