Billericay: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 51°37′41″N 0°25′06″E / 51.628°N 0.4184°E / 51.628; 0.4184

Billericay High Street.jpg
Billericay is located in Essex

 Billericay shown within Essex
Population 40,000 
OS grid reference TQ675945
District Basildon
Shire county Essex
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district CM11, CM12
Dialling code 01277
Police Essex
Fire Essex
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament Billericay
List of places: UK • England • Essex

Billericay (pronounced /bɪləˈrɪki/ ( listen) BILL-ə-RIK-ee) is a small commuter town in Essex, England with a population of 40,000. The town lies 25 miles to the east of central London and 7.6 miles to the south of the county town of Chelmsford.


Geography and geology

Billericay is a semi-rural town, with many green spaces, including Norsey Wood, Mill Meadows Nature Reserve, Queen's Park Country Park, Sun Corner, Lake Meadows, Hanningfield Reservoir and South Green. Billericay contains Billericay School, Mayflower High School and St John's School. Billericay is within the London Basin and lies on a mixture of London Clay, Claygate Beds and Bagshot Beds. Near the High Street, there is a change in soil type from sandy to clay, which gives rise to local underground springs.


Some of the earliest records of human occupation of Billericay are the burial mounds in Norsey Wood: evidence of occupation in the Bronze and Iron Ages. Evidence of Roman occupation has been found at a number of locations in the town and there may have been a small cavalry fort at Blunts Wall.

The Saxons did not settle in the centre of Billericay. They established themselves two miles south, at Great Burstead. In the late 10th century it was known as 'Burhstede'. Billericay was not mentioned in the Domesday Book, as it lay within Great Burstead. At this time the parish church for Billericay was at Great Burstead. In 1291 the name 'Byllyrica' is first recorded.


Middle Ages

In the 13th and 14th centuries some pilgrims to Canterbury journeyed via Billericay. Some of them may have spent the night in Billericay before crossing the River Thames at Tilbury. This may account for the large number of inns in the town.

Billericay's most notable historical episode was on the 28th June 1381, when King Richard II's soldiers defeated Essex rebels at Norsey Wood. About 500 rebels were killed in the battle, which ended the Peasants' Revolt.

The Wycliffe preachers influenced the town. Four local people (Thomas Watts, Joan Hornes, Elizabeth Thackwell, and Margaret Ellis) were burnt at the stake. Two other residents (Joan Potter and James Harris) were tortured for their faith during the reign of Queen Mary.

The Pilgrim Fathers

A meeting of the Pilgrim Fathers prior to their sailing in the Mayflower is said to have taken place in Billericay, and many local names and much historical imagery reflect this: Mayflower House, Morris Men, Taxis, School, Hall. Sunnymede School's houses were called Mayflower, Pilgrim, Chantry and Martin (after Christopher Martin, a Billericay merchant who travelled on the Mayflower as Ship's Governor).

Four people from Billericay were on board, including Christopher Martin. He and his wife Marie, along with Solomon Prowe and John Langemore, perished shortly after their arrival at Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

The unfortunate fate of the would-be pioneers did not deter other inhabitants of Billericay from setting sail for the New World. The town of Billerica, Massachusetts was established in 1655 to commemorate the origins of some of the first settlers.

Georgian and Victorian era

In the Georgian period many excellent examples of the period's houses were built in Billericay. One of those remaining today is Burghsted Lodge in the High Street, which houses the library. The road from Billericay to Tilbury still had a reputation for "footpads" and highwaymen[citation needed] operating along the road, where it passed through open country.

In the town, The Union Workhouse was built in 1840 to continue to implement the Poor Law. Parts of this building were later incorporated into what was St. Andrews Hospital. The railway arrived in Billericay in 1889, being on the Great Eastern Main Line between London and Southend-on-Sea.

The 20th Century

In 1916, during the First World War, one of the giant German Zeppelin airships (L32) was shot down during an aerial battle over Billericay. During its fiery demise, it narrowly missed the High Street, crashing into a nearby field. Recent research has indicated that this may be identified with the 'ghost Zeppelin' of Tonbridge which was allegedly seen floating over that town earlier in the day.

St Andrew’s Hospital, which was formerly the site of the town’s Victorian workhouse, continued to function as an important communal building. From 1973, it housed the internationally renowned Regional Plastic Surgery and Burns unit until this was relocated to Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford in April 1998. After the relocation, most of the hospital was redeveloped into housing. The listed buildings remain intact but are now residential.



Since 2001 the MP for the Billericay constituency has been John Baron of the Conservative Party. The constituency is due to be reformed as Basildon and Billericay[citation needed] before the next election. It was previously represented by Teresa Gorman from 1987 to 2001, a Conservative rebel who had the whip withdrawn for opposing the Maastricht Treaty. Her predecessor, the Conservative MP Harvey Proctor, was also prominent in the news in 1987, when he was charged with indecency.[1]

Local government

Billericay is part of the Basildon district, although occasional proposals have been made to transfer it to the nearby Brentwood district.[2] Basildon District Council is Conservative controlled. Billericay is also served by a town council of 20 members elected in 3 wards. There is also a youth town council, elected in schools around the town. The Chairwoman of the Youth Town Council is Sophie Harrison and Vice-Chairperson is Alex Jones.[3] The town council has powers related to local planning and finance, while the youth council has an annual budget of £500 to spend or invest in local services or entertainment.[4]

Billericay parish was not formed until 1937; before then the area had been part of the ancient Great Burstead parish.[5] In 1894 Billericay Rural District was created, which covered a wide area stretching as far as Brentwood and Pitsea.[6] In 1934 the core of this district around Basildon and Billericay became Billericay Urban District, and in 1937 a Billericay civil parish was created covering the same area. The urban district, but not the parish, was renamed Basildon in 1955. In 1974 the district was abolished and became the present-day Basildon district.


Billericay is a part of the London commuter belt.

It is served by Billericay railway station on the National Express East Anglia route from Liverpool Street station, in the City of London, to Southend.

Billericay is close to two primary routes: the A12 to the north and the A127 in the south. The A176 provides a road link to Basildon to the south of Billericay, as well as to the A127. The only secondary road in the town, the B1007, passes from just south of the town centre as Laindon Road, meets the A129 at Sun Corner and then continues northwards as Billericay's High Street and then Stock Road. It continues north to the county town of Chelmsford. Along its route is the village of Stock and an interchange to the A12. The town is a destination on the A129, linking it to the neighbouring towns of Brentwood and Wickford.

Sport and culture

The town is represented by local teams in a number of sports. The grounds of the local football and cricket teams and tennis club are located in the West of Billericay, along Blunts Wall Road.

Formed in 1880, Billericay Town FC is the local football team and are currently in the Ryman Premier League. The stadium is called the New Lodge and has a capacity of 3,500. Whilst members of the Essex Senior League, the club won the F.A. Vase in 1976 when Stamford were beaten 1-0 after extra-time at Wembley Stadium.
The following season, 1976/77, saw the club go to Wembley again and - after a 1-1 draw there - played at Nottingham Forest F.C. in the replay and emerged victorious with a 2-1 victory over Sheffield, the oldest club in the world. Billericay Town became the first (and so far the only) club to win the F.A. Vase for a third time in 1979 when they defeated Almondsbury Greenway 4-1. This match was notable for a hat-trick by Doug Young - the first hat-trick in a Cup Final at Wembley Stadium since Geoff Hurst's in the 1966 World Cup Final.

Billericay Rugby Football Club is the local rugby team, playing in Essex Division One. Their ground is the Willowbrook Sports Club to the North of the town off of Stock Road. They are the only team from Essex to play at Twickenham, the home of English Rugby, when they won the Tetley Bitter Vase in 1999, a trophy they won again in 2007. Billericay is the only town to have won both the football and rugby vases. The club was formed in 1969 (although evidence has been found dating back to 1905). There has been a tennis club in the town since c. 1930.

Billericay is also the hometown of the Essex Spartans American football team who play their home games on the 3G Astroturf field at Hannakins Farm Community Centre.

The town was immortalised in the Ian Dury and the Blockheads song 'Billericay Dickie.' Billericay is also mentioned in George Orwell's novel 'Down And Out In Paris And London'. Billericay is also the setting of the BBC sitcom Gavin & Stacey as the home of Gavin Shipman (Mathew Horne) and his parents, however the actual filming took place in Wales.

The Cater Museum is a privately owned local history museum housed in an 18 & 19th century building in the High Street.

Civil registration

Between 1 July 1837 and 1 July 1939 Billericay was a registration district. From 1974 until the present, the town falls under the Basildon district. The registry office is located in Basildon, in the council offices. There is also the facility to register deaths in Basildon Hospital.[7]


Billericay is twinned with Fishers, Indiana[8] United States and Billerica, Massachusetts[9] United States in the US. The town is also twinned with the French market town of Chauvigny, Vienne. France

Notable people


  1. ^ BBC: On this day 16 April 1987, Retrieved 7 September 2006.
  2. ^ LGCE review for Basildon area Retrieved 23 December 2006.
  3. ^ Billericay Town Council. Retrieved 9 November 2006.
  4. ^ Billericay Youth Town Council. Retrieved 9 November 2006.
  5. ^ Vision of Britain - Great Burstead parish (historic map). Retrieved 9 November 2006.
  6. ^ Vision of Britain - Billericay RD (historic map). Retrieved 9 November 2006.
  7. ^ Basildon District - Essex County Council. Retrieved 22 September 2006.
  8. ^ Billericay Twinning Association. Retrieved 9 November 2006.
  9. ^ Billericay Mayflower Twinning Association. Retrieved 9 November 2006.
  10. ^ "Russell Tovey interview: A History Boy with a big future". 2009-03-17. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Billericay is a town in Essex with a population of about 40,000. Many of its residents commute daily to London by train.

Get in

Billericay is accessible by car and by train on national express, there is a train leaving from Liverpool Street station every few minutes during peak hours and every 20 minutes outside peak. It is served by trains to Southend Victoria and Southminster.

There are also regular buses mostly run by First.

The 100 goes every 20 minutes between Chelmsford and Lakeside. The 551 goes every half hour between Brentwood and Basildon. The 222 goes between Wickford and Billericay.

Get around

Billericay High Street is a few minutes walk south from the train station.

  • The Cater Museum, on the High Street, [1]. Has many local historical artifacts.
  • The Billericay Historical Walk is a good way of seeing the most interesting older buildings. There are several buildings from the 16th century in the High Street. Unfortunately Billericay's historic buildings are mixed in amongst some rather less attractive ones from the 70s and 80s.
  • The Billericay Society, [2] has information about some of the historic buildings.
  • Norsey Woods, [3]. A Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Relics from as long ago as the Stone Age have been found there and it has been designated an Ancient Monument.
  • Barleylands, [4] just outside the town, has many things to see and do, including a children's farm centre and museum and a craft village. It can easily be accessed by public transport on the 100 bus from the town centre and station.
  • Billericay Town Football Club[5] currently plays in the Ryman League Premier Division.


The High Street has a mixture of chain stores and small independent shops.

The biggest shop is Waitrose[6].


There are loads of places to eat and drink for a place of its size.


  • Yau's. (Chinese)
  • Silver Lotus. (Chinese)
  • Thai Concept. (Thai)
  • Thai House. (Thai)
  • Village Bar and Grill, [11].
  • The Ivory Rooms, [12].
  • The Magic Mushroom, [13].
  • Kosthuree. (Indian)
  • Indian Ruchi. (Indian)
  • The Raj. (Indian)


Amongst the pubs and bars in the town centre are:

  • Chequers
  • Stewart's Bar
  • The Railway Tavern
  • The Crown
  • Rising Sun
  • Coach and Horses

Pleasingly none of Billericay's pubs employs the ridiculous Essex tradition of only allowing people in who are wearing the right type of footwear!


The nearest hotels are in Basildon.

  • Barleylands, [17]. Camping in the summer.
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Simple English

Billericay is a town in the United Kingdom. It is in the east of England in the county of Essex. It has a train station named Billericay railway station.



Billericay is a semi-rural (not like a city and not like the countryside but looks like a mixture of the two) town with many green spaces. Some green spaces are Norsey Wood, Mill Meadows Nature Reserve, Queen's Park Country Park, Sun Corner, Lake Meadows and South Green.

Towns near Billericay include:

  • Basildon
  • Brentwood
  • Chelmsford
  • Ingatestone
  • Shenfield
  • Wickford

Villages near Billericay include:

  • Crays Hill
  • Great Burstead
  • Hutton
  • Little Burstead
  • Ramsden Bellhouse
  • Ramsden Heath
  • Stock


There are two high schools. The names of the schools are Billericay School and Mayflower High School. The nearest university is named Anglia Ruskin University. Anglia Ruskin University is in a town near Billericay named Chelmsford.

Twin towns

Billericay is twinned with these:

Other websites


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