Ardleigh Green was first recorded as Hadley in the 14th century, evolving through Hadley Green and Hardley Green before attaining its present form. The original name probably indicated a heathland clearing.
A hamlet along the road was in existence by the early 17th century and the Spencer’s Arms inn later became popular with agricultural labourers. A few villas were built in the late 19th century, including Hardley Court, but the surroundings remained very rural until the opening of Squirrel’s Heath (now Gidea Park) station in 1910.
From 1927 the builders EA Coryn and Sons developed the Haynes Park
estate. Ardleigh Green junior and infants’ schools opened in 1933.
Essex County Council bought Hardley Court and 15 acres of land for £9,000 in 1946. The house was used as a teacher training college for several years before the first part of what is now Havering College was built in the grounds in the late 1950s. Most of the college’s present buildings date from two phases of construction in 1962 and 1971.