The Parish of Chigwell is located in the Southwest of the Epping Forest District. The Parishes of Buckhurst Hill and Loughton border it to the North and the Parish of Lambourne to the East. The Western and Southern borders are within the London Borough of Redbridge.
The original Chigwell Parish Council was created in 1894 and remained in being until 1933 when it became Chigwell Urban District Council. The area of the Urban District Council was that which today encompasses Chigwell, Buckhurst Hill and Loughton.
Consequent upon Local Government re-organisation in 1974, the Urban District was absorbed into the newly created Epping Forest District Council. At that time, however, no moves were made to re-create the Parish of Chigwell. As a result, the Epping Forest District comprised 21 parishes plus the ‘unparished’ area formerly covered by the old Chigwell Urban District. In this area, matters which would normally have fallen to be dealt with by a Parish Council were administered by the District Council.
In April 1996, the ‘new’ parishes of Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell and Loughton were formed. Elections were held in May 1996 and the three new councils each held their inaugural meetings in May 1996.
Today, the Epping Forest District comprises 24 parishes and Chigwell is the third largest Parish in the District by population (being exceeded only by Loughton and Waltham Abbey which are administered by Town Councils).
The Parish of Chigwell covers an area of about 10 square miles and has a population in the order of 12,500. The 2010 electoral roll numbered 10,018.
Whilst having a population of a small town, Chigwell retains its village status and atmosphere. There is no industrial or commercial base in Chigwell. Shopping is confined to a few parades, the largest of which barely exceeds 20 shops.
Thanks to the extent of the Green Belt, Chigwell remains spacious and open. It borders both Epping Forest and Hainault Forest and is believed to contain one of the few remaining vestiges of the ancient Forest of Waltham, through which Chigwell Brook still meanders.