Romford is a town in the county of Essex, England.  Romford in situated 14.1 miles northeast of central London in the London Borough of Havering.   The settlement dates back to at least 1177 when it was known as ‘Romfort’, meaning ‘the wide ford’.  Its name relates to the point where the London to Colchester road crosses the River Rom.  Romford grew up along the London to Colchester road.  It originated as an agricultural community, farming and processing corn.  Romford’s economy diversified in the 15th century, and the settlement became home to leather, cloth making, weaving, metalwork, charcoal burning and brewing industries.  Its leather industry was particularly prominent, with local craftsmen producing leather saddles and clothing until the 19th century.  Romford was also a market town; its market was founded in 1247 and was once one of the biggest in Essex.  The arrival of the railway in 1839 prompted considerable growth.  The town expanded considerably in the 20th century and was designated a part of Greater London in 1965.  Romford is now a large suburban district with flourishing retail and leisure industries.