Coronation Gardens were laid out on land originally purchased as the site for the new Romford parish church in 1844. In 1849 the church was rebuilt on an alternative site in Market Place and only the parish burial ground with a chapel were built here. The cemetery was full by 1871. In 1953 the Council and Church authorities re-landscaped the area as public gardens commemorating the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The base of the demolished chapel was initially planted as a raised rose bed but in 1970 the Romford War Memorial was re-erected here when the new Ring Road necessitated its relocation. To the rear of the garden are C19th gravestones that were cleared when the garden was laid out.
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The land was purchased in 1844 as the site for the new and larger Romford parish church of St Edward the Confessor (q.v.) and the parochial cemetery. However in 1849 St Edward’s Church was rebuilt on an alternative site in Market Place and only the burial ground for the church together with a chapel were built here. By 1871 the parochial burial ground was full and Romford Burial Board opened its new Romford Cemetery (q.v.) in Crow Lane. In 1953 at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the Council and Church authorities agreed to re-landscape the area as public gardens and the chapel was demolished. The small square plot was levelled, but as many of the existing trees as possible were retained. The garden was laid out with bisecting quadrant and circular walks, with a great variety of tree species including yew, cedar, flowering cherry and magnolia, and perimeter beds planted with shrubs. Trees and shrubs, including scented plants for the enjoyment by the blind, were planted by local organisations in commemoration of the Coronation. The base of the chapel was initially planted as a raised rose bed but in 1970 the Romford War Memorial was re-erected here when the building of the new Ring Road necessitated its removal from Laurie Square where it had been erected in c.1921. In the Gardens stands a concrete sundial as a memorial to Alfred Daniel Wood who died in 1953 and lived next to the site for 44 years. Coronation Gardens are enclosed by a C19th York stone wall and iron railings, and entered through a lych-gate on Main Road.
To the rear of the gardens and behind a Cypress hedge are the C19th gravestones that were cleared from the site and now stand in two rows or are broken up and lying on the ground. Among the memorials is that of the Black family who lived at Gidea Hall from 1802, Alexander Black (d.1835) having purchased the estate from Richard Benyon. He is commemorated on the memorial with his wife Alice and daughters Adelaide and Anne, the latter the wife of William Neave, son of Sir Thomas Neave of Dagnam Park (q.v.).
Victoria County History of Essex; Brian Evans 'Romford, Collier Row and Gidea Park' (Phillimore) 1994; LB Havering 'Romford Heritage' booklet, 1998, p9