Wednesday, Friday and Saturday
from 10.00 am to 3.00 pm
Church House dated ca. 1480
Entrance to Church House Coffee Shop
Church House Coffee Shop offers a warm welcome and sanctuary from the busyness of the day. The Coffee Shop dates back to ca. 1480 and is at the heart of Romford Market and shops. We offer a delicious selection of drinks, cakes, breakfast and light lunches, all freshly made to order. The Coffee Shop is run to the highest standards of quality and food hygiene by a professional manager, supported by a loyal staff of volunteers.
We look forward to making you welcome!
A History of Church House
The Trustees of Church House & Wykeham Hall are the Vicar and Churchwardens of the Church.
Church House was originally built in the 15th Century although much of the present structure dates from the 16th Century, with modern additions facing onto the Market Place.
The building now known as Church House first became associated with the Church when in 1480 Avery Cornburgh, who was a treasurer to Henry VII, purchased the building from one John-Atte-Downs. Avery Cornburgh had previously founded a Chantry Chapel in the Church and this building was to be used as accommodation for the Chantry priests.
Within 60 years however, came the Reformation by Henry VIII and the subsequent suppression of many Chantries, including that at St. Edward’s. Avery Cornburgh’s Chantry was abolished in 1548 and the building sold.
The property was then acquired by a pair of speculators, Richard Venables and John Maynarde. It is not clear when they disposed of their investment but in 1576 the property was owned by Sir Anthony Cooke of Gidea Hall.
In 1590 Sir Anthony let the building to John Bastwyck for 1/- per year. It is thought that it was at this time that it became the Cock & Bell Public House. Sometime between this date and 1613 the ownership was transferred to John Grafton, a local butcher. In his will he left to his wife Elizabeth “The Cock and Bell for the maintenance of his two daughters Susan and Elizabeth and their unborn child.”
Over the next century the ownership and history of the building became unclear, however by 1733 Ann Smith and Martha Fryer were leasing the Cock and Bell. During this time the Cock and Bell was both a coaching inn and latterly the post office.
It was during the 19th Century that Ind Coope, a local brewer, acquired the ownership of the buildings continuing to maintain it as a public house. In 1908 they relinquished their licence and the property was subsequently acquired by New College Oxford. They appointed the trustees and the building was renamed Church House.
It was also in 1908 that the present Wykeham Hall was built on the land at the rear of Church House. The new hall was dedicated by the Bishop of Barking in 1908 and opened by the Rt Revd R Whitcombe, Bishop of Colchester, on 20th September 1909. The Bishop of Colchester was vicar of St. Edward’s from 1904 to 1909.
Since that time both Church House and the Wykeham Hall have been used by the Parish and the local community as a meeting place in the centre of a busy town.
Church House underwent a major refurbishment in 1984 and houses the Parish Office and the other rooms are in regular use providing the Coffee Shop and pastoral services to the local community.
The Wykeham Hall was remodelled in 2002 creating an upper hall and facilities for the community on the lower floor. Initially being used by the Learning Freeway and Romford YMCA, the lower floor is now being used by a day time nursery. The complex is now known as the Wykeham Centre.
St. Edward’s is fortunate to have for the use of the parish Church House & Wykeham Hall. These buildings stand in the Market Place to the east of the Church.