Romford is a large town in east London and the administrative centre of the London Borough of Havering. It is located 14.1 miles (23 kilometres) northeast of Charing Cross and is one of the major metropolitan centres identified in the London Plan. Historically, Romford was a market town in the county of Essex, and formed the administrative centre of the liberty of Havering before that liberty was dissolved in 1892. Good road links to London and the opening of the railway station in 1839 were key to the development of the town. The economic history of Romford is characterised by a shift from agriculture to light industry and then to retail and commerce. As part of the suburban growth of London throughout the 20th century, Romford significantly expanded and increased in population, becoming a municipal borough in 1937 and was incorporated into Greater London in 1965. Today, it is one of the largest commercial, retail, entertainment and leisure districts in London and has a well-developed night-time economy as well. Its population, as of 2011, was 122,854.