Ilford is a large town in East London, England in the London Borough of Redbridge. Identified as a metropolitan centre in the London Plan, Ilford is classed as a significant commercial and retail centre for the wider south east of England. It had a population of 168,168 in 2011, compared to 303,858 for the entire borough.
Ilford's commercial and retail centre is surrounded by extensive residential development. Historically a small rural settlement in the ancient parish of Barking in the Becontree hundred of Essex, its strategic position on the River Roding and the London to Colchester road made it a coaching town. The arrival of the railway in 1839 accelerated its growth, leading to the area becoming a suburb of and part of the conurbation of London. It split from the parish of Barking in 1888, and, in the 20th century, Ilford significantly expanded and increased in population, becoming a municipal borough in 1926. Since 1965 it has formed part of the London Borough of Redbridge, a local government district of Greater London.
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