|St John the Evangelist Churchyard||Havering|
Havering-Atte-Bower, once the location of the Palace of Havering used by royalty from pre-Norman Conquest until 1638, was one of three parishes within the Royal Manor and Liberty of Havering. Its parish church of St John the Evangelist faces Havering Village Green, and is built on the site of a C12th church of St Mary's, formerly one of the Palace chapels. The churchyard has a number of mature trees and is enclosed by a low wall. The oldest among the graves is that of Thomas Cheek (d.1688), Lieutenant of the Tower of London and owner of nearby Pyrgo Park.
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Havering-Atte-Bower retains its village atmosphere and was once the location of the royal Palace of Havering used by the monarchy from before the Norman Conquest until c.1638, when Charles I allegedly stayed here on his way to meet his mother-in-law arriving from abroad at Harwich. The palace was a ruin by 1650, and had collapsed by c.1700, but it appears to have been located behind the parish church of St John the Evangelist. Havering-atte-Bower was one of the three parishes within the Royal Manor and Liberty of Havering, along with Romford and Hornchurch. The church on Havering Village Green (q.v.) is on the site of an earlier, C12th church that originated as the larger of two royal chapels of the Palace, and may have been the King's Chapel. After the Palace ceased to be used, the parishioners claimed this chapel as the parish church, dedicated to St Mary. The older church was originally restored in 1836 but the current brick and flint-faced church was then built when a larger church was needed. It was designed by Basil Champneys and consecrated in 1878. While the church was being rebuilt church services were held in a barn nearby.
The churchyard has a number of mature trees and is enclosed by a low wall. The oldest grave in the churchyard is that of Thomas Cheek, Lieutenant of the Tower of London (d.1688), who acquired the nearby manor of Pyrgo (q.v.) in 1621. In 1724 his daughter Dame Anne Tipping had a school for poor children erected on the Green, later demolished in 1808. Adjoining the churchyard is the Arts and Crafts church hall. The parish is now combined with that of St James Collier Row.
Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993); Arthur Mee 'The King's England: London North of the Thames except the City and Westminster' (Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, 1972); Countryside Footpaths in Havering, Northern Area, leaflet (LB Havering, 1985); John Drury, 'Treasures of Havering', (Ian Henry Publications, 1998); Paul Drury Partnership for LB Havering, 'Havering Atte Bower Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Proposals', c.2006.