Seven Kings is a relatively affluent district of Redbridge in north east London, England, situated approximately two miles from Ilford. Seven Kings forms part of the Ilford post town.
Seven Kings Park is a large open space containing sports facilities such as tennis courts,a sports ground, and a bandstand; there is also Westwood Park, a smaller open space and playground in Meads Lane. It also borders the districts of Ilford and Goodmayes.
Seven Kings has not historically formed a parish or other division; instead it was part of the ancient parish of Ilford in the Becontree hundred of the county of Essex, which formed from 1894 the Ilford Urban District (later municipal borough). Seven Kings is situated next to the ancient Roman road between London and Colchester and was rapidly developed during the 19th century following construction of the Great Eastern Main Line railway.
In 1965 the Ilford parish and municipal borough were abolished by the London Government Act 1963, and the area of Essex including Seven Kings has since formed part of Greater London.
Located in the immediate area are Mayfield High School (London), Palmer Catholic Academy and Seven Kings High School. Primary schools in this area include Downshall Primary School, Farnham Green Primary School, South Park Primary School, Seven Kings Primary School and Eastcourt Independent School.
The area is served by Seven Kings railway station on the Great Eastern Main Line to/from Liverpool Street station. Train services are operated by TfL Rail, branded as Crossrail since May 2017.
The nearest London Underground station is Newbury Park on the Central line.
The Bungalow Estate
In the late 1880’s Seven Kings was expanding rapidly. London then had a large manufacturing industry. It was the largest seaport in the UK and was the Financial Centre of the World. Jobs in the area were readily available.
There was a steam powered railway from Liverpool Street to Romford and beyond. The potential for house building in Seven Kings was large and resulted in the building of Seven Kings Station in 1899 and Goodmayes Station in 1901. A frenzy of building followed with churches, parks, shops and houses being built. One of the builders at the time was William Knox who bought land and built houses in South Park Drive and South Park Chapel.
Knox bought land and with the collaboration of John Moore started to build bungalows. Thus the growth of the Bungalow Estate began. Much of the land on which the Bungalow Estate was built was formerly the site of Goodmayes Farm. The Bungalow Estate was built during the 1920’s and 1930’s. In those days there were few cars so only a few bungalows had garages. Heating was by coal fires with hot water provided by gas fired geysers.
Knox also built alms houses in Water Lane and Egerton Gardens for needy families who had lost their menfolk in the First World War. These houses are now part of the Knox Trust which is a Registered Charity. Knox Field in South Park Drive, which is used by local schoolchildren and is also part of the legacy left by Knox for the community.
In 1974 the estate was designated by the council as the Mayfield Residential Precinct to take account of the special character of the area. In order to retain this status an Article 4(1) direction was introduced in September 1987 and a further Article 4(2) direction in 2004. These directions withdrew some of the permitted development rights of householders. This means that even minor development work requires a Planning Application to be submitted and approved before work can proceed.
In October 1991 the Council designated the area as the Mayfield Conservation Area with stricter planning rules which were later supported by the Article 4(2) direction in 2004. In July 2014, after a detailed appraisal of the estate, the Mayfield Conservation Area was renamed the Bungalow Estate Conservation Area to better reflect its character and give it a fresh start.