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Debden is a suburb in the civil parish of Loughton, in the Epping Forest district of Essex, England. It takes its name from the ancient manor of Debden, which lay at its northern end. The area is predominantly residential, but is also the location of Epping Forest College, East 15 Acting School and the De La Rue printing works. It is one of a limited number of places outside Greater London to be served by the London Underground.
Debden originated as a manor of 40 acres (160,000 m2) in the Ongar hundred of Essex. The manor became the property of Waltham Abbey in 1086. By about 1254 the manor of Loughton had absorbed Debden. Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1540 the manor passed to the king and later to private owners.
In 1944 John Maitland sold 644 acres (261 ha) of land to the London County Council for the building of a housing estate. The Debden Estate was constructed between 1947 and 1952. Because of post-war restrictions on building, a supermarket could not be opened until 1952.
There is considerable light industry, including the De La Rue print works, which prints Bank of England banknotes. In 2005, Higgins Group PLC moved its headquarters to Debden, and, in 2008, Amstrad announced its intention to move the group HQ to Debden from Brentwood. A new HQ was opened in 2013 nearer the centre of Loughton. The Broadway is one of Loughton's two main shopping centres and forms an architecturally important parade consisting mainly of family-run shops together with a small weekly market.
Debden is located next to the M11 motorway, about 2 miles (3.2 km) from its junction with the M25 motorway. The local motorway junction has restricted access: drivers cannot enter the M11 northbound or exit it southbound. These restrictions are designed to prevent congestion on the local road network. Motorway traffic must instead flow to and from the North Circular road.
There are many bus routes in Debden, which are either London Buses routes, commercial routes or Essex County Council contract routes. London Buses routes 20 and 397 serve destinations south of Debden such as Chingford, South Woodford and Walthamstow. Routes operating to destinations north and east of Debden are commercial services Destinations include Epping, Harlow, Romford, Theydon Bois, Abridge, Waltham Abbey and Waltham Cross.
Sport, culture and politics
The local Debden Sports Club, founded in 1948, includes a football team that competes in local leagues. Until 2014, there was an annual Debden Day celebration. Debden is the location of the British Postal Museum Store. Debden Community Association was founded circa 1950 and formerly had premises at Loughton Hall and on land owned by Epping Forest College. Most council seats in Debden were held until 2004 by the Labour Party. Then a swing to the British National Party occurred, but the BNP lost its last seat to the Loughton Residents Association in 2012. See main article Politics of Loughton.
- W.R. Powell (1956), "Loughton", A History of the County of Essex; Volume IV; Ongar Hundred, The Victoria History of the Counties of England, Oxford University Press for the University of London Institute of Historical Research, p. 110
- Urban Practitioners (August 2008). "Debden Town Centre and Broadway" (PDF). Epping Forest District Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 June 2011.
- Cyril M. Harris (2001), What's in a Name?: Origins of Station Names on the London Underground, Capital Transport
- W. R. Powell (1956). "'Loughton: Manors', A History of the County of Essex: Volume 4: Ongar Hundred". British History Online.
- The Sainsbury Archive. "Post-war building licenses". Museum of London Docklands. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011.
- Rose, Douglas (1999). The London Underground: A Diagrammatic History. Douglas Rose.
- "Club Sponsors" (PDF). Debden Sports Club. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 July 2008. Retrieved 13 September 2010.
- "Club History". Debden Sports Club.
- "Debden Day Pictures". Epping Forest District Council. Archived from the original on 27 June 2004.
- The British Postal Museum & Archive. "Directions to The British Postal Museum Store". The Postal Heritage Trust.