It grew up in the Saxon period as a fishing town at the head of Barking Creek.
Barking Abbey was a large and powerful religious house, founded by St. Erkenwald, Bishop of London, for his sister St. Ethelburga. Most was demolished at the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1540, but the 15th century Abbey Gate survives.
St. Margaret`s Chuch dates from the 13th century, and was built within the Abbey precincts. Captain Cook was married here in 1762.
St. Peter and St. Paul Church was also built in the 13th century, but was heavily restored in the Victorian period.
Eastbury House is an impressive 16th century brick manor house, now used as an arts centre.
The 18th century prison reformer Elizabeth Fry is buried in the Quaker cemetery.
England footballer Trevor Brooking was born at Barking.
Blue Badge Guide Colin Crosby is available to lead Guided Walks around Barking for groups.