London Borough of Havering
Havering is here, and ready to welcome filmmakers!
The London Borough of Havering lies in the east of Greater London, bordering Essex. Mainly comprised of vibrant suburban neighbourhoods, it also boasts large areas of protected open green space. The main communities are the riverside town of Rainham, thriving suburbs Hornchurch and Upminster, and the beating heart of the borough Romford.
Havering has had a rich recent history on screen, and one continuously being written. Andrea Arnold shot in a variety of urban and rural locations in the borough for her 2009 film ‘Fish Tank’. A number of popular TV productions have chosen Havering too, including ‘Humans’, ‘A Christmas Carol’, ‘Top Boy’, ‘The Only Way is Essex’, and BBC’s ‘Springwatch’. It is also a popular borough for advertising campaigns, for brands like M&S and McDonald’s.
With a range of versatile locations on offer, Havering is a film-friendly borough and an area on the rise, offering a flexible and affordable alternative to the inner-city. Let’s take a closer look at just some of what we have to offer filmmakers:
Top Five Havering Locations Available Now
Royal Jubilee Court is a site of vacant flats just 5 minutes from the centre of Romford. Previously used as a care home, there are a number of individual rooms, flats, communal living areas, kitchens, bathrooms and communal gardens, all vacant and available for filming. It is the perfect double for a care home or any domestic living space, and the Mock Tudor main building could easily pass for a country house. There is also ample parking available on site.
Just a short distance from Romford town centre, the Waterloo Road / Queen Street Site is a 4.29-hectare, empty expanse of land available for set builds, unit base parking and anything else you can think of. We’re considering any and all ideas for meanwhile use of this space, but move quickly! The site is scheduled for redevelopment beginning in June.
Langtons House is a Grade II listed, 18th century building set in beautiful, landscaped gardens. It is host to many weddings year-round, but with enough notice filming and photography are possibilities too. The house features grand rooms, ornate staircases, a lake, gazebo and bath house, plus an Orangery and Gardens laid out by the acclaimed landscaper Humphrey Repton. There is also parking available on-site.
Havering Town Hall is a striking 1930s building in the art-deco / moderne style, great for exteriors and interiors, working well as a government building or doubling up for many other types of locations – police stations, hospitals, banks and much more! The Town Hall is available for filming at weekends or evenings. There is also plenty of scope for using the exterior of the grey brutalist wing. Inside the Town Hall there is an impressive council chamber perfect for courtroom scenes or embassy meetings. There are also a number of other wood-panelled meeting rooms, a more modern extension wing and even a basement vault / records room.
Upminster Cemetery is the largest in the borough and in 2017 was named Large Cemetery of the Year. The grounds feature winding pathways through impeccably-maintained gardens with a beautiful lake at the rear. The older section of the cemetery features traditional gravestones and a small Victorian chapel. With an experienced, film-friendly team on hand to assist with any requirements, it is the perfect choice for any graveside scenes. Additionally, the site houses South Essex Crematorium, a large modern building in a 1950s style. It contains two chapels and the crematorium itself, which could easily double as a morgue or laboratory.
Area in Focus: Romford
Romford is a bustling town that remains an excellent place for filming. At its heart is the historic Romford Market, where the cries of market traders can still be heard all around. The market runs Wednesdays, Fridays and over the weekend, but the large site can also serve as a parking facility on non-market days.
The Town Centre and High Street, with its pedestrianised areas and shops, is also an accommodating location for productions and crew – whether through on-street filming or facilitation requests.
There are a range of different options for parking surrounding the town centre. Romford Market Place car park is a large multi-storey that can be used for parking or filming equally, with some far-reaching vistas from the rooftop.
Romford Central Library is a modern and spacious brutalist building with large windows, office spaces and meeting rooms. Originally built in 1965, the library underwent a multi-million pound external and internal refurbishment in 2011.
Havering is a Traffic Management Friendly Borough
Havering is perfectly suited for temporary traffic controls, whatever the scale and style of filming. From complex shoots requiring full closures, to driving shoots that need short holds, the borough offers a flexible and efficient approach to every request. Productions with big asks and exciting ideas are strongly recommended to consider Havering as a destination to help achieve your brief. A recent example would be the large road closures put in place in the historic town centre of Rainham for the BBC adaptation of ‘A Christmas Carol’ (see above).
Streets in Havering
Residential streets, main roads, countryside lanes, shopping districts, industrial roads and US-style suburbia – Havering really has it all! As one of the largest London boroughs, there are a host of locations that can suit a varied brief, all in close proximity to each other, and all within the M25! M&S used one of the many lovely suburban streets as a backdrop to the dance number in their famous Christmas jumper advert (see above).
Havering’s parks are steeped in history and the wide-spanning open spaces are easily accessible. With the third largest amount of green space of all London boroughs, Havering is a perfect choice for productions looking for a walk on the wild side.
Photo: Ron Levy
Havering Country Park is formerly part of the medieval Royal Palace of Havering. It is a beautiful park which covers over 160 acres of land. The landscape moves from large clearings to dense woodland, and the avenue of giant redwood trees form the largest plantation in the whole country! Perfect as a double for an American forest, the location possesses a magical atmosphere totally unique within the M25.
Hornchurch Country Park is a former RAF base with a rich heritage from the First & Second World Wars, including remnants of its military past like pillboxes and sunken ‘Tett’ gun turrets. The park offers large open fields, marshland, lakes and wildlife aplenty.
Raphael Park, at 44 acres, is one of the borough’s flagship parks, offering a range of features including tennis courts, sports pitches, an ornamental garden and bandstand, lake and water feature, a café/restaurant and a children’s play area.
For further information or to see more images please contact email@example.com, or give the team a call on 020 7620 0391.
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