Situated in the far south-east corner of Essex at the mouth of the Thames Estuary, the town of Shoeburyness boasts a long and fascinating history.
Indeed, the area was home to some of the earliest settlers in England and excavations have proved it to be one of the richest sources of archaeology in Essex.
For centuries, the area was divided into the two independent parishes of North Shoebury and South Shoebury, the Ness itself but a sandy promontory.
Both parishes developed as humble farming communities.
The authorities, aware of their strategic location for defence, guarded not only against enemy invasion but also that scourge of the Treasury, smugglers.
Its noteworthy residents include the Revds Arthur Dent, Luke Imber and Thomas Archer.
Farmer Christopher Parsons is remembered for his scientific notes on Shoebury's flora and Philip Benton is the father of local history in the Rochford Hundred.
The opening of Shoebury Garrison for the testing of artillery in 1849 marked a turning point in Shoeburyness' history, stimulating the rapid growth of South Shoebury.
Conversely, North Shoebury retained its rural character, in which farming traditions and country pursuits ruled daily life. The 19th-century brick-making industry flourished in both parishes.
It was not until 1933, when Southend Borough swallowed both North and South Shoebury, that the parishes were united as Shoeburyness.
This meticulously researched book gives new insight into the history of the area.
Using information from maps, historical notes, wills, diaries and census returns, the author paints a vivid picture of what life was like for residents of Shoeburyness through the ages, and how they shaped the town.
In these well illustrated pages, current residents will find much to make them proud.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 144 pages, 162 illustrations
- Publisher: The History Press Ltd
- Publication Date: 01/01/2001
- Category: Local history
- ISBN: 9781860774355