Barking has been subject to some unusual weather events. On 18th January 1881, after a 24 hour blizzard had gripped Essex and Eastern England, Barking was left with snow drifts measuring up to 7 feet. In 1955 Barking was hit by extreme weather and snowfall once more. This snowy weather was most unusual because it fell on 17th May.
Barking can trace its beginnings back to 666AD when Barking Abbey was founded. Until the mid-nineteenth century, the town’s most important industry was Fishing, a fact that is celebrated by the striking sculpture called ‘The Catch’ which has been erected in Barking town centre. Perhaps Barking’s most notable link to the sea is the fact that Captain James Cook was married to Elizabeth Batts in St Margaret’s Church, Barking, on 21st December 1762.
Barking is often considered to be a part of London but it is still an Essex town with a rural heritage. Hints of this rich history can be seen in many spots such as Eastbury Manor House, now a National Trust property, and in the remains of the Abbey itself. The town centre continues to go through a process of regeneration that is having a transforming effect. One of Barking’s most famous sons is Dave 'The Edge' Evans, lead guitarist with rock band U2, who was born there.