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History of Clayhall and Claybury Hall

PUBLISHED: 10:00 02 November 2019

Claybury Hospital taken in 1974, before the building was converted into flats.

Claybury Hospital taken in 1974, before the building was converted into flats.

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The Recorder looks at the history of more of the area's estates and manor houses

What became Clayhall is first mentioned in records dating back to 1203 - when lands reportedly measuring four and three-quarter virgates (an early English land measure roughly the equivalent of 30 acres) was granted for life to Richard de la Claie.

It is then mentioned as "The Manor of Clayhall" in records from 1410.

By 1578 the tenant of the estate was Thomas Fanshawe, and from 1608 to 1919 we know the tenant was Sir Christopher Hatton.

The mansion was sold off in the mid-17th century, and by the middle of the 18th century had been demolished and replaced with a farmhouse.

This farmhouse and its outbuildings stood until 1935 - when demolition work uncovered the farmhouse itself had been built on the foundations of the old manor house.

Some of the old blocks of ashlar used in its foundations several hundred years before were actually recovered by a Miss Mary Ogden whose father was general manager of Lord & Mellowdew, the builders involved in the demolition.

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Clayhall Park now occupies part of the manor's former estate, and it still referred to locally sometimes as Brown's Farm.

Claybury Hall - or Clayberry in some earlier records - was a free tenement owned by Barking Abbey.

The earliest recorded tenant, in the year 1401, was John Malmaynes, whose family also held the Malmaynes Manor in Barking.

In 1597 we know the house was occupied by Thomas Knyvett because that name is recorded during a royal visit from Queen Elizabeth I.

It was also held by the Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Fowke, between 1652 and 1653.

In 1887 the site was bought by Justices of the Peace of the County of Middlesex who built a lunatic asylum there.

That asylum was finished in 1893 and run by the London County Council until in 1948 it formally came under the control of the National Health Service.

It became known as Claybury Hospital and was put up for sale in 1995.

In 1996 Redbridge Council was informed that developers were interested in building on the site and planning permission for 800 dwellings and associated community facilities.

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