|ounty of Southeast England which has contained the unitary authorities
Southend and Thurrock since April 1998. Old English East-Seaxe
Essex County Council - Chelmsford Borough Council - Basildon District Council - Colchester Borough Council - Harlow District Council
|owns and cities
||Chelmsford (administrative headquarters), Basildon, Colchester, Harlow,
Harwich (port), Clacton-on-Sea (resort)
||3,670 sq. km / 1,417 sq. miles
||Essex is bounded by Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north; by the North Sea
in the east; by the River Thames, Thurrock and
Southend in the south, and by Greater London and Hertfordshire to the west. The Tilbury
and Victoria and Albert Docks of the Port of London are on the Thames in the south of the
county. Harwich is the port for continental traffic. Much of the southern half of the
county is now a dormitory area for London commuters.Essex is generally flat and marshy
near the coast; richly wooded in the Southwest ; rivers: the Blackwater, Crouch, Colne,
Lee, Stour, and Thames
||Agriculture: cereals (wheat), fruit, sugar beet; livestock rearing, dairy
Industries: brewing, cars, cement, engineering (at Dagenham, Chelmsford, and Colchester),
food processing, oil products (there are large oil refineries at Shellhaven and Canvey)
town at the confluence of the Chelmer and Can rivers, 48 km / 30 miles northeast of London.
It was the Roman Caesaromagus. In 1920 the first wireless-telegraph broadcasting service
in the world was transmitted from Chelmsford by Marconi.
The 15th-century Perpendicular church of St Mary the Virgin became a cathedral in 1914. A
grammar school was founded in the town by Edward VI.
Epping Forest, 5,600 acres of the
former 60,000 acre hunting grounds of the Saxon, Norman and Tudor monarchs. Controlled
from 1882 by the City of London.
Maldon, where All Saints Church has a 13th Century triangular tower, the only one of its
kind in England.
Saffron Walden, a superb small town filled with many medieval houses.
Since 1111 at Great Dunmow the Dunmow flitch (side of cured pork) can be claimed every
four years by any couple proving to a jury they have not regretted their marriage within
the year. Stansted, London's third airport; new Roman Catholic cathedral at Brentwood
(designed by Quinlan Terry) dedicated in 1991
City and river port on the River Colne, 80 km / 50 miles northeast of London. It is the
market centre of an agricultural and shell-fishing area, roses and oysters being notable
products. The oldest recorded town in England, Colchester was the capital of Cymbeline,
until his death in about AD 40. As Camulodunum, it was the first capital of Roman Britain,
and it was burned by Boudicca in AD 60.
Remains of the Roman walls and
gateway; ruins of a castle dating from 1070, with the largest Norman keep in the country;
the gateway of the 11th-century monastery of St John; and the ruins of the 12th-century St Botolph's priory church. There is an army base in the
town, and the University of Essex opened in 1965 at nearby Wivenhoe Park.
The Colne is navigable by large ships from the North Sea to within 5 km / 3 miles of
Colchester, and by hoys (large one-decked single mast boats) and small barks, or barques,
(three-masted vessels) to the Hythe.
Following the Roman invasion in AD 43, Camulodunum became the headquarters of the Romans
in Britain. A temple dedicated to the Divine Claudius was erected here, and it became a
colony for Roman ex -soldiers in AD 50, and one of the most prosperous towns in Roman
Britain. Boudicca devastated the town in AD 60 when she led a rising of the Trinobantes
and Iceni against the Romans. After her defeat a new town was established on the site of
modern Colchester. It was defended by a wall which may have been over 6 m / 20 ft high and
3 m / 10 ft thick.
The Roman occupation of Colchester lasted until about the end of the 4th century.
The settlement later became the Saxon stronghold of Colneceaster, and William (I) the
Conqueror built a castle on the site of the Roman temple. The town flourished as a centre
of the weaving and cloth trade from the 14th to 17th centuries.
During the English Civil War, the town surrendered to the Parliamentarians in 1648 after
an 11-week siege. In 1884 the town was badly shaken by the Essex earthquake and several
buildings were damaged.
Holly Tree Mansion (1718) houses a museum of 18th- and 19th-century social life. A museum
in the castle contains a large collection of Romano - British antiquities. All Saints'
Church houses a natural history museum.
The abbey at Waltham is reputedly the oldest Norman building in England. Founded in
1030, it was enlarged by King Harold in 1060.