|Capel Nelmes (Emerson Park Estate)||Havering|
Nelmes Manor, one of 12 manors in Hornchurch in medieval times, took its name from Richard Elms who owned the estate in the C13th and C14th; it later became known as Great Nelmes. The estate remained largely intact until 1895 when the southern part was sold and developed as Emerson Park Estate. The northern section around the C16th manor house was developed from 1901 when the remainder of the 241-acre estate was put up for sale, apart from Great Nelmes (later demolished in 1967), Capel Nelmes and 10 acres. Capel Nelmes was formerly the stable block to Great Nelmes, used as a residence from c.1870. The manor grounds had contained a walled garden, lake, orchard and fine trees; a number of Cedars still stand. To the east is the remains of a moat, now incorporated into a modern development, and a C17th Well Tower, a former conduit house to Great Nelmes, stands in a private garden.
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Nelmes Manor was one of twelve manors in Hornchurch in medieval times and takes its name from Richard Elms who owned an estate of some 300 acres in the C13th and C14th. It later became known as Great Nelmes and covered an area from the present Ardleigh Green Road to the west and Wingletyre Lane to the east. The estate remained largely intact until housing development began in the area in the late C19th. In 1895 the southern part of the Great Nelmes Estate was sold and developed as the Emerson Park Estate. The northern section around the old C16th manor house was developed from 1901 onwards when the remainder of the 241 acre estate was put up for sale, only Great Nelmes, Capel Nelmes and 10 acres being retained. The C16th manor house of Great Nelmes was not demolished until 1967 and the private house now known as Capel Nelmes was formerly the stable block, which had become a residence in c.1870. Built of red brick and with additions made in the 1930s and 40s, Capel Nelmes is largely late C19th in appearance, although the rear wing is C16th. It is located 100 yards south-west of the site of the old manor house, and contains the fine C17th carved oak staircase from the latter.
The grounds of the manor had contained a walled garden, lake, orchard and fine trees; a number ancient Cedars of Lebanon are still standing, and to the east is the remains of a moat, now incorporated into a development of a modern houses, The Witherings. This is named after a former owner of the Nelmes Estate, Thomas Witheringe, Postmaster General to Charles I, who died in 1651 on his way to St Andrew's Church (q.v.), where an alabaster monument was erected in his memory. Other former owners include Sir William Roche (d.1549), who was Lord Mayor of London in 1540, and the fox-hunting Harding-Newmans family who lived here in the C18th. In a front garden in Sylvan Avenue is an early to mid C17th Well Tower, which was a former conduit house to Great Nelmes, with a water ‘tank’ filling the below-ground space. A c.16-foot red brick structure, it has its original brickwork extant up to a height of c.8 feet with small round-headed brick openings on the north-east and south-west faces. Wartime experiments were carried out here, including development of the bouncing bomb across flooded land.
Barbara Mannox 'The Making of Emerson Park'; V Body 'Capel Nelmes' in Havering History Review vol 4, 1972 pp21-24; Victoria County History of Essex; John Drury, 'Treasures of Havering', Ian Henry Publications, 1998; Charles Thomas Perfect, 'Ye Olde Village of Hornchurch', 1917 (reprinted by Ian Henry Publications, 2005)