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New England Lane, Hawkwell

By Sam Byford on 02/01/2020 at 23:06

Greetings all.

My family have long-seated roots in Rayleigh.

Recently I have bought my grandad's baptism record and it's thrown up an interesting dilemma!

He was born in Plaistow and baptised at All Saints in West Ham, but his parent's "Abode" is given as "New England Lane, Hawkwell, Hockley". This was May 1916. My grandad was James George Walter Byford, and his parents were George Byford (3rd gen of George) and Selina Florence Byford (nee Allen).

The dilemma is the total non-existence of "New England Lane". The maps from 1900 are of no use because only a smattering of roads have names written on them. I have scrutinised the 1920 and 1930 maps for Hawkwell, Wickford and Rayleigh and come up with almost nothing.

Almost nothing? There are two major pointers I found!

The first is "New England", a house/farm off the top spur of Gustedhall Lane, just across from what is now Honeypot Farm and to the left of the footpath that reaches up to Mount Bovers. This is above the top edge of the Gusted Hall estate. Google Maps now shows there being nothing left of that house/farm - it's all ploughed fields.

The second is "New England Wood". From Gusted Hall head down and left and it is at the very end of Rayleigh Avenue.

But nowhere can I find a "New England Lane". So this is my cry for help to pin down where this was and where my grandad may have spent some of his first months.


Sam Byford

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