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For anyone who wonders if there is anything left of old Dagenham village. Less than 10 minutes from the station takes you to some surprising survivals.

Go right out of station. I'm afraid it's a very dreary walk for about seven minutes, crossing several small roads on the way. After a petrol station and car showroom go down Crown Street. Continue past Ibscott Close, keeping the concrete fence on your right. What used to be a very scrubby area has now been turned into a pleasant little playground and green space. As you turn the corner you will come upon the Church and the Vicarage. The 16th century Cross Keys public house is a few yards ahead. The Vicarage is a interesting jumble of add-ons of various kinds. It is actually even older than the date on the porch (1665) suggests. Now a private house. The Cross Keys pub is in excellent condition and has been extended in a sympathetic manner. Adjacent to the pub is a garden with a modern war memorial on which is carved the names of the very large number of servicemen and women from this area who gave their lives for their country.

Next comes the church of St Peter and St Paul, which is a bit of a collectors item. The chancel dates from the early 13th century with a 15th century chapel. The rest of the church was rebuilt about 1800 when the tower collapsed, which explains the curved, vaguely classical porch, peculiar wavy battlements and other unusual features. There’s something rather endearing about the ‘wrongness’ of it all. This is all that is left of old Dagenham,  the rest having been demolished in the 1960’s and ‘70’s to make way for social housing. The churchyard has a surprisingly rural feel Iand is very pleasant in early summer with lots of tall daisies. There is one memorial of particular interest, concerning a policeman who was ‘inhumanly and barbarously murdered’ in 1846.  To find the memorial stone walk to the south side of the church and you will see it near the beginning of the avenue of lime trees.

This small area has a strange feel, being very quiet, with a few small shops beyond the church.

This is just one walk from the many to be found at London Tube Rambles. There are architectural gems, beautiful country views, historic places and quirky buildings to be found, even in the most unpromising areas covered by the Greater London Underground stations. Usually the places listed are within a mile of the Tube - often only five minutes walk away. If you reached this as an individual page via a search engine, you might like to click on the link above and see the other destinations explored . You'll be amazed at what's out there!
© DR