The London Borough of Barking & Dagenham is a North London borough (North East London sub-region) forming part of Outer London, which itself is part of the Ceremonial County of Greater London. The London Borough of Barking was formed 1st April, 1965 by merging most of the Municipal Borough of Barking and the entire Municipal Borough of Dagenham. The borough was renamed 'Barking and Dagenham' in 1980. Prior to 1965, the Municipal Borough of Barking was part of Essex. The borough's administrative headquarters are in Barking Town Square and local postcodes include IG and RM. The borough is twinned with the towns of Witten in Germany and Tczew in Poland.
The town of Barking is located to the west of the borugh and is primarily a commercial centre with two main centres of activity, Barking Riverside and Barking Town Centre. The name of Barking is derived from the Anglo-Saxon 'Berecingas'. Barking Abbey was founded in the seventh century by the bishop of London, Eorcenwald. A right to hold a market in Barking was granted in the twelfth century. In 1536, as part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries, Barking Abbey was demolished, apart from the parish church of St Margaret. Captain James Cook was married in the church in 1762.
The town of Dagenham forms part of the eastern area of the borough and originally was part of Essex. Dagenham first appeared in a charter of Barking Abbey dating from 686. Dagenham's parish church was built in the early part of the thirteenth century. The Ford motor company relocated to Dagenham in 1931.