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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Essex
Flag of Essex
EnglandEssex.svg
Geography
Status Ceremonial & (smaller) Non-metropolitan county
Origin Historic
Region East of England
Area
- Total
- Admin. council
- Admin. area
Ranked 11th
3,670 km2 (1,417 sq mi)
Ranked 11th
3,465 km2 (1,338 sq mi)
Admin HQ Chelmsford
ISO 3166-2 GB-ESS
ONS code 22
NUTS 3 UKH33
Demography
Population
- Total (2008 est.)
- Density
- Admin. council
- Admin. pop.
Ranked 6th
1,712,200
467 /km2 (1,210/sq mi)
Ranked 2nd
1,396,300
Ethnicity 96.8% White
1.2% S. Asian
Politics
Arms of Essex County Council
Essex County Council
http://www.essexcc.gov.uk/
Executive Conservative
Members of Parliament
Districts
Essex Ceremonial Numbered.png
  1. Harlow
  2. Epping Forest
  3. Brentwood
  4. Basildon
  5. Castle Point
  6. Rochford
  7. Maldon
  8. Chelmsford
  9. Uttlesford
  10. Braintree
  11. Colchester
  12. Tendring
  13. Thurrock (Unitary)
  14. Southend-on-Sea (Unitary)

Essex (pronounced /ˈɛsɨks/) is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East of England region of the United Kingdom, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London and is one of the most populous counties in England. Essex County Council is the principal local authority for much of the county, sharing functions with twelve district councils. The county town is Chelmsford. The southern Essex boroughs of Thurrock and Southend-on-Sea are governed separately by unitary authorities. It was established in antiquity and formed the eastern portion of the Kingdom of Essex. Sections of the county closer to London are part of the metropolitan green belt, which prohibits development. It is the location of the regionally significant Lakeside Shopping Centre and London Stansted Airport; and the new towns of Basildon and Harlow.

Contents

History

Toponomy

The name Essex originates in the Anglo-Saxon period of the Early Middle Ages and has its root in the Old English Ēastseaxe (i.e. the "East Saxons"), the eastern kingdom of the Saxons.

Ancient origins

In pre-Roman Britain the territories of Suffolk and Essex were home to the Trinovantes tribe, which had grown wealthy through intensive trade with the Roman Empire, contemporary to the decline of Atlantic sea trade as roads and better in-land trade-routes were established in Romanized Gaul. Catuvellaunian and Trinovantian territory was the first to be annexed by the Roman Emperor Claudius in AD 43 when he began his invasion of Britain (Cunliffe, 2001). Colchester was the capital of the province of Britannia, but was attacked and destroyed during Boudica's rebellion in AD 61. Sometime after the destruction, London became the capital of the province of Britannia.

The East Saxon lands bordered those of the Angle peoples of East Anglia (the latter comprising Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire). The Kingdom of Essex was traditionally founded by Aescwine in 527 AD, occupying territory to the north of the River Thames, incorporating much of what would later become Middlesex and Hertfordshire, though its territory was later restricted to lands east of the River Lee.[1] Colchester in the north east of the county is Britain's oldest recorded town, dating back to before the Roman conquest, when it was known as Camulodunum, and was sufficiently well-developed to have its own mint. Subsequently the Kingdom of Essex was subsumed into the Kingdom of England and Essex eventually became a shire.

Modern period

Essex County Council was formed in 1889. However, the County Borough of West Ham, and from 1915 the County Borough of East Ham, formed part of the county but were not under county council control.[2] A few parishes were transferred to other counties at this time; parts of Haverhill, Kedington, and Ballingdon-with-Brundon went to Suffolk, and Great & Little Chishill and Heydon to Cambridgeshire. Southend-on-Sea also formed a county borough from 1914 to 1974.[3]

The boundary with Greater London was established in 1965 when East Ham and West Ham county boroughs and the Barking, Chingford, Dagenham, Hornchurch, Ilford, Leyton, Romford, Walthamstow and Wanstead and Woodford districts[2] were transferred to form the London boroughs of Barking, Havering, Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest. Essex became part of the East of England Government Office Region in 1994 and was statistically counted as part of that region from 1999, having previously been part of the South East England region. In 1998, the districts of Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock were separated from the shire county of Essex becoming unitary districts.

Governance

The county of Essex is divided into a number of local government districts. They are Harlow, Epping Forest, Brentwood, Basildon, Castle Point, Rochford, Maldon, Chelmsford, Uttlesford, Braintree, Colchester, Tendring, Thurrock, and Southend-on-Sea.[4] The last two boroughs are unitary authorities which form part of the county for various functions such as Lord Lieutenant but do not come under county council control.[5] Essex Police also covers the two unitary authorities.[6]

County council

The county council was formed in 1889, and it meets at the County Hall, in Chelmsford. Before 1938, it regularly met in London near Moorgate, which had been more convenient than any place in the county. It currently has 75 elected councillors. Before 1965, the number of councillors reached over 100. The County Hall, which dates largely from the mid-1930s, and is decorated with fine artworks of that period, mostly the gift of the family who owned the textile firm, Courtaulds, was made a listed building in 2007. The Essex County Council is currently controlled by the Conservative Party. The chairman of the county council 2006-08 was Gerard McEwen of Norton Mandeville near Ongar, and since May 2008, Elizabeth ("Bonnie") Hart, of Hockley.

In November 2008, the council advertised in the European Journal for a private sector "delivery partner" to provide a wide range (and potentially all) of its services.[7] The value of such a contract could amount to £5.4 billion. The arguments advanced in favour of such a step include better service quality and greater efficiency. However, critics including the council's opposition leader have complained of zero consultation before launching this procurement. The council nevertheless hopes to choose a partner before the elections scheduled for June 2009.

The county council has until recently had a partnership with the British Telecom company which has generated a debate locally about the effectiveness of such arrangements. In January 2009, the council's cabinet decided to terminate this contract early. The trade union Unison has questioned the council's competence in managing major private sector contracts. Press reports indicate that BT are considering taking legal action against the council. Unison estimate that the cost to the taxpayer of early termination could be as much as £50m.[8]

The political composition of the county council is as follows.

Year Conservatives Labour Liberal Democrats Residents' association Independent
2009 60 1 11 1 1

Geography

The plaza of the new town of Basildon

The highest point of the county of Essex is Chrishall Common near the village of Langley, close to the Hertfordshire border, which reaches 482 feet (147 m). The ceremonial county of Essex is bounded to the south by the River Thames and its estuary (a boundary shared with Kent County); to the southwest by Greater London; to the west by Hertfordshire with the boundary largely defined by the River Lee and the Stort; to the northwest by Cambridgeshire; to the north by Suffolk County, a boundary mainly defined by the River Stour; and to the east by the North Sea.

The pattern of settlement in the county is diverse. The London Green Belt has effectively prevented the further sprawl of London into the county, although it contains the new towns of Basildon and Harlow, originally developed to resettle Londoners following the destruction of London housing in World War II but since much expanded. Epping Forest also acts as a protected barrier to the further spread of London. Because of its proximity to London and the economic magnetism which that city exerts, many of Essex's settlements, particularly those on or within driving distance of railway stations, function as dormitory towns or villages where London workers raise their families.

The village of Finchingfield in north Essex

Part of the south east of the county, already containing the major population centres of Southend and Thurrock, is within the Thames Gateway and designated for further development. Parts of the south west of the county such as Buckhurst Hill and Chigwell are contiguous with Greater London and are included in the Greater London Urban Area. A small part of the south west of the county (Sewardstone), is the only settlement outside Greater London to be covered by a London postal district postcode (E4). To the north of the Green Belt, with the exception of major towns such as Colchester and Chelmsford, the county is rural, with many small towns, villages and hamlets largely built in the traditional materials of timber and brick, with clay tile or thatched roofs.

Economy

This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Essex at current basic prices published (pp. 240–253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of Pounds Sterling.

Year Regional Gross Value Added[9] Agriculture[10] Industry[11] Services[12]
1995 11,422 282 3,424 7,716
2000 14,998 205 4,335 10,458
2003 18,588 258 5,158 13,172

The Lakeside Shopping Centre at Thurrock was one of England's first out-of-town shopping centres, and remains popular despite congestion on the nearby M25 motorway and direct competition from Bluewater Shopping Centre.

Industry is largely limited to the south of the county, with the majority of the land elsewhere being given over to agriculture. Harlow is a centre for electronics, science and pharmaceutical companies, while Chelmsford is the home of Marconi (now called telent plc and owned by Ericsson of Sweden since 2005), and Brentwood home to the Ford Motor Company's European HQ. Loughton is home to a production facility for British and foreign banknotes. Chelmsford has been an important location for electronics companies since the industry was born, and is also the location for a number of insurance and financial services organisations, and is the home of the soft drinks producer Britvic. Other businesses in the county are dominated by light engineering and the service sector. Colchester is a garrison town, and the local economy is helped by the Army's personnel living there.

Transport

London Stansted Airport at Stansted Mountfitchet, in the north west of the county

The main airport in Essex is the London Stansted Airport, serving destinations in Europe and North America. Southend Airport, once one of Britain's busiest airports, is undergoing rebuilding, but it still has limited passenger flights to destinations such as the Channel Islands. There are several smaller airfields, some of which owe their origins to Air Force Bases built during World War I or World War II. These are popular for pleasure flights or flying lessons. Examples of these airfields include the Clacton Airfield, the Earls Colne Airfield, and the Stapleford Aerodrome.

The Port of Tilbury is one of Britain's three major ports, while the port of Harwich links the county to the Hook of Holland and Esbjerg. A service to Cuxhaven closed in December 2005. Plans have been put forward to build the UK's largest container terminal at Shell Haven in Thurrock and although opposed by the local authority and environmental and wildlife organisations now seem increasingly likely to be developed.[13][14][15]

Queen Elizabeth II Bridge spanning the Thames from West Thurrock, Essex, to Dartford, Kent

Despite the existence of the Dartford Road Crossing to Dartford, Kent, across the Thames River, a ferry for pedestrians to Gravesend, Kent, still operates from Tilbury during limited daily hours, and there are ferries for pedestrians that are operating across some of Essex County's rivers and estuaries during the spring and summer months. The M25 motorway and M11 motorway both cross the county, and the A12 and A13 trunk roads are important radial routes from London. There is an extensive public transport network.

The main railway routes in Essex include two lines from the City of London to Southend-on-Sea, operated by c2c from the Fenchurch Street railway station (including a route via Tilbury) and the National Express East Anglia from the Liverpool Street station, the Great Eastern Main Line from Liverpool Street connecting Harwich and onwards into Suffolk County and Norfolk County, and the West Anglia Main Line from Liverpool Street linking to Stansted and onwards into Cambridgeshire. The Epping Forest district is served by the London Underground Central Line. The routes operated by National Express East Anglia (formerly known as "One") and c2c, are both owned by National Express. There are also a number of branch lines including; the Sunshine Coast Line linking Colchester to the seaside resorts of Clacton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze; and the Crouch Valley Line linking Wickford to a number of riverside communities via South Woodham Ferrers and Burnham-on-Crouch to Southminster.

South Essex Rapid Transit is a proposed public transport scheme which would provide a fast, reliable public transport service in, and between, Thurrock, Basildon and Southend.[16]

Education

Education in Essex is substantially provided by three authorities being Essex County Council and the two unitary authorities, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock. In all there are some 90 state secondary schools provided by these authorities, the majority of which are comprehensive, although one in Uttlesford, two in Chelmsford, two in Colchester and four in Southend-on-Sea are selective. There are also various Independent Schools providing education in Essex.[17][18]

Culture

Depiction of the first king of the East Saxons, Æscwine, his shield showing the three seaxes emblem attributed to him (from John Speed's 1611 Saxon Heptarchy).

The County's coat of arms comprises three Saxon seax knives (although looking rather more like scimitars) arranged on a red background; the three-seax device is also used as the official logo of Essex County Council having been granted as such in 1932.[19] The emblem was attributed to Anglo-Saxon Essex in Early Modern historiography. The earliest reference the arms of the East Saxon kings was by Richard Verstegan, the author of A Restitution of Decayed Intelligence (Antwerp, 1605), claiming that "Erkenwyne king of the East-Saxons did beare for his armes, three [seaxes] argent, in a field gules". There is no earlier evidence substantiating Verstegan's claim, which is an anachronism for the Anglo-Saxon period seeing that heraldry only evloved in the 12th century, well after the Norman conquest. John Speed in his Historie of Great Britaine (1611) follows Verstegan in his descriptions of the arms of Erkenwyne, but he qualifies the statement by adding "as some or our heralds have emblazed".[19]

The traditional county flower of Essex is the cowslip (Primula veris), locally known as the paigle or peggle, and frequently mentioned in the writings of Essex bucolic authors such as Samuel Bensusan and C. H. Warren. In 2002, the Common Poppy (Papaver rhoeas) was named the county wildflower after a poll of residents (which excluded the cowslip) by the plant conservation charity Plantlife.[20] Samuel Bensusan and others have suggested that if Essex had a county bird, it would be the lapwing (known locally as the peewit) whose lonely cry characterises the Essex marshes known as saltings.

Most English counties have nicknames for people from that county, such as a Tyke from Yorkshire and a Yellowbelly from Lincolnshire; the traditional nickname for a person from Essex is an Essex Calf, so named because the county was famous for rearing beef cattle for sale in London meat markets; calves from the county were famed for their large size and known as 'Essex lions'.[21] Essex is known for being the origin of the political term Essex man, and of the Essex girl joke.[22]

Notable musicians such as Alison Moyet and, more recently, Fugative hail from Essex, whilst the county is also home to three Football League Clubs Colchester United, Southend United, and Dagenham and Redbridge. Non-league football clubs Chelmsford City, Braintree Town and Thurrock who compete in the conference south are also based in Essex.

Cultural references

"Essex Dogs" was the title of a 1997 Blur song.[23] Essex Boys was the title of a 2000 film starring Sean Bean about the demise of a group of Essex gangsters.[24]

Essex Wives was an 2002 LWT reality TV series starring Jodie Marsh.[25]

The satirical puppet show Spitting Image once produced a song titled "Essex is Crap", claiming it was the only UK county with no redeeming features, and describing it as "a boil on the bum of the nation" and "where page 3 girls buy their mum a bungalow".

Landmarks

Over 14,000 buildings have listed status in the county, and around 1000 of those are recognised as of Grade I or II* importance.[26] The buildings range from the 7th century Saxon church of St Peter-on-the-Wall, to the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club which was the United Kingdom's entry in the "International Exhibition of Modern Architecture" held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 1932.

Places of interest

Notable persons

Sister counties and regions

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Vision of Britain - Essex ancient county boundaries map
  2. ^ a b Vision of Britain - Essex admin county (historic map)
  3. ^ Vision of Britain - Southend-on-Sea MB/CB
  4. ^ Essex County Council - District or Borough Councils
  5. ^ OPSI - The Essex (Boroughs of Colchester, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock and District of Tendring) (Structural, Boundary and Electoral Changes) Order 1996
  6. ^ OPSI - The Essex (Police Area and Authority) Order 1997
  7. ^ https://essex.bravosolution.com/esop/toolkit/notice/public/tender.do?caller=0&tenderId=tender_22113
  8. ^ http://www.kablenet.com/kd.nsf/Frontpage/5597D65667799300802575550042691B?OpenDocument, accessed 6 February 2009
  9. ^ Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
  10. ^ includes hunting and forestry
  11. ^ includes energy and construction
  12. ^ includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured
  13. ^ Portswatch: Current Port Proposals: London Gateway (Shell Haven) Retrieved 2009-04-15.
  14. ^ Thurrock Council. (2003-02-26). Shell Haven public inquiry opens. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
  15. ^ Dredging News Online. (2008-05-18). Harbour Development, Shell Haven, UK. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
  16. ^ "FAQ". http://www.sert.org.uk/faqs.asp. 
  17. ^ Essex County Council. (2006). Secondary School Information. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
  18. ^ Independent Schools Directory. (2009). Independent Schools in Essex. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
  19. ^ a b Robert Young. (2009). Civic Heraldry of England and Wales. Essex. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
  20. ^ Essex Life. (2009-04). County Set of Essex flowers. (p.13). Archant Life Limited.
  21. ^ Grose, Francis and Egan, Pierce. (1823). Grose's Classical dictionary of th vulgar tongue, revised and corrected, with the addition of numerous slang phrases, collected from tried authorites. London: Printed for Sherwood, Neely, and Jones. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
  22. ^ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1645138,00.html
  23. ^ http://artists.letssingit.com/blur-lyrics-essex-dogs-nrnm75q
  24. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0191996/
  25. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0486529/
  26. ^ Bettley, James. (2008). Essex Explored: Essex Architecture. Essex County Council. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
  27. ^ http://www.colchestermuseums.org.uk/castle/castle_index.html

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

There is more than one place called Essex:

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

="">See Essex (disambiguation) for articles sharing the title Essex.


ESSEX, an eastern county of England, bounded N. by Cambridgeshire and Suffolk, E. by the North Sea, S. by the Thames, 2 i.e. in the Devereux line.

dividing it from Kent, W. by the administrative county of London and by Hertfordshire. Its area is 1542 sq. m. Its configuration is sufficiently indicated by the direction of its rivers. Except that in the N.W. the county includes the heads of a few valleys draining northward to the Cam and so to the Great Ouse, all the streams, which are never of great size, run southward and eastward, either into the Thames, or into the North Sea by way of the broad, shallow estuaries which ramify through the flat coast lands. The highest ground lies consequently in the north-west, between the Cam basin and the rivers of the county. Its principal southward extension is that between the Lea (which with its tributary the Stort forms a great part of the western boundary) and the Roding, and east of the Roding valley. The other chief rivers may be specified according to their estuaries, following the coast northward from Shoeburyness at the Thames mouth. That of the Roach ramifies among several islands of which Foulness is the largest, but its main branch joins the Crouch estuary. Next follows the Blackwater, which receives the Chelmer, the Brain and other streams. Following a coast of numerous creeks and islets, with the large island of Mersea, the Colne estuary is reached. The Colne and Blackwater may be said to form one large estuary, as they enter the sea by a well-marked common mouth, 5 m. in width, between Sales Point and Colne Point. There is a great irregular inlet (Hamford Water) receiving no large stream, W. of the Naze promontory, and then the Stour, bounding the county on the north, joins its estuary to that of the Orwell near the sea. There are several seaside watering-places in favour owing to their proximity to London, of which Southend-on-Sea above the mouth of the Thames, Clacton-on-Sea, Walton-on-the-Naze, and Dovercourt adjoining Harwich are the chief. These and other stations on the estuaries are also in favour with yachtsmen. The sea has at some points seriously encroached upon the land within historic times. The low soft cliffs at various points are liable to give way against the waves; in other parts dykes and embankments are necessary to prevent inundation. Inland, that is apart from the flat coast-district, the country is pleasantly undulating and for the most part well wooded. It was formerly, indeed, almost wholly forested, the great Waltham Forest stretching from Colchester to the confines of London. Of this a fragment is preserved in Epping Forest (see Epping) between the Lea and the Roding. On the other side of the Roding Hainault Forest is traceable, but was disafforested in 1851. The oak is the principal tree; a noteworthy example was that of Fairlop in Hainault, which measured 45 ft. in girth, but was blown down in 1820.

Table of contents

Geology

The geological structure of the county is very simple: the greater part is occupied by the London clay with underlying Reading beds and Thanet sands, with here and there small patches of Bagshot gravels on elevated tracts, as at High Beech, Langdon Hill, Brentwood and Rayleigh; and occasionally the same beds are represented by the large boulder-like Sarsen stones on the lower ground. In the north, the chalk, which underlies the Tertiary strata over the whole county, appears at the surface and forms the downs about Saffron Walden, Birdbrook and Great Yeldham; it is brought up again by a small disturbance at Grays Thurrock where it is quarried on a large scale for lime, cement and whiting. Small patches of Pleistocene Red Crag rest upon the Eocene strata at Beaumont and Oakley, and are very well exposed at Walton-onthe-Naze where they are very fossiliferous. Most of the county is covered by a superficial deposit of glacial drifts, sands, gravel and in places boulder clay, as at Epping, Dunmow and Hornchurch where the drift lies beneath the Thames gravel. An interesting feature in relation to the glacial drift is a deep trough in the Cam valley revealed by borings to be no less than 340 ft. deep at Newport; this ancient valley is filled with drift. In the southern part of the county are broad spreads of gravel and brick earth, formed by the Thames; these have been excavated for brick-making and building purposes about Ilford, Romford and Grays, and have yielded the remains of hippopotamus, rhinoceros and mammoth. More recent alluvial deposits are found in the valley at Walthamstow and Tilbury, in which the remains of the beaver have been discovered.

The roads of this county with a clay soil foundation were for generations repaired with flints picked by women and children from the surface of the fields. Gravel is difficult of access. With the exception of chalk for lime (mainly obtained at Ballingdon in the north and Grays in the south), septaria for making cement, and clay for bricks, the underground riches of the county are meagre.

Agriculture

As an agricultural county Essex ranks high. Some four-fifths of the total area is' under cultivation, and about one-third of that area is in permanent pasture. Wheat, barley and oats, in that relative order, are the principal grain crops, Essex being one of the chief grain-producing counties. The wheat and barley are in particularly high favour, the wheat of various standard species being exported for seed purposes, while the barley is especially useful in malting. Beans and peas are largely grown, as are vegetables for the London market. Hop-growing was once important. From the comparative dryness of the climate Essex does not excel in pasturage, and winter grazing receives the more attention. The numbers of cattle increase steadily, and store bullocks are introduced in large numbers from Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Ireland and Wales. Of sheep there are but few distinct flocks, and the numbers decrease. Pigs are generally of a high-class Berkshire type.

Other Industries

The south-west of the county, being contiguous to London, is very densely populated, and is the seat of large and varied industries. For example, there are numbers of chemical works, the extensive engine shops and works of the Great Eastern railway at Stratford, government powder works in the vicinity of Waltham Abbey, and powder stores at Purfleet on the Thames. The extensive water-works for east London, by the Lea near Walthamstow, may also be mentioned. The docks at Plaistow and Tilbury on the Thames employ many hands. Apart from this industrial district, there are considerable engineering works, especially for agricultural implements, at Chelmsford, Colchester and elsewhere; several silk works, as at Braintree and Halstead; large breweries, as at Brentwood, Chelmsford and Romford; and lime and cement works at Grays Thurrock. The oyster-beds of the Colne produce the famous Colchester natives, and there are similar beds in the Crouch and Roach, for which Burnham-on-Crouch is the centre; and in the Blackwater (Maldon).

Communications

Railway communications are supplied principally by the Great Eastern railway, of which the main line runs by Stratford, Ilford, Romford, Brentwood, Chelmsford, Witham, Colchester, and Manningtree. The Cambridge and northern line of this company, following the Lea valley, does not touch the county until it diverges along the valley of the Stort. The chief branches are those to Southend and Burnham, Witham to Maldon, Colchester to Brightlingsea, to Clacton and to Walton, and Manningtree to Harwich, on the coast; and Witham to Braintree and Bishop's Stortford, and Mark's Tey to Sudbury and beyond, inland; while there are several branch lines among the manufacturing and residential suburbs in the south-west, to Walthamstow and Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Loughton, Epping, Ongar, &c. The London, Tilbury & Southend railway, following the Thames, serves the places named, and the Colne Valley railway runs from Chappel junction near Mark's Tey by Halstead to Haverhill.

On the Thames, besides the great docks at Plaistow (Victoria and Albert) and the deep-water docks at Tilbury, the principal calling places for vessels are Grays, Purfleet and Southend, while Barking on the Roding has also shipping trade, and the Lea affords important water-connexions. Elsewhere, the principal port is Harwich, at the mouth of the Stour, one of the chief ports of England for European passenger traffic. Other towns ranking as lesser estuarine ports are: Brightlingsea and Wivenhoe on the Colne, forming a member of the Cinque Port of Sandwich; Colchester, Maldon on the Bla,ckwater, and Burnham-on-Crouch. The Stour, Chelmer, and Lea and Stort are the principal navigable inland waterways.

Population and Administration

The area of the ancient county is 986,975 acres, with a population in 1891 of7 8 5445 and in 1901 of 1,085,771. The area of the administrative county is 979,532 acres. The county contains nineteen hundreds. It is divided into eight parliamentary divisions, and it also includes the parliamentary boroughs of Colchester and West Ham, the latter consisting of two divisions. Each of these returns one member. The county divisions are - Northern or Saffron Walden, North-eastern or Harwich, Eastern or Maldon, Western or Epping, Mid or Chelmsford, South-eastern, Southern or Romford, South-western or Walthamstow, returning one member each. The municipal boroughs are - Chelmsford (5 2,580), Colchester (38,373), East Ham (96,058), Harwich (10,070), Maldon(5565), Saffron Walden(5896), Southend-on-Sea (28,857), and one county borough, West Ham (267,358). The following are the other urban districts - Barking Town (25,547), Braintree (533 o), Brentwood (4932), Brightlingsea (4505), Buckhurst Hill (4786), Burnham-on-Crouch (2959), Chingford (4373), Clacton (7456), Epping (3789), Frinton-on-Sea (644), Grays Thurrock (53,834), Halstead (6073), Ilford (45,234), Leigh-on-Sea (3667), Leyton (98,912), Loughton (4730), Romford (13,656), Shoeburyness (4081), Waltham Holy Cross (6549), Walthamstow (95,131), Walton-on-the-Naze (2014), Wanstead (9579), Witham (3454), Wivenhoe (2560), Woodford (13,798). Essex is in the Southeastern circuit, and assizes are held at Chelmsford. The boroughs of Harwich and Southend-on-Sea have separate commissions of the peace, and the boroughs of Colchester, Maldon, Saffron Walden and West Ham have, in addition, separate courts of quarter sessions. The county is ecclesiastically within the diocese of St Albans (with a small portion within that of Ely) and is divided into two archdeaconries; containing 452 parishes or districts wholly or in part. There are 399 civil parishes.

There is a military station and depot for recruits at Warley, and a garrison at Tilbury. At Shoeburyness there are a school of gunnery and an extensive ground for testing government artillery of the largest calibre.

History (see also below under Essex, Kingdom Of). - Essex probably originated as a shire in the time of ZEthelstan. According to the Domesday Survey it comprised nineteen hundreds, corresponding very closely in extent and in name with those of the present day. The additional half-hundred of Thunreslan on the Suffolk border has disappeared; Witbrictesherna is now Dengie; and the liberty of Havering-atte-Bower appears to have been taken out of Becontree. Essex and Hertfordshire were under one sheriff until the time of Elizabeth. At the time of the Survey Count Eustace held a vast fief in Essex, and the court of the Honour of Boulogne was held at Witham. Bentry Heath in Dagenham, Hundred Heath in Tendring and Castle Hedingham in Hinckford were the meeting-places of their respective hundreds. The stewardship of the forest of Essex was held by the earls of Oxford until deprived of it for adherence to the Lancastrian cause. In 1421 certain parts of Essex inherited by Henry V. from his mother were brought under the jurisdiction of the duchy of Lancaster.

Essex was part of the see of London from the time of the foundation of the bishopric in the 7th century. The archdeaconries are first mentioned in 5508; that of Essex extended over the south of the county and in 5 295 included eight deaneries; the north of the county was divided between the archdeaconries of Middlesex and Colchester, comprising three and six deaneries respectively. Colchester was constituted a suffragan bishopric by Henry VIII. In 1836 Essex was transferred to the diocese of Rochester, with the exception of nine parishes which remained in London. In 5845 the archdeacon of Middlesex ceased to exercise control in Essex, and the deaneries were readjusted. In 5875 Essex was transferred to the newly created diocese of St Albans, and in 5877 the archdeaconry of Essex was subdivided into eighteen deaneries and that of Colchester into sixteen.

Owing to its proximity to the capital Essex was intimately associated with all the great historical struggles. The nobility of Essex took a leading part in the struggle for the charter, and of the twenty-four guardians of the charter, four were Essex barons. The castles of Pleshey, Colchester, and Hedingham were held against the king in the Barons' War of the reign of Henry III., and 5000 Essex men joined the peasant rising of 1381. During the Wars of the Roses the Lancastrian cause was supported by the de Veres, while the Bourchiers and Lord Fitz-Walter were among the Yorkist leaders. Several Essex men were concerned in the Gunpowder Plot, and in the Civil War of the 17th century the county rendered valuable aid to the parliament.

After the Conquest no Englishman retained estates in Essex of any importance, and the chief lay barons at the time of the Survey were Geoffrey de Mandeville and Aubrey de Vere. The de Veres, earls of Oxford, were continuously connected with the county until the extinction of the title two centuries ago. Pleshey was the stronghold of the Mandevilles, and, although the house became extinct in 1189, its descendants in the female line retained the title of earls of Essex. The Honour of Hatfield Peverel held by Ranulf Peverel after the Conquest escheated to the crown in the reign of Henry I., and in the same reign the fief of Robert Gernon passed to the house of Mountfichet.

Essex has always been mainly an agricultural county, and the ordinary agricultural pursuits were carried on at the time of the Domesday Survey, which also mentions salt-making, wine-making, bee-culture and cheese-making, while the oyster fisheries have been famous from the earliest historic times. The woollen industry dates back to Saxon times, and for many centuries ranked as the most important industry. Cloth-weaving, was introduced in the 54th century, and in the 56th century Colchester was noted for its " bays and says." Colchester also possessed a valuable leather industry in the 5 6th century, at which period Essex was considered an exceptionally wealthy and prosperous county; Norden, writing in 1594, describes it as " moste fatt, frutefull, and full of all profitable things." The decline of the cloth industry in the 57th century caused great distress, but a number of smaller industries began to take its place. Saffron-culture and silk-weaving were extensively carried on in the 57th century, and the 58th century saw the introduction of the straw-plait industry, potash-making, calicoprinting, malting and brewing, and the manufacture of Roman cement.

The county returned four members to parliament in 1290. From 5295 it returned two members for the county and two for Colchester. Maldon acquired representation in 5335 and Harwich in 1604. Under the Reform Act of 1832 the county returned four members in four divisions. Under the Representation of the People Act of 5868 Maldon and Harwich each lost one member, and the county returned six members in three divisions.

Antiquities

It is supposed by many antiquaries that Saxon masonry can be detected in .the foundations of several of the Essex churches, but, with the exception of Ashingdon church tower, believed to have been erected by Canute after his victory over Edmund Ironside, there is no obviously recognizable building belonging to that period. This is probably to be in part ascribed to the fact that the comparative scarcity of stone and the unusual abundance of timber led to the extensive employment of the latter material. Several of the Essex churches, as Blackmore, Mountnessing, Margaretting, and South Benfleet, have massive porches and towers of timber; and St Andrew's church, Greenstead, with its walls of solid oak, continues an almost unique example of its kind. Of the four round churches in England one is in Essex at Little Maplestead; it is both the smallest and the latest. The churches of South Weald, Hadleigh, Blackmore, Heybridge and Hadstock may be mentioned as containing Norman work; with the church of Castle Hedingham for its fine Transitional work; Southchurch, Danbury and Boreham as being partly Early English; Ingatestone, Stebbing and Tilty for specimens of Decorated architecture; and Messing, Thaxted, Saffron Walden, and the church of St Peter ad Vincula at the small town of Coggeshall, near Colchester, as specimens of Perpendicular. Stained glass windows have left their traces in several of the churches, the finest remains being those of Margaretting, which represent a tree of Jesse and the daisy or herb Margaret. Paintings have evidently been largely used for internal decoration: a remarkable series, probably of the 12th century, but much restored in the 54th, exists in the chancel of Copford church; and in the church at Ingatestone there was discovered in 5868 an almost unique fresco representation of the seven deadly sins. The oldest brasses preserved in the county are those of Sir William Fitz-Ralph at Pebmarsh, about 5323; Richard of Beltown, at Corringham, 5340; Sir John Gifford, at Bowers Gifford, 1348; Ralph de Kneyton, at Aveley, 1370; Robert de Swynbourne, at Little Horkesley, 1391; and Sir Ingelram de Bruyn, at South Ockendon, 1400. The brass of Thomas Heron, aged 14, at Little Ilford, though dating only from 1517, is of interest as a picture of a schoolboy of the period. Ancient wooden effigies are preserved at Danbury, Little Leighs and Little Horkesley.

Essex was rich in monastic foundations, though the greater number have left but meagre ruins behind. The Benedictines had an abbey at Saffron Walden, nunneries at Barking and Wickes, and priories at Earl's or Monk's Colne and Castle Hedingham; the Augustinian canons had an abbey at Waltham (see Waltham Abbey; the portion remaining shows Norman work of the finest character), priories at Thoby, Blackmore, Bicknacre, Little Leighs, Little Dunmow and St Osyth (see Brightlingsea); there were Cistercian abbeys at Coggeshall, Stratford and Tilty; the Cluniac monks were settled at Prittlewell, the Premonstratensians at Beleigh Abbey, and the Knights Hospitallers at Little Maplestead. Barking Abbey is said to date its first origin from the 7th century; most of the others arose in the 12th and 13th centuries. Besides the keep at Colchester there is a fine Norman castle at Castle Hedingham, and two dilapidated round towers still stand at Hadleigh near Southend. Ongar, the house of the de Lacys, and Pleshey, the seat of the earls of Essex, have left only mounds. Havering-atte-Bower, the palace that was occupied by many queens, is replaced by a modern house; Wickham, the mansion of the bishops of London, no longer stands. New Hall, which was successively occupied by Henry VIII., Elizabeth, the earl of Essex, George Villiers, duke of Buckingham, and Cromwell, is now a nunnery of the order of the Holy Sepulchre. Audley End, the mansion of Lord Braybrooke, is a noble example of the domestic architecture of the Jacobean period; Layer Marney is an interesting proof of the Italian influences that were at work in the time of Wolsey. Horeham Hall was built by Sir John Cutt in the reign of Henry VII., and Gosfield Hall is of about the same date.

See Norden, Speculi Britanniae Pars: an Hist. and Geogr. Descrip. .of the County of Essex (1594) (edited for the Camden Society by Sir Henry Ellis, 1840, from the original MS. in the Marquis of Salisbury's library at Hatfield); Nicholas Tindal, Hist. of Essex (1720); N. "Salmon, The Hist. and Antiq. of Essex (London, 1740) - based on the collections of James Strangman of Hadleigh (v. Trans. of Essex Arch. Soc. vol. ii.); P. Morant, Hist. and Antiq. of the County of Essex (London, 1768); P. Muilman, New and Complete Hist. of Essex from a late Survey, by a Gentleman (Chelmsford, 6 vols., 1770-1772, London, 1 779); Elizabeth Ogbourne, Hist. of Essex (London, part i., 1814); Excursions through Essex, illustrated with one hundred engravings (2 vols., London, 1818); T. Wright, Hist. and Topography of Essex (1831); W. Berry, Pedigrees of Families in Essex (1841); A. Suckling, Memorials of the Antiquities, &c., of the County of Essex (London, 1845); W. Andrews (ed.), Bygone Essex (London, 1892); J. T. Page (ed.), Essex in the Days of Old (London, 1898); Victoria County History, Essex; Transactions of the Essex Arch. Soc. from 1858. An account of various MS. collections connected with the county is given by H. W. King in vol. ii. of the Transactions (1863).


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

Singular
Essex

Plural
-

Essex

Proper noun

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Singular
Essex

Plural
-

Essex

  1. A maritime county of England bordered by the North Sea, Suffolk, Hertfordshire and Middlesex, and separated from Kent by the Thames estuary.

Anagrams

  • Anagrams of eessx
  • sexes

Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

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Essex

<tr><td colspan="2" style="text-align: center; background: white;">File:Flag of Essex.svg</td></tr>

File:EnglandEssex.png
Geography
Status Ceremonial & (smaller) Non-metropolitan county

<tr><th>Origin</th><td>Historic</td></tr>

Region East of England
Area
- Total
- Admin. council
- Admin. area
Ranked 11th
3,670 km² (1,417 sq mi)
Ranked 11th
3,465 km² (1,337.8 sq mi)

<tr><th>Admin HQ</th><td class="label">Chelmsford</td></tr><tr><th>ISO 3166-2</th><td>GB-ESS</td></tr>

ONS code 22
NUTS 3 UKH33
Demographics
Population
- Total (2006 est.)
- Density
- Admin. council
- Admin. pop.
Ranked 6th Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
1,670,000
454/km² (1,175.9/sq mi)
Ranked 2nd Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
1,361,200
Ethnicity 96.8% White
1.2% S. Asian
Politics
File:Arms of Essex.svg
Essex County Council
http://www.essexcc.gov.uk/

<tr><th>Executive</th><td>Conservative </td></tr>

Members of Parliament
Districts
File:Essex Ceremonial Numbered.png
  1. Harlow
  2. Epping Forest
  3. Brentwood
  4. Basildon
  5. Castle Point
  6. Rochford
  7. Maldon
  8. Chelmsford
  9. Uttlesford
  10. Braintree
  11. Colchester
  12. Tendring
  13. Thurrock (Unitary)
  14. Southend-on-Sea (Unitary)

Essex is a county in the East of England. The county town is Chelmsford, and the highest point of the county is Chrishall Common near the village of Langley, close to the Hertfordshire border, which reaches 482 feet (147 metres).

Contents

Divisions and environs

The area under the control of the county council, or shire county, is divided into a number of local government districts. They are Harlow, Epping Forest, Brentwood, Basildon, Castle Point, Rochford, Maldon, Chelmsford, Uttlesford, Braintree, Colchester and Tendring.[1] Thurrock and Southend-on-Sea are unitary authorities which form part of the county for various functions such as Lord Lieutenant but do not come under county council control.[2] Essex Police also covers the two unitary authorities.[3]

The ceremonial county, the area including the unitary authorities, has boundaries to the east with the coastline of the North Sea; to the south with the northern bank, or estuary, of the River Thames and Kent; to the south west with Greater London; to the west with Hertfordshire across the River Lee and the Stort; to the north west with Cambridgeshire; and to the north with Suffolk, mostly marked by the River Stour.

History

Main article: History of Essex

The name Essex derives from the East Seaxe or East Saxons. The Kingdom of Essex was traditionally founded by Aescwine in 527 AD, occupying territory to the north of the River Thames, incorporating much of what would later become Middlesex and Hertfordshire, though its territory was later restricted to lands east of the River Lee.[4] It is through this origin as one of the 'Saxon' kingdoms that Essex is specifically not part of the region known as East Anglia (the latter comprising Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire), settled by tribes calling themselves 'Anglian'. Colchester in the north east of the county is Britain's oldest recorded town, dating back to before the Roman conquest, when it was known as Camulodunon, and was sufficiently well-developed to have its own mint.

Essex County Council was formed in 1889. However, the County Borough of West Ham, and from 1915 the County Borough of East Ham, formed part of the county but were not under county council control.[5] Southend-on-Sea also formed a county borough from 1914 to 1974.[6] The boundary with Greater London was established in 1965 when the former area of the East Ham and West Ham county boroughs and of the Barking, Chingford, Dagenham, Hornchurch, Ilford, Leyton, Romford, Walthamstow and Wanstead and Woodford districts[5] was transferred to form the London boroughs of Barking, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, and Waltham Forest; an area similar to that known as Metropolitan Essex.[7]

Essex became part of the East of England Government Office Region in 1994 and was statistically counted as part of that region from 1999, having previously been part of the South East England region. In 1998 the districts of Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock separated from the shire county of Essex becoming unitary districts.

Population and settlement

The pattern of settlement in the county is diverse. The London Green Belt has effectively prevented the further sprawl of London into the county, although it contains the new towns of Basildon and Harlow, originally developed to resettle Londoners following the destruction of London housing in World War II but since much expanded. Epping Forest also acts as a protected barrier to the further spread of London. Much of the Epping Forest district, consisting of the residential towns of Chigwell, Waltham Abbey, Loughton and Buckhurst Hill, is more developed and forms part of the Greater London Urban Area.

Because of its proximity to London and the economic magnetism which that city exerts, many of Essex's settlements function as dormitory towns or villages where London workers raise their families. Essex is known for being the origin of the political term Essex man, and of the Essex girl joke.

Part of the south east of the county, already containing the major population centres of Southend and Thurrock, is within the Thames Gateway and designated for further development. To the north of the Green Belt, with the exception of major towns such as Colchester and Chelmsford, the county is rural, with many small towns, villages and hamlets largely built in the traditional materials of timber and brick, with clay tile or thatched roofs.

Transport

The main airport in Essex is London Stansted Airport, serving destinations in Europe and North America; Southend Airport, [1] once one of Britain's busiest airports, is undergoing redevelopment, but still has limited passenger flights to destinations such as the Channel Islands. There are several smaller airfields, some of which owe their origins to air force bases built during World War I or World War II. These are popular for pleasure flights; examples include Clacton Airfield [2] and Stapleford Aerodrome. [3]

The port of Tilbury is one of Britain's three major ports, while the port of Harwich links the county to the Hook of Holland and Esbjerg. A service to Cuxhaven closed in December 2005. Despite the road crossing to Dartford in Kent across the River Thames, a pedestrian ferry to Gravesend still operates from Tilbury during limited hours, and there are foot ferries operating across some of the county's rivers and estuaries during the summer months.

The M25 motorway and M11 motorway both cross the county, and the A12 and A13 trunk roads are important radial routes from London. There is an extensive public transport network. [4] The main rail routes include two lines from London to Southend-on-Sea, operated by c2c and several routes operated by 'one' including a third route to Southend, the Great Eastern Main Line and the West Anglia Main Line. The Epping Forest district is served by the London Underground Central Line. The routes operated by 'one' and c2c, both of which are owned by National Express, connect to Liverpool Street and Fenchurch Street stations in the east of the City of London.

Economy

This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Essex at current basic prices published (pp.240-253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.

Year Regional Gross Value Added[8] Agriculture[9] Industry[10] Services[11]
1995 11,422 282 3,424 7,716
2000 14,998 205 4,335 10,458
2003 18,588 258 5,158 13,172

Industry and commerce

The Lakeside Shopping Centre at Thurrock was one of England's first out-of-town shopping centres; it remains popular despite congestion on the nearby M25 motorway and direct competition from Bluewater Shopping Centre.

Industry is largely limited to the south of the county, with the majority of the land elsewhere being given over to agriculture. Harlow is a centre for electronics, science and pharmaceutical companies, while Chelmsford is the home of Marconi (now called telent plc and owned by Ericsson of Sweden since 2005), and Brentwood home to the Ford Motor Company's European HQ. Loughton is home to the production facility for British and foreign banknotes. Chelmsford has been an important location for electronics companies since the industry was born, and is also the location for a number of insurance and financial services organisations, and is the home of the soft drinks producer Britvic. Other businesses in the county are dominated by light engineering and the service sector. Colchester is a garrison town, and the local economy is helped by the army's personnel living there.

Education

Essex has an essentially comprehensive education system with 16 independent schools and 80 state secondary schools, not including sixth form colleges. However there are four selective schools with two in Colchester and two in Chelmsford, all being single sex. They produce exceedingly good A level results, far outstripping any nearby independent schools, and often in the top ten for English state schools and are the top four in Essex (and the East of England), being in a league of their own. Nearby Southend on Sea also has selective schools. Chelmsford is the largest district by school population, and Maldon the smallest (with only two secondary schools). At GCSE, Epping Forest is helped by the Davenant Foundation School in Loughton, and Brentwood is helped by the single sex Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School; these schools produce results similar to selective schools. At A level, the best performing comprehensive is St Martin's School in Brentwood, followed by the St John Payne Catholic Comprehensive School in Chelmsford. Essex's worst performing school is the Barstable School in Basildon with 13% of pupils achieving 5 grades at A-C including Maths and English, followed by the Alderman Blaxill School in Colchester with 14%.

Essex has a comprehensive and selective education system. There are eight selective schools with two in Colchester, two in Chelmsford, two in Southend on Sea and two in Westcliff on Sea, all being single sex. There are selective streams in several other schools in the county. Examination results are much higher than the UK average, particularly in the selective schools.

Average score at GCSE by council district (%)

% of pupils with 5 grades A-C including English and Maths in 2006; compare to average house price by district.

  • Uttlesford 58.8
  • Chelmsford 57.5
  • Brentwood 55.0
  • Rochford 53.4
  • (Southend on Sea Unitary Authority 49.9)
  • Colchester 48.4
  • Epping Forest 44.4
  • Castle Point 42.6
  • Braintree 40.2
  • (Thurrock Unitary Authority 38.5)
  • Basildon 36.9
  • Tendring 36.3
  • Maldon 32.6
  • Harlow 32.4

County emblems

The County's coat of arms consists of three Saxon seax daggers arranged on a red background; the three-seaxe device is also used as the official logo of Essex County Council.[5].

The traditional county flower of Essex is the Cowslip, locally known as the paigle or peggle, and frequently mentioned in the writings of Essex bucolic authors such as Samuel Bensusan and C. H. Warren. As part of a 2002 marketing campaign, the plant conservation charity Plantlife chose the Common Poppy as the county flower. .

Samuel Bensusan and others have suggested that if Essex had a county bird, it would be the Lapwing (known locally as the peewit) whose lonely cry characterises the Essex marshes known as saltings.

Most English counties have nicknames for people from that county, such as a Tyke from Yorkshire and a Yellowbelly from Lincolnshire; the traditional nickname for a person from Essex is an Essex Calf, so named because the county was famous for rearing beef cattle for sale in London meat markets; calves from the county were famed for their large size and known as 'Essex lions' [6].

Towns and villages

See the List of places in Essex

Places of interest



Key
Image:AP_Icon.PNG Abbey/Priory/Cathedral
Accessible open space Accessible open space
Amusement/Theme Park
Image:CL_icon.PNG Castle
Country Park Country Park
Image:EH icon.png English Heritage
Image:FC icon.png Forestry Commission
Heritage railway Heritage railway
Historic house Historic House
Museum (free)
Museum
Museums (free/not free)
National Trust National Trust
Zoo

Twinning

References

  1. ^ Essex County Council - District or Borough Councils
  2. ^ OPSI - The Essex (Boroughs of Colchester, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock and District of Tendring) (Structural, Boundary and Electoral Changes) Order 1996
  3. ^ OPSI - The Essex (Police Area and Authority) Order 1997
  4. ^ Vision of Britain - Essex ancient county boundaries map
  5. ^ a b Vision of Britain - Essex admin county (historic map)
  6. ^ Vision of Britain - Southend-on-Sea MB/CB
  7. ^ British History Online - Metropolitan Essex since 1850, (1966).
  8. ^ Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
  9. ^ includes hunting and forestry
  10. ^ includes energy and construction
  11. ^ includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured

See also

External links




This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Essex. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

This article uses material from the "Essex" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

Essex
Geography
Status Ceremonial & (smaller) Non-metropolitan county
Region East of England
Area
- Total
- Admin. council
- Admin. area
Ranked 11th
3,670 km²
Ranked 11th
3,465 km²
Where Essex is run Chelmsford
ISO 3166-2 GB-ESS
ONS code 22
NUTS 3 UKH33
Demographics
Population
- Total (2005 est.)
- Density
- Admin. council
- Admin. pop.
Ranked 6th
1,645,900
448 / km²
Ranked 2nd
1,340,000
Where the people come from 96.8% White
1.2% S. Asian
Politics

Essex County Council
http://www.essexcc.gov.uk/
The organisation that is in charge Conservative
Members of Parliament
  • David Amess
  • John Baron
  • Simon Burns
  • Douglas Carswell
  • James Duddridge
  • Mark Francois
  • Alan Haselhurst
  • Bernard Jenkin
  • Eleanor Laing
  • Andrew Mackinlay
  • Stephen Metcalfe
  • Brooks Newmark
  • Priti Patel
  • Eric Pickles
  • Bill Rammell
  • Bob Russell
  • Bob Spink
  • John Whittingdale
Districts
  1. Harlow
  2. Epping Forest
  3. Brentwood
  4. Basildon
  5. Castle Point
  6. Rochford
  7. Maldon
  8. Chelmsford
  9. Uttlesford
  10. Braintree
  11. Colchester
  12. Tendring
  13. Thurrock (Unitary)
  14. Southend-on-Sea (Unitary)
  15. Witham

Essex is a county in the east of England. It has a population of around 1,500,000 people. It is part of the East of England region. The county town of Essex is Chelmsford. Essex has London and Kent on its southern border and the whole of the east of the county is coast-line. The Dartford Tunnel can be used to drive under the River Thames between Essex and Kent.

Other famous towns in Essex are Colchester, the oldest town in England, and in the south-eastern corner of the county Southend, one of Britain's biggest sea-side resorts.

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