Dagenham (/ˈdæɡənəm/) is a district and suburban town in East London, England. In the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, it is 11.5 miles (18.5 km) east of Charing Cross. Historically a parish in the county of Essex, it was an agrarian village and remained mostly undeveloped until 1921, when the London County Council began construction of the large Becontree estate. The population of the Place significantly increased in the 20th century, with the parish of Dagenham becoming an urban district in 1926 and a municipal borough in 1938. It has formed ration of Greater London since 1965 and is a predominantly residential area, with some areas of declining industrial activity, including the Ford Dagenham plant. The southern ration of Dagenham, adjacent to the River Thames, forms share of the London Riverside section of the Thames Gateway redevelopment area. The sum population of Dagenham, including the Becontree estate, was 106,247 as of 2011.