Upminster is a suburban town in East London, England, and part of the London Borough of Havering. Located 16.5 miles (26.6 km) east-northeast of Charing Cross, it is one of the locally important district centres identified in the London Plan, and comprises a number of shopping streets and a large residential area. Historically a rural village, it formed an ancient parish in the county of Essex. The town has good transport links; it was first connected to central London by rail in 1885 and has a terminal station on the London Underground network. The economic history of Upminster is characterised by a shift from farming to garden suburb. As part of the suburban growth of London in the 20th century, Upminster significantly expanded and increased in population, becoming part of Hornchurch Urban District in 1934, and has formed part of Greater London since 1965.
The placename Upminster is first recorded in 1062 as Upmynstre and is recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as Upmunstra. It is formed from Old English upp and mynster, meaning the large church on high ground. The high ground of St Laurence's parish church being in relation to the valley of the River Ingrebourne and the Upminster Bridge over the river shares the name. An alternative explanation suggests the upp could refer to the geographical relationship to a church at Barking or Tilbury in Anglo-Saxon times.