Essex
Overview
 
Essex is a ceremonial
Ceremonial counties of England
The ceremonial counties are areas of England to which are appointed a Lord Lieutenant, and are defined by the government as counties and areas for the purposes of the Lieutenancies Act 1997 with reference to the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England and Lieutenancies Act 1997...

 and non-metropolitan county
Counties of England
Counties of England are areas used for the purposes of administrative, geographical and political demarcation. For administrative purposes, England outside Greater London and the Isles of Scilly is divided into 83 counties. The counties may consist of a single district or be divided into several...

 in the East
East of England
The East of England is one of the nine official regions of England. It was created in 1994 and was adopted for statistics from 1999. It includes the ceremonial counties of Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. Essex has the highest population in the region.Its...

 region of England, and one of the home counties
Home Counties
The home counties is a term which refers to the counties of South East England and the East of England which border London, but do not include the capital city itself...

. It is located to the northeast of Greater London
Greater London
Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

. It borders with Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire is a county in England, bordering Lincolnshire to the north, Norfolk to the northeast, Suffolk to the east, Essex and Hertfordshire to the south, and Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire to the west...

 and Suffolk
Suffolk
Suffolk is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in East Anglia, England. It has borders with Norfolk to the north, Cambridgeshire to the west and Essex to the south. The North Sea lies to the east...

 to the north, Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England. The county town is Hertford.The county is one of the Home Counties and lies inland, bordered by Greater London , Buckinghamshire , Bedfordshire , Cambridgeshire and...

 to the west, Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

 to the South and London to the south west. Essex County Council is the principal local authority for much of the county, sharing functions with twelve district councils. The county town
County town
A county town is a county's administrative centre in the United Kingdom or Ireland. County towns are usually the location of administrative or judicial functions, or established over time as the de facto main town of a county. The concept of a county town eventually became detached from its...

 is Chelmsford
Chelmsford
Chelmsford is the county town of Essex, England and the principal settlement of the borough of Chelmsford. It is located in the London commuter belt, approximately northeast of Charing Cross, London, and approximately the same distance from the once provincial Roman capital at Colchester...

. The southern Essex boroughs of Thurrock
Thurrock
Thurrock is a unitary authority with borough status in the English ceremonial county of Essex. It is part of the London commuter belt and an area of regeneration within the Thames Gateway redevelopment zone. The local authority is Thurrock Council....

 and Southend-on-Sea
Southend-on-Sea
Southend-on-Sea is a unitary authority area, town, and seaside resort in Essex, England. The district has Borough status, and comprises the towns of Chalkwell, Eastwood, Leigh-on-Sea, North Shoebury, Prittlewell, Shoeburyness, Southchurch, Thorpe Bay, and Westcliff-on-Sea. The district is situated...

 are governed separately as unitary authorities
Unitary authorities of England
Unitary authorities of England are areas where a single local authority is responsible for a variety of services for a district that elsewhere are administered separately by two councils...

.
Encyclopedia
Essex is a ceremonial
Ceremonial counties of England
The ceremonial counties are areas of England to which are appointed a Lord Lieutenant, and are defined by the government as counties and areas for the purposes of the Lieutenancies Act 1997 with reference to the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England and Lieutenancies Act 1997...

 and non-metropolitan county
Counties of England
Counties of England are areas used for the purposes of administrative, geographical and political demarcation. For administrative purposes, England outside Greater London and the Isles of Scilly is divided into 83 counties. The counties may consist of a single district or be divided into several...

 in the East
East of England
The East of England is one of the nine official regions of England. It was created in 1994 and was adopted for statistics from 1999. It includes the ceremonial counties of Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. Essex has the highest population in the region.Its...

 region of England, and one of the home counties
Home Counties
The home counties is a term which refers to the counties of South East England and the East of England which border London, but do not include the capital city itself...

. It is located to the northeast of Greater London
Greater London
Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

. It borders with Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire is a county in England, bordering Lincolnshire to the north, Norfolk to the northeast, Suffolk to the east, Essex and Hertfordshire to the south, and Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire to the west...

 and Suffolk
Suffolk
Suffolk is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in East Anglia, England. It has borders with Norfolk to the north, Cambridgeshire to the west and Essex to the south. The North Sea lies to the east...

 to the north, Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England. The county town is Hertford.The county is one of the Home Counties and lies inland, bordered by Greater London , Buckinghamshire , Bedfordshire , Cambridgeshire and...

 to the west, Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

 to the South and London to the south west. Essex County Council is the principal local authority for much of the county, sharing functions with twelve district councils. The county town
County town
A county town is a county's administrative centre in the United Kingdom or Ireland. County towns are usually the location of administrative or judicial functions, or established over time as the de facto main town of a county. The concept of a county town eventually became detached from its...

 is Chelmsford
Chelmsford
Chelmsford is the county town of Essex, England and the principal settlement of the borough of Chelmsford. It is located in the London commuter belt, approximately northeast of Charing Cross, London, and approximately the same distance from the once provincial Roman capital at Colchester...

. The southern Essex boroughs of Thurrock
Thurrock
Thurrock is a unitary authority with borough status in the English ceremonial county of Essex. It is part of the London commuter belt and an area of regeneration within the Thames Gateway redevelopment zone. The local authority is Thurrock Council....

 and Southend-on-Sea
Southend-on-Sea
Southend-on-Sea is a unitary authority area, town, and seaside resort in Essex, England. The district has Borough status, and comprises the towns of Chalkwell, Eastwood, Leigh-on-Sea, North Shoebury, Prittlewell, Shoeburyness, Southchurch, Thorpe Bay, and Westcliff-on-Sea. The district is situated...

 are governed separately as unitary authorities
Unitary authorities of England
Unitary authorities of England are areas where a single local authority is responsible for a variety of services for a district that elsewhere are administered separately by two councils...

. It was established in antiquity
Historic counties of England
The historic counties of England are subdivisions of England established for administration by the Normans and in most cases based on earlier Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and shires...

 and formed the eastern portion of the Kingdom of Essex
Kingdom of Essex
The Kingdom of Essex or Kingdom of the East Saxons was one of the seven traditional kingdoms of the so-called Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy. It was founded in the 6th century and covered the territory later occupied by the counties of Essex, Hertfordshire, Middlesex and Kent. Kings of Essex were...

. Sections of the county closer to London are part of the Metropolitan Green Belt
Metropolitan Green Belt
The Metropolitan Green Belt is a statutory green belt around London, England. It includes designated parts of Greater London and the surrounding counties of Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and Surrey in the South East and East of England regions.-History:The...

, which prohibits development. It is the location of the regionally significant Lakeside Shopping Centre
Lakeside Shopping Centre
The Lakeside Shopping Centre is a large out-of-town shopping centre located in West Thurrock, in the borough of Thurrock, Essex just beyond the eastern boundary of Greater London...

 and London Stansted Airport
London Stansted Airport
-Cargo:-Statistics:-Infrastructure:-Terminal and satellite buildings:Stansted is the newest passenger airport of all the main London airports. The terminal is an oblong glass building, and is separated in to three areas: Check-in concourse, arrivals and departures...

; and the new town
New towns in the United Kingdom
Below is a list of some of the new towns in the United Kingdom created under the various New Town Acts of the 20th century. Some earlier towns were developed as Garden Cities or overspill estates early in the twentieth century. The New Towns proper were planned to disperse population following the...

s of Basildon
Basildon
Basildon is a town located in the Basildon District of the county of Essex, England.It lies east of Central London and south of the county town of Chelmsford...

 and Harlow
Harlow
Harlow is a new town and local government district in Essex, England. It is located in the west of the county and on the border with Hertfordshire, on the Stort Valley, The town is near the M11 motorway and forms part of the London commuter belt.The district has a current population of 78,889...

.

History

The name Essex originates in the Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon may refer to:* Anglo-Saxons, a group that invaded Britain** Old English, their language** Anglo-Saxon England, their history, one of various ships* White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, an ethnicity* Anglo-Saxon economy, modern macroeconomic term...

 period of the Early Middle Ages
Early Middle Ages
The Early Middle Ages was the period of European history lasting from the 5th century to approximately 1000. The Early Middle Ages followed the decline of the Western Roman Empire and preceded the High Middle Ages...

 and has its root in the Old English Ēastseaxe (i.e. the "East Saxons"), the eastern kingdom of the Saxons. Originally (in 527 AD) it occupied territory to the north of the River Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

, incorporating all of what later became Middlesex
Middlesex
Middlesex is one of the historic counties of England and the second smallest by area. The low-lying county contained the wealthy and politically independent City of London on its southern boundary and was dominated by it from a very early time...

 and most of what later became Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England. The county town is Hertford.The county is one of the Home Counties and lies inland, bordered by Greater London , Buckinghamshire , Bedfordshire , Cambridgeshire and...

, though its territory was later restricted to lands east of the River Lea. Colchester
Colchester
Colchester is an historic town and the largest settlement within the borough of Colchester in Essex, England.At the time of the census in 2001, it had a population of 104,390. However, the population is rapidly increasing, and has been named as one of Britain's fastest growing towns. As the...

 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
Camulodunum
Camulodunum is the Roman name for the ancient settlement which is today's Colchester, a town in Essex, England. Camulodunum is claimed to be the oldest town in Britain as recorded by the Romans, existing as a Celtic settlement before the Roman conquest, when it became the first Roman town, and...

 and was sufficiently well-developed to have its own mint. Subsequently the Kingdom of Essex was subsumed into the Kingdom of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

 and Essex eventually became a county.

Essex County Council was formed in 1889. However the County Borough of West Ham
County Borough of West Ham
West Ham was a local government district in the extreme south west of Essex from 1886 to 1965, forming part of the built-up area of London, although outside the County of London...

 and, from 1915, the County Borough of East Ham
County Borough of East Ham
East Ham was a local government district in the far south west of Essex from 1878 to 1965. It extended from Wanstead Flats in the north to the River Thames in the south and from Green Street in the west to Barking Creek in the east...

 formed part of the county but were not under county council control. A few Essex parishes were transferred to other counties. In earlier times, parts were transferred to Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England. The county town is Hertford.The county is one of the Home Counties and lies inland, bordered by Greater London , Buckinghamshire , Bedfordshire , Cambridgeshire and...

 near Bishops Stortford and Sawbridgeworth. At the time of the main changes around the turn of the 19th/20th centuries; parts of Helions Bumpstead and Sturmer were transferred to Haverhill
Haverhill, Suffolk
Haverhill is an industrial market town and civil parish in the county of Suffolk, England, next to the borders of Essex and Cambridgeshire. It lies southeast of Cambridge and north of central London...

 Suffolk
Suffolk
Suffolk is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in East Anglia, England. It has borders with Norfolk to the north, Cambridgeshire to the west and Essex to the south. The North Sea lies to the east...

, Kedington and Ballingdon-with-Brundon both went to Suffolk
Suffolk
Suffolk is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in East Anglia, England. It has borders with Norfolk to the north, Cambridgeshire to the west and Essex to the south. The North Sea lies to the east...

, and Great Chishill, Little Chishill and Heydon to Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire is a county in England, bordering Lincolnshire to the north, Norfolk to the northeast, Suffolk to the east, Essex and Hertfordshire to the south, and Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire to the west...

. Southend-on-Sea
Southend-on-Sea
Southend-on-Sea is a unitary authority area, town, and seaside resort in Essex, England. The district has Borough status, and comprises the towns of Chalkwell, Eastwood, Leigh-on-Sea, North Shoebury, Prittlewell, Shoeburyness, Southchurch, Thorpe Bay, and Westcliff-on-Sea. The district is situated...

 also formed a county borough from 1914 to 1974.
Later still, part of Hadstock was transferred to Linton, Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire is a county in England, bordering Lincolnshire to the north, Norfolk to the northeast, Suffolk to the east, Essex and Hertfordshire to the south, and Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire to the west...

, part of Ashdon to Bartlow, Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire is a county in England, bordering Lincolnshire to the north, Norfolk to the northeast, Suffolk to the east, Essex and Hertfordshire to the south, and Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire to the west...

, part of Chrishall to Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire is a county in England, bordering Lincolnshire to the north, Norfolk to the northeast, Suffolk to the east, Essex and Hertfordshire to the south, and Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire to the west...

, part of Great Horkesley to Nayland in Suffolk
Suffolk
Suffolk is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in East Anglia, England. It has borders with Norfolk to the north, Cambridgeshire to the west and Essex to the south. The North Sea lies to the east...

, and several other small territories were transferred to all of those three counties.

The boundary with Greater London
Greater London
Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

 was established in 1965 when East Ham
County Borough of East Ham
East Ham was a local government district in the far south west of Essex from 1878 to 1965. It extended from Wanstead Flats in the north to the River Thames in the south and from Green Street in the west to Barking Creek in the east...

 and West Ham
County Borough of West Ham
West Ham was a local government district in the extreme south west of Essex from 1886 to 1965, forming part of the built-up area of London, although outside the County of London...

 county boroughs and the Barking
Municipal Borough of Barking
Barking was a local government district in south west Essex, England from 1882 to 1965. It included the town of Barking, eastern Beckton and the south western part of the Becontree estate. The district was within the Metropolitan Police District and experienced a steady increase in population...

, Chingford
Municipal Borough of Chingford
Chingford was a local government district in south west Essex, England from 1894 to 1965, around the town of Chingford. It was within the London suburbs, forming part of the London postal district and Metropolitan Police District...

, Dagenham
Municipal Borough of Dagenham
Dagenham was a local government district in south west Essex, England from 1926 to 1965 covering the parish of Dagenham. Initially created as an urban district, it was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1938...

, Hornchurch
Hornchurch Urban District
Hornchurch was a local government district in south west Essex, England from 1926 to 1965. The urban district council was based at Langtons House. The district formed a suburb of London and was expanded in 1934...

, Ilford
Municipal Borough of Ilford
Ilford was a civil parish and local government district in south west Essex, England from 1888 to 1965, covering the town Ilford. The district saw a considerable rise in population throughout its life, caused by the expansion of the built-up area of London, and became one of the most populous...

, Leyton
Municipal Borough of Leyton
Leyton was a local government district in southwest Essex, England, from 1875 to 1965. It included the neighbourhoods of Leyton, Leytonstone and Cann Hall. It was suburban to London, forming part of the London postal district and Metropolitan Police District...

, Romford
Municipal Borough of Romford
Romford was a local government district in southwest Essex from 1851 to 1965. It was significantly expanded in 1934 and gained the status of municipal borough in 1937...

, Walthamstow
Municipal Borough of Walthamstow
Walthamstow was a local government district in south west Essex, England from 1894 to 1965, around the town of Walthamstow. It was within the London suburbs, forming part of the London postal district and Metropolitan Police District...

 and Wanstead and Woodford
Municipal Borough of Wanstead and Woodford
Wanstead and Woodford was a local government district from 1934 to 1965 in southwest Essex, England. A merger of two former urban districts, it was suburban to London and part of the Metropolitan Police District.-Background:...

 districts were transferred to form the London borough
London borough
The administrative area of Greater London contains thirty-two London boroughs. Inner London comprises twelve of these boroughs plus the City of London. Outer London comprises the twenty remaining boroughs of Greater London.-Functions:...

s of Barking
London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
In 1801, the civil parishes that form the modern borough had a total population of 1,937; and the area was characterised by farming, woodland and the fishing fleet at Barking. This last industry employed 1,370 men and boys by 1850, but by the end of the century had ceased to exist; replaced by...

, Havering
London Borough of Havering
The London Borough of Havering is a London borough in North East London, England and forms part of Outer London. The principal town in Havering is Romford and the other main communities are Hornchurch, Upminster and Rainham. The borough is mainly characterised by suburban development with large...

, Newham
London Borough of Newham
The London Borough of Newham is a London borough formed from the towns of West Ham and East Ham, within East London.It is situated east of the City of London, and is north of the River Thames. According to 2006 estimates, Newham has one of the highest ethnic minority populations of all the...

, Redbridge
London Borough of Redbridge
The London Borough of Redbridge is a London borough in outer north-east London. Its administrative headquarters is at Redbridge Town Hall in Ilford. The local authority is Redbridge London Borough Council.-Etymology:...

 and Waltham Forest
London Borough of Waltham Forest
The London Borough of Waltham Forest is in northeast London, England. Officially, it forms part of Outer London as it borders Essex. However, it can be seen that the NE London boundary does not extend far compared to elsewhere in the city...

. Essex became part of the East of England
East of England
The East of England is one of the nine official regions of England. It was created in 1994 and was adopted for statistics from 1999. It includes the ceremonial counties of Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. Essex has the highest population in the region.Its...

 Government Office Region
Regions of England
In England, the region is the highest tier of sub-national division used by central Government. Between 1994 and 2011, the nine regions had an administrative role in the implementation of UK Government policy, and as the areas covered by elected bodies...

 in 1994 and was statistically counted as part of that region from 1999, having previously been part of the South East England
South East England
South East England is one of the nine official regions of England, designated in 1994 and adopted for statistical purposes in 1999. It consists of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey and West Sussex...

 region. In 1998, the boroughs of Southend-on-Sea
Southend-on-Sea
Southend-on-Sea is a unitary authority area, town, and seaside resort in Essex, England. The district has Borough status, and comprises the towns of Chalkwell, Eastwood, Leigh-on-Sea, North Shoebury, Prittlewell, Shoeburyness, Southchurch, Thorpe Bay, and Westcliff-on-Sea. The district is situated...

 and Thurrock
Thurrock
Thurrock is a unitary authority with borough status in the English ceremonial county of Essex. It is part of the London commuter belt and an area of regeneration within the Thames Gateway redevelopment zone. The local authority is Thurrock Council....

 were separated from the shire county
Shire county
A non-metropolitan county, or shire county, is a county-level entity in England that is not a metropolitan county. The counties typically have populations of 300,000 to 1.4 million. The term shire county is, however, an unofficial usage. Many of the non-metropolitan counties bear historic names...

 of Essex becoming unitary boroughs
Unitary authority
A unitary authority is a type of local authority that has a single tier and is responsible for all local government functions within its area or performs additional functions which elsewhere in the relevant country are usually performed by national government or a higher level of sub-national...

.

The county of Essex is divided into a number of local government districts. They are Harlow
Harlow
Harlow is a new town and local government district in Essex, England. It is located in the west of the county and on the border with Hertfordshire, on the Stort Valley, The town is near the M11 motorway and forms part of the London commuter belt.The district has a current population of 78,889...

, Epping Forest
Epping Forest (district)
Epping Forest is a local government district of the county of Essex, England. It is named after Epping Forest, of which the district contains a large part...

, Brentwood
Brentwood (borough)
Brentwood is a local government district and borough in Essex in the East of England.-History & Geography:The borough is named after the town of Brentwood which is the main development in the area. There are still large areas of woodland including Shenfield Common, Hartswood , Weald Country Park,...

, Basildon
Basildon (district)
Basildon is a local government district in south Essex in the East of England, centred around the town of Basildon. The district was formed under the Local Government Act 1972 on 1 April 1974 from the former area of Basildon Urban District and the part of Thurrock Urban District that was within the...

, Castle Point
Castle Point
Castle Point is a local government district and borough in south Essex. The borough comprises the towns of Canvey Island, Hadleigh, South Benfleet, and Thundersley which also provides the site of the council headquarters.-History:...

, Rochford
Rochford (district)
Rochford is a local government district in Essex, England. It is named for one of its main settlements, Rochford, though the major centre of population in the district is the town of Rayleigh...

, Maldon
Maldon (district)
Maldon is a local government district in Essex, England. Its council is based in the town of Maldon, and the next largest centre of population is Burnham-on-Crouch. The district covers the Dengie peninsula as well as an area to the north of the Blackwater Estuary, a total area of...

, Chelmsford
Chelmsford (borough)
Chelmsford is a local government district and borough in Essex, England. It is named after its main settlement, Chelmsford, which is also the county town of Essex.-History:...

, Uttlesford
Uttlesford
Uttlesford is a local government district in Essex, England. Its council is based in Saffron Walden.Its name is derived from the ancient Hundred of the same name....

, Braintree
Braintree (district)
Braintree is a local government district in the English county of Essex. Its main town is Braintree.The main centres of population are Braintree, Witham and Halstead....

, Colchester
Colchester (borough)
Colchester is a local government district and borough in Essex, England, the district is named after its main town, Colchester. The borough covers an area of and stretches from Dedham Vale on the Suffolk border in the north to Mersea Island on the Colne Estuary in the south.The borough was formed...

, Tendring
Tendring
Tendring is a local government district in North East Essex, England. It extends from the River Stour in the north, to the coast and the River Colne in the south, with the coast to the East and the town of Colchester to the west. Its council is based in Clacton-on-Sea. Towns in the district...

, Thurrock
Thurrock
Thurrock is a unitary authority with borough status in the English ceremonial county of Essex. It is part of the London commuter belt and an area of regeneration within the Thames Gateway redevelopment zone. The local authority is Thurrock Council....

, and Southend-on-Sea
Southend-on-Sea
Southend-on-Sea is a unitary authority area, town, and seaside resort in Essex, England. The district has Borough status, and comprises the towns of Chalkwell, Eastwood, Leigh-on-Sea, North Shoebury, Prittlewell, Shoeburyness, Southchurch, Thorpe Bay, and Westcliff-on-Sea. The district is situated...

. The last two boroughs are unitary authorities
Unitary authority
A unitary authority is a type of local authority that has a single tier and is responsible for all local government functions within its area or performs additional functions which elsewhere in the relevant country are usually performed by national government or a higher level of sub-national...

 which form part of the county but are not administered by the county council. Essex Police
Essex Police
Essex Police is a territorial police force responsible for policing the county of Essex in the east of England.It is one of the largest non-metropolitan police forces in the United Kingdom, employing approximately 3,600 police officers and operating across an area of over and with a population of...

 also covers the two unitary authorities.

The county council meets at the County Hall, in Chelmsford
Chelmsford
Chelmsford is the county town of Essex, England and the principal settlement of the borough of Chelmsford. It is located in the London commuter belt, approximately northeast of Charing Cross, London, and approximately the same distance from the once provincial Roman capital at Colchester...

. 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
Courtaulds
Courtaulds was a United Kingdom-based manufacturer of fabric, clothing, artificial fibres, and chemicals.-Foundation:The Company was founded by George Courtauld and his cousin Peter Taylor in 1794 as a silk, crepe and textile business at Pebmarsh in north Essex trading as George Courtauld & Co...

, was made a listed building in 2007.

Geography

The highest point of the county of Essex is Chrishall Common near the village of Langley
Langley, Essex
Langley is a village and civil parish in the English county of Essex, seven miles west-south-west of Saffron Walden. The Parish of Langley consists of two parts, Langley Upper Green and Langley Lower Green which are linked by roads and footpaths...

, close to the Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England. The county town is Hertford.The county is one of the Home Counties and lies inland, bordered by Greater London , Buckinghamshire , Bedfordshire , Cambridgeshire and...

 border, which reaches 482 feet (146.9 m). The ceremonial county of Essex is bounded to the south by the River Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

 and its estuary (a boundary shared with Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

); to the southwest by Greater London
Greater London
Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

; to the west by Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England. The county town is Hertford.The county is one of the Home Counties and lies inland, bordered by Greater London , Buckinghamshire , Bedfordshire , Cambridgeshire and...

 with the boundary largely defined by the River Lea and the Stort
Stort Navigation
The Stort Navigation is the canalised section of the River Stort running from the town of Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire downstream to its confluence with the River Lee Navigation at Feildes Weir near Rye House, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire.-History:...

; to the northwest by Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire is a county in England, bordering Lincolnshire to the north, Norfolk to the northeast, Suffolk to the east, Essex and Hertfordshire to the south, and Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire to the west...

; to the north by Suffolk
Suffolk
Suffolk is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in East Anglia, England. It has borders with Norfolk to the north, Cambridgeshire to the west and Essex to the south. The North Sea lies to the east...

, a boundary mainly defined by the River Stour
River Stour, Suffolk
The River Stour is a river in East Anglia, England. It is 76 km long and forms most of the county boundary between Suffolk to the north, and Essex to the south. It rises in eastern Cambridgeshire, passes to the east of Haverhill, through Cavendish, Sudbury and the Dedham Vale, and joins the...

; and to the east by the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

.

The pattern of settlement in the county is diverse. The Metropolitan Green Belt
Metropolitan Green Belt
The Metropolitan Green Belt is a statutory green belt around London, England. It includes designated parts of Greater London and the surrounding counties of Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and Surrey in the South East and East of England regions.-History:The...

 has effectively prevented the further sprawl of London into the county, although it contains the new town
New town
A new town is a specific type of a planned community, or planned city, that was carefully planned from its inception and is typically constructed in a previously undeveloped area. This contrasts with settlements that evolve in a more ad hoc fashion. Land use conflicts are uncommon in new...

s of Basildon
Basildon
Basildon is a town located in the Basildon District of the county of Essex, England.It lies east of Central London and south of the county town of Chelmsford...

 and Harlow
Harlow
Harlow is a new town and local government district in Essex, England. It is located in the west of the county and on the border with Hertfordshire, on the Stort Valley, The town is near the M11 motorway and forms part of the London commuter belt.The district has a current population of 78,889...

, originally developed to resettle Londoners following the destruction of London housing in World War II but since much expanded. Epping Forest
Epping Forest
Epping Forest is an area of ancient woodland in south-east England, straddling the border between north-east Greater London and Essex. It is a former royal forest, and is managed by the City of London Corporation....

 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.

Part of the south east of the county, already containing the major population centres of Basildon
Basildon
Basildon is a town located in the Basildon District of the county of Essex, England.It lies east of Central London and south of the county town of Chelmsford...

, Southend
Southend-on-Sea
Southend-on-Sea is a unitary authority area, town, and seaside resort in Essex, England. The district has Borough status, and comprises the towns of Chalkwell, Eastwood, Leigh-on-Sea, North Shoebury, Prittlewell, Shoeburyness, Southchurch, Thorpe Bay, and Westcliff-on-Sea. The district is situated...

 and Thurrock
Thurrock
Thurrock is a unitary authority with borough status in the English ceremonial county of Essex. It is part of the London commuter belt and an area of regeneration within the Thames Gateway redevelopment zone. The local authority is Thurrock Council....

, is within the Thames Gateway
Thames Gateway
The Thames Gateway is an area of land stretching east from inner east London on both sides of the River Thames and the Thames Estuary. The area, which includes much brownfield land, has been designated a national priority for urban regeneration, taking advantage of the development opportunities...

 and designated for further development. Parts of the south west of the county such as Buckhurst Hill
Buckhurst Hill
Buckhurst Hill is an affluent suburban town in the Epping Forest district of Essex, England. Located adjacent to the northern boundary of Greater London, it forms part of the Greater London Urban Area.- Overview :...

 and Chigwell
Chigwell
Chigwell is a civil parish and town in the Epping Forest district of Essex. It is located 11.6 miles north east of Charing Cross. It is served by two London Underground stations and has a London area code.-Etymology:According to P. H...

 are contiguous with Greater London
Greater London
Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

 and are included in the Greater London Urban Area
Greater London Urban Area
The Greater London Urban Area is the conurbation or continuous urban area based around London, England, as defined by the Office for National Statistics. It had an estimated population of 8,505,000 in 2005 and occupied an area of at the time of the 2001 census. It includes most of Greater London,...

. A small part of the south west of the county (Sewardstone
Sewardstone
Sewardstone is a place in the Epping Forest district of Essex, England.It is located 11.6 miles north north-east of Charing Cross and is the only area outside Greater London to be covered by a London postcode district . The area consists of scattered development with large sections of open land...

), is the only settlement outside Greater London
Greater London
Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

 to be covered by a postcode district of the London
London postal district
The London postal district is the area in England, currently of , to which mail addressed to the LONDON post town is delivered. The area was initially devised in 1856 and throughout its history has been subject to periodic reorganisation, contraction and division into increasingly smaller postal...

 post town . To the north of the green belt, with the exception of major towns such as Colchester
Colchester
Colchester is an historic town and the largest settlement within the borough of Colchester in Essex, England.At the time of the census in 2001, it had a population of 104,390. However, the population is rapidly increasing, and has been named as one of Britain's fastest growing towns. As the...

 and Chelmsford
Chelmsford
Chelmsford is the county town of Essex, England and the principal settlement of the borough of Chelmsford. It is located in the London commuter belt, approximately northeast of Charing Cross, London, and approximately the same distance from the once provincial Roman capital at Colchester...

, 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

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
Pharmacology
Pharmacology is the branch of medicine and biology concerned with the study of drug action. More specifically, it is the study of the interactions that occur between a living organism and chemicals that affect normal or abnormal biochemical function...

 companies, while Chelmsford is the home of Marconi (now called telent plc
Telent plc
Telent Limited is a radio, telecommunication, and internet systems installation & services provision company. The company was formed in 2006 from the UK and German services businesses of Marconi Corporation which had not been acquired by Ericsson.- History :The company was formed in January 2006...

 and owned by Ericsson
Ericsson
Ericsson , one of Sweden's largest companies, is a provider of telecommunication and data communication systems, and related services, covering a range of technologies, including especially mobile networks...

 of Sweden since 2005), Basildon home to New Holland Agriculture's European headquarters and Brentwood home to the Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford and Lincoln brands, Ford also owns a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK...

's European HQ. Loughton
Loughton
Loughton is a town and civil parish in the Epping Forest district of Essex. It is located between 11 and 13 miles north east of Charing Cross in London, south of the M25 and west of the M11 motorway and has boundaries with Chingford, Waltham Abbey, Theydon Bois, Chigwell and Buckhurst Hill...

 is home to a production facility for British and foreign banknotes. Chelmsford has been an important location for electronics
Electronics
Electronics is the branch of science, engineering and technology that deals with electrical circuits involving active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes and integrated circuits, and associated passive interconnection technologies...

 companies since the industry was born, is also the location for a number of insurance and financial services organisations, and is the home of the soft drinks producer Britvic
Britvic
Britvic plc is a British producer of soft drinks. It is the number two soft drinks producer in the UK. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index...

. 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
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

's personnel living there.

Parts of Eastern Essex suffer from high levels of deprivation, with one of the most highly deprived wards being in Clacton
Clacton-on-Sea
Clacton-on-Sea is the largest town on the Tendring peninsula, in Essex, England and was founded in 1871. It is a seaside resort that attracted many tourists in the summer months between the 1950s and 1970s, but which like many other British sea-side resorts went into decline as a holiday...

. In the Indices of deprivation 2007
Indices of deprivation 2007
The Indices of deprivation 2007 is a Deprivation index at the small area level, created by the British Department for Communities and Local Government and released on June 12, 2007...

, Jaywick was identified as the most deprived Lower Super Output Area in Southern England. Unemployment was estimated at 44% and many homes were found to severely lack basic amenities. The Brooklands and Grasslands area of Jaywick were found to be the third most deprived area in England; only Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

 and Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

 rated higher. In contrast, however, South West Essex is a mostly affluent part of Eastern England, forming part of the London commuter belt
London commuter belt
The London commuter belt is the metropolitan area surrounding London, England from which it is practical to commute to work in the capital. It is alternatively known as the Greater South East, the London metropolitan area or the Southeast metropolitan area...

. South West Essex has a large middle class and the area is widely known for its Independent schools. In 2008, The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B...

found Brentwood
Brentwood, Essex
Brentwood is a town and the principal settlement of the Borough of Brentwood, in the county of Essex in the east of England. It is located in the London commuter belt, 20 miles east north-east of Charing Cross in London, and near the M25 motorway....

 and Ingatestone
Ingatestone
Ingatestone is a small town in Essex, England, with a population of about 4500 people. To the immediate north lies the village of Fryerning, and the two form the civil parish of Ingatestone and Fryerning....

 to be the 19th and 14th richest towns in the UK respectively.

Transport

The main airport in Essex is London Stansted Airport
London Stansted Airport
-Cargo:-Statistics:-Infrastructure:-Terminal and satellite buildings:Stansted is the newest passenger airport of all the main London airports. The terminal is an oblong glass building, and is separated in to three areas: Check-in concourse, arrivals and departures...

, serving destinations in Europe and Asia. The Lib-Con coalition government formed in May 2010 has agreed to resist an additional runway at Stansted, so curtailing the operator's ambitions for expansion. London Southend Airport
London Southend Airport
London Southend Airport or Southend Airport is a regional airport in the district of Rochford within Essex, England.During the 1960s, Southend was the third-busiest airport in the United Kingdom. It remained London's third-busiest airport in terms of passengers handled until the end of the 1970s,...

, once one of Britain's busiest airports, is undergoing rebuilding,will offer schedule flights to Ireland and offers limited passenger flights each summer to the Channel Islands
Channel Islands
The Channel Islands are an archipelago of British Crown Dependencies in the English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. They include two separate bailiwicks: the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey...

; a new railway station is nearly complete on the airport's eastern boundary and a runway extension will then be built in a south-westerly direction. There are several smaller airfields, some of which owe their origins to military bases built during World War I or World War II. These are popular for pleasure flights or flying lessons; examples include Clacton Airfield, Earls Colne Airfield, and Stapleford Aerodrome
Stapleford Aerodrome
Stapleford Aerodrome is an airfield in the Epping Forest district of Essex, England near to the village of Abridge. It is about south of North Weald Airfield and north of Romford...

.

The Port of Tilbury
Port of Tilbury
The Port of Tilbury is located on the River Thames at Tilbury in Essex, England. It is the principal port for London; as well as being the main United Kingdom port for handling the importation of paper. There are extensive facilities for containers, grain, and other bulk cargoes. There are also...

 is one of Britain's three major ports, while the port of Harwich
Harwich
Harwich is a town in Essex, England and one of the Haven ports, located on the coast with the North Sea to the east. It is in the Tendring district. Nearby places include Felixstowe to the northeast, Ipswich to the northwest, Colchester to the southwest and Clacton-on-Sea to the south...

 links the county to the Hook of Holland
Hoek van Holland
The Hook of Holland , also known in English as the Hook, is a town in South Holland in the Netherlands. It is situated on the North Sea coast, on the north bank of the Nieuwe Waterweg ship canal. The town is administered by the municipality of Rotterdam as a district of that city...

 and Esbjerg
Esbjerg
Esbjerg Municipality is a municipality in Region of Southern Denmark on the west coast of the Jutland peninsula in southwest Denmark. Its mayor is Johnny Søtrup, from the Venstre political party...

 (a service to Cuxhaven Having discontinued in December 2005).
Plans have been approved to build the UK's largest container terminal at Shell Haven
Shell Haven
Shell Haven was a port on the north bank of the Thames Estuary at the eastern end of Thurrock, Essex, England and then an oil refinery. The refinery closed in 1999 and the site was purchased by DP World who received planning consent in May 2007 for the new London Gateway deep water container port...

 in Thurrock
Thurrock
Thurrock is a unitary authority with borough status in the English ceremonial county of Essex. It is part of the London commuter belt and an area of regeneration within the Thames Gateway redevelopment zone. The local authority is Thurrock Council....

 and although opposed by the local authority and environmental and wildlife organisations now seem increasingly likely to be developed.

Despite the existence of the Dartford Road Crossing
Dartford Crossing
The Dartford - Thurrock River Crossing, Dartford River Crossing is a major road crossing of the River Thames in England, connecting Dartford in the south to Thurrock in the north, via two road tunnels and the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. It opened in stages, the west tunnel in 1963, the east tunnel...

 to Dartford
Dartford
Dartford is the principal town in the borough of Dartford. It is situated in the northwest corner of Kent, England, east south-east of central London....

, Kent, across the Thames River, a ferry for pedestrians to Gravesend, Kent
Gravesend, Kent
Gravesend is a town in northwest Kent, England, on the south bank of the Thames, opposite Tilbury in Essex. It is the administrative town of the Borough of Gravesham and, because of its geographical position, has always had an important role to play in the history and communications of this part of...

, still operates from Tilbury
Tilbury
Tilbury is a town in the borough of Thurrock, Essex, England. As a settlement it is of relatively recent existence, although it has important historical connections, being the location of a 16th century fort and an ancient cross-river ferry...

 during limited daily hours, and ferries for pedestrians operate across some of Essex's rivers and estuaries during spring and summer. The M25 motorway
M25 motorway
The M25 motorway, or London Orbital, is a orbital motorway that almost encircles Greater London, England, in the United Kingdom. The motorway was first mooted early in the 20th century. A few sections, based on the now abandoned London Ringways plan, were constructed in the early 1970s and it ...

 and M11 motorway
M11 motorway
The M11 motorway in England is a major road running approximately north from the North Circular Road in South Woodford in north-east London to the A14, north-west of Cambridge.-Route:...

 both cross the county in the extreme south and west, linking those parts of the county with Kent, Hertfordshire and Cambridge. The A127 and A13 trunk roads are important radial routes connecting London and the M25 to the south of Essex. The A12 runs across the county from the south west to the north east and not only carries traffic within Essex but also traffic between London and Suffolk, east Norfolk and the ports of Felixstowe and Harwich.

There is an extensive public transport network. The main railway routes in Essex include two lines from the City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

 to Southend-on-Sea
Southend-on-Sea
Southend-on-Sea is a unitary authority area, town, and seaside resort in Essex, England. The district has Borough status, and comprises the towns of Chalkwell, Eastwood, Leigh-on-Sea, North Shoebury, Prittlewell, Shoeburyness, Southchurch, Thorpe Bay, and Westcliff-on-Sea. The district is situated...

, operated by c2c
C2c
c2c is a British train operating company that is part of the National Express Group. It provides passenger rail services on the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway line from Fenchurch Street railway station in the City of London to east London and the entire length of the northern Thames Gateway...

 from Fenchurch Street railway station
Fenchurch Street railway station
Fenchurch Street railway station, also known as London Fenchurch Street, is a central London railway terminus in the south eastern corner of the City of London, England. The station is one of the smallest terminals in London in terms of platforms and one of the most intensively operated...

 (including a route via Tilbury) and by National Express East Anglia from Liverpool Street station
Liverpool Street station
Liverpool Street railway station, also known as London Liverpool Street or simply Liverpool Street, is both a central London railway terminus and a connected London Underground station in the north-eastern corner of the City of London, England...

; the Great Eastern Main Line
Great Eastern Main Line
The Great Eastern Main Line is a 212 Kilometre major railway line of the British railway system, which connects Liverpool Street in the City of London with destinations in east London and the East of England, including Chelmsford, Colchester, Ipswich, Norwich and several coastal resorts such as...

 from Liverpool Street connecting to Harwich and onwards into Suffolk
Suffolk
Suffolk is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in East Anglia, England. It has borders with Norfolk to the north, Cambridgeshire to the west and Essex to the south. The North Sea lies to the east...

 and Norfolk
Norfolk
Norfolk is a low-lying county in the East of England. It has borders with Lincolnshire to the west, Cambridgeshire to the west and southwest and Suffolk to the south. Its northern and eastern boundaries are the North Sea coast and to the north-west the county is bordered by The Wash. The county...

; and the West Anglia Main Line
West Anglia Main Line
The West Anglia Main Line is one of the two main lines which run from London Liverpool Street, the other being the Great Eastern Main Line. It runs generally north from London, through the towns of Cheshunt, Broxbourne, Harlow, Bishop's Stortford and Audley End station before reaching Cambridge,...

 from Liverpool Street linking to Stansted and onwards into Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire is a county in England, bordering Lincolnshire to the north, Norfolk to the northeast, Suffolk to the east, Essex and Hertfordshire to the south, and Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire to the west...

. The Epping Forest
Epping Forest (district)
Epping Forest is a local government district of the county of Essex, England. It is named after Epping Forest, of which the district contains a large part...

 district is served by the London Underground
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

 Central Line
Central Line
The Central line is a London Underground line, coloured red on the tube map. It is a deep-level "tube" line, running east-west across London, and, at , has the greatest total length of track of any line on the Underground. Of the 49 stations served, 20 are below ground...

. The routes operated by National Express East Anglia (formerly known as "One") and c2c
C2c
c2c is a British train operating company that is part of the National Express Group. It provides passenger rail services on the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway line from Fenchurch Street railway station in the City of London to east London and the entire length of the northern Thames Gateway...

, are both owned by National Express
National Express
National Express Coaches, more commonly known as National Express, is a brand and company, owned by the National Express Group, under which the majority of long distance bus and coach services in Great Britain are operated,...

. There are also a number of branch lines including the Sunshine Coast Line linking Colchester
Colchester
Colchester is an historic town and the largest settlement within the borough of Colchester in Essex, England.At the time of the census in 2001, it had a population of 104,390. However, the population is rapidly increasing, and has been named as one of Britain's fastest growing towns. As the...

 to the seaside resorts of Clacton-on-Sea
Clacton-on-Sea
Clacton-on-Sea is the largest town on the Tendring peninsula, in Essex, England and was founded in 1871. It is a seaside resort that attracted many tourists in the summer months between the 1950s and 1970s, but which like many other British sea-side resorts went into decline as a holiday...

 and Walton-on-the-Naze
Walton-on-the-Naze
Walton-on-the-Naze is a small town in Essex, England, on the North Sea coast in the Tendring district. It is north of Clacton and south of the port of Harwich. It abuts Frinton-on-Sea to the south, and is part of the parish of Frinton and Walton. It is a resort town, with a permanent population of...

 via the picturesque towns of Wivenhoe
Wivenhoe
Wivenhoe is a town in north eastern Essex, England, approximately south east of Colchester. Historically Wivenhoe village, on the banks of the River Colne, and Wivenhoe Cross, on the higher ground to the north, were two separate settlements but with considerable development in the 19th century the...

 and Great Bentley
Great Bentley
Great Bentley is a village and civil parish in the Tendring district of North East Essex, England, located midway between the towns of Colchester and Clacton-on-Sea. It is home to the largest village green in the country, at a size of and has won 'Village of the Year' several times...

. The Crouch Valley Line
Crouch Valley Line
The Crouch Valley Line is a branch line from Wickford to Southminster in Essex. It is usually called the Southminster Branch by users of the line, although that is no longer its official name...

, another branch line, links Wickford
Wickford
Wickford is a town in the south of the English county of Essex, with a population of more than 32,500. Located approximately 30 miles east of London, it falls within the District of Basildon along with Basildon, Billericay, Laindon and Pitsea....

 to a number of riverside communities via South Woodham Ferrers
South Woodham Ferrers
South Woodham Ferrers is a town and civil parish in the borough of Chelmsford, Essex, England. It is approximately from London and, according to the 2001 census, has a population of 16,629. The town is located east of Fenn Creek, and near where it meets the River Crouch...

 and Burnham-on-Crouch
Burnham-on-Crouch
Burnham-on-Crouch is a town in the Maldon district of Essex in the East of England. It lies on the north bank of the River Crouch.-History:Historically, it has benefited from its location on the coast - first as a ferry port, later as a fishing port known for its oyster beds, and most recently as a...

 to Southminster
Southminster
Southminster is a town on the Dengie peninsula in the Maldon district of Essex in the East of England. It lies about three miles north of Burnham-on-Crouch and ten miles south-east of Maldon. To the north is the River Blackwater, which is tidal and since Roman times has been the gateway to trading...

.

South Essex Rapid Transit
South Essex Rapid Transit
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-on-Sea in Essex, England. SERT buses would have priority at traffic lights and would also have dedicated lanes where possible...

 is a proposed public transport scheme which would provide a fast, reliable public transport service in, and between, Thurrock, Basildon and Southend.

Education

Education in Essex is substantially provided by three authorities being Essex County Council and the two unitary authorities, Southend-on-Sea
Southend-on-Sea
Southend-on-Sea is a unitary authority area, town, and seaside resort in Essex, England. The district has Borough status, and comprises the towns of Chalkwell, Eastwood, Leigh-on-Sea, North Shoebury, Prittlewell, Shoeburyness, Southchurch, Thorpe Bay, and Westcliff-on-Sea. The district is situated...

 and Thurrock
Thurrock
Thurrock is a unitary authority with borough status in the English ceremonial county of Essex. It is part of the London commuter belt and an area of regeneration within the Thames Gateway redevelopment zone. The local authority is Thurrock Council....

. In all there are some 90 state secondary schools provided by these authorities, the majority of which are comprehensive, although one in Uttlesford
Uttlesford
Uttlesford is a local government district in Essex, England. Its council is based in Saffron Walden.Its name is derived from the ancient Hundred of the same name....

, two in Chelmsford
Chelmsford
Chelmsford is the county town of Essex, England and the principal settlement of the borough of Chelmsford. It is located in the London commuter belt, approximately northeast of Charing Cross, London, and approximately the same distance from the once provincial Roman capital at Colchester...

, two in Colchester
Colchester
Colchester is an historic town and the largest settlement within the borough of Colchester in Essex, England.At the time of the census in 2001, it had a population of 104,390. However, the population is rapidly increasing, and has been named as one of Britain's fastest growing towns. As the...

 and four in Southend-on-Sea
Southend-on-Sea
Southend-on-Sea is a unitary authority area, town, and seaside resort in Essex, England. The district has Borough status, and comprises the towns of Chalkwell, Eastwood, Leigh-on-Sea, North Shoebury, Prittlewell, Shoeburyness, Southchurch, Thorpe Bay, and Westcliff-on-Sea. The district is situated...

 are selective. There are also various Independent Schools providing education in Essex.

The University of Essex
University of Essex
The University of Essex is a British campus university whose original and largest campus is near the town of Colchester, England. Established in 1963 and receiving its Royal Charter in 1965...

, which was established in 1963, is located just outside Colchester, with two further campuses in Loughton
Loughton
Loughton is a town and civil parish in the Epping Forest district of Essex. It is located between 11 and 13 miles north east of Charing Cross in London, south of the M25 and west of the M11 motorway and has boundaries with Chingford, Waltham Abbey, Theydon Bois, Chigwell and Buckhurst Hill...

 and Southend-on-Sea. University Campus Suffolk
University Campus Suffolk
University Campus Suffolk ' is an educational institution located in the county of Suffolk, United Kingdom that welcomed its first students in September 2007. Until then Suffolk was one of only three counties in England which did not have a University campus...

, with a main campus in Ipswich
Ipswich
Ipswich is a large town and a non-metropolitan district. It is the county town of Suffolk, England. Ipswich is located on the estuary of the River Orwell...

 and five centres in the counties of Norfolk
Norfolk
Norfolk is a low-lying county in the East of England. It has borders with Lincolnshire to the west, Cambridgeshire to the west and southwest and Suffolk to the south. Its northern and eastern boundaries are the North Sea coast and to the north-west the county is bordered by The Wash. The county...

 and Suffolk
Suffolk
Suffolk is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in East Anglia, England. It has borders with Norfolk to the north, Cambridgeshire to the west and Essex to the south. The North Sea lies to the east...

, is a joint venture between University of Essex and University of East Anglia
University of East Anglia
The University of East Anglia is a public research university based in Norwich, United Kingdom. It was established in 1963, and is a founder-member of the 1994 Group of research-intensive universities.-History:...

. Anglia Ruskin University
Anglia Ruskin University
Anglia Ruskin University is one of the largest universities in Eastern England, United Kingdom, with a total student population of around 30,000.-History:...

 was awarded university status in 1992 and has campuses in Chelmsford and Cambridge
Cambridge
The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about north of London. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the...

.

Culture

The County's coat of arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

 comprises three Saxon seax
Seax
Seax in Old English means knife or cutting tool. The name of the roofer's tool, the zax, is a development from this word...

 knives (although looking rather more like scimitar
Scimitar
A scimitar is a backsword or sabre with a curved blade, originating in Southwest Asia .The Arabic term saif translates to "sword" in general, but is normally taken to refer to the scimitar type of curved backsword in particular.The curved sword or "scimitar" was widespread throughout the Muslim...

s) 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.
The emblem was attributed to Anglo-Saxon Essex
Kingdom of Essex
The Kingdom of Essex or Kingdom of the East Saxons was one of the seven traditional kingdoms of the so-called Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy. It was founded in the 6th century and covered the territory later occupied by the counties of Essex, Hertfordshire, Middlesex and Kent. Kings of Essex were...

 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 evolved in the 12th century, well after the Norman conquest.
John Speed
John Speed
John Speed was an English historian and cartographer.-Life:He was born at Farndon, Cheshire, and went into his father's tailoring business where he worked until he was about 50...

 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".
Essex is also home to the Dunmow
Dunmow
Dunmow may refer to:*Great Dunmow, a town in the Uttlesford district of Essex, England*Little Dunmow, a village located about 3 miles outside the town of Great Dunmow...

 Flitch Trials, a traditional ceremony that takes place every four years and consists of a test of a married couple's devotion to one another. A common claim of the origin of the Dunmow Flitch dates back to 1104 and the Augustinian Priory of Little Dunmow, founded by Lady Juga Baynard. Lord of the Manor Reginald Fitzwalter and his wife dressed themselves as humble folk and begged blessing of the Prior a year and a day after marriage. The Prior, impressed by their devotion bestowed upon them a Flitch of Bacon. Upon revealing his true identity, Fitzwalter gave his land to the Priory on the condition a Flitch should be awarded to any couple who could claim they were similarly devoted.
By the 14th century, the Dunmow Flitch Trials appear to have achieved a significant reputation outside the local area. The author William Langland
William Langland
William Langland is the conjectured author of the 14th-century English dream-vision Piers Plowman.- Life :The attribution of Piers to Langland rests principally on the evidence of a manuscript held at Trinity College, Dublin...

, who lived on the Welsh borders, mentions it in his 1362 book The Vision of Piers Plowman in a manner that implies general knowledge of the custom among his readers.

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. The buildings range from the 7th century Saxon church of St Peter-on-the-Wall, to the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club
Royal Corinthian Yacht Club
The Royal Corinthian Yacht Club was founded at Erith, Kent in 1872. Over the years, it has operated from a number of locations but now exists with a northern and southern branch at Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex, and at Cowes, Isle of Wight respectively....

 which was the United Kingdom's entry in the "International Exhibition of Modern Architecture" held at the Museum of Modern Art
Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art is an art museum in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, on 53rd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. It has been important in developing and collecting modernist art, and is often identified as the most influential museum of modern art in the world...

 in New York City in 1932.

Places of interest

  • Abberton Reservoir
    Abberton Reservoir
    Abberton Reservoir is an artificial body of water located close to the coast of Essex in the east of England. It is 5 miles south-west of Colchester near the village of Layer de la Haye. Its geographical coordinates are ....

  • Arena Essex Raceway
    Arena Essex Raceway
    Arena Essex Raceway is a stock car and speedway racing track located near Purfleet, Essex. The Lakeside Shopping Centre was built alongside the venue.-The stadium:...

  • Ashingdon
    Ashingdon
    Ashingdon is a village and civil parish in Essex, England. It is located about north of Rochford and is southeast from the county town of Chelmsford...

     (The site of the Battle of Ashingdon
    Battle of Ashingdon
    The Battle of Assandun was fought on 18 October 1016. There is dispute over whether Assandun may actually be today's Ashdon, or the long supposed Ashingdon, in southeast Essex, England....

     in 1016)
  • Audley End 
  • Clacton-On-Sea
  • Colchester Castle
    Colchester Castle
    Colchester Castle in Colchester, Essex is an example of a largely complete Norman castle. It is a Grade I listed building.-Construction:At one and a half times the size of the Tower of London's White Tower, Colchester's keep is the largest ever built in Britain and the largest surviving example in...

     
  • Chelmsford Cathedral
    Chelmsford Cathedral
    Chelmsford Cathedral in the county town of Chelmsford, Essex, England is dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, St Peter and St Cedd. It became a cathedral when the Anglican Diocese of Chelmsford was created in 1914 and is the seat of the Bishop of Chelmsford....

     
  • Colchester Zoo
    Colchester Zoo
    Colchester Zoo is a zoo in Essex, England. The zoo had 547,495 visitors in 2003 and 464,684 in 2004. It features big cat and primate collections as well as many others.Colchester Zoo is supported by a charitable organisation called Action for the Wild...

     
  • Colne Valley Railway
    Colne Valley Railway
    The Colne Valley Railway is a heritage railway based at Castle Hedingham Station, near Halstead in Essex, England. The railway consists of a mile-long running line, with a fully reconstructed station, signal box and railway yard...

     
  • East Anglian Railway Museum
    East Anglian Railway Museum
    The East Anglian Railway Museum is located at Chappel and Wakes Colne railway station in Essex, which is situated on the former Great Eastern Railway branch line from Marks Tey to Sudbury...

     
  • Epping Forest
    Epping Forest
    Epping Forest is an area of ancient woodland in south-east England, straddling the border between north-east Greater London and Essex. It is a former royal forest, and is managed by the City of London Corporation....

  • Frinton-on-Sea
  • Great Bentley
    Great Bentley
    Great Bentley is a village and civil parish in the Tendring district of North East Essex, England, located midway between the towns of Colchester and Clacton-on-Sea. It is home to the largest village green in the country, at a size of and has won 'Village of the Year' several times...

      Home to the Largest Village green in England
  • Harlow New Town
    Harlow
    Harlow is a new town and local government district in Essex, England. It is located in the west of the county and on the border with Hertfordshire, on the Stort Valley, The town is near the M11 motorway and forms part of the London commuter belt.The district has a current population of 78,889...

  • Hedingham Castle
    Hedingham Castle
    Hedingham Castle in Essex, England, is a Norman motte and bailey castle with a stone keep. For four centuries it was the primary seat of the de Vere family, Earls of Oxford.-Description:...

     
  • Ingatestone Hall
    Ingatestone Hall
    Ingatestone Hall is a sixteenth century manor house in Essex, England. It was built by Sir William Petre, and his descendants live in the House to this day.Queen Elizabeth I of England spent several nights at the hall on her royal progress of 1561....

  • Kelvedon Hatch (Secret Nuclear Bunker)
  • Loughton
    Loughton
    Loughton is a town and civil parish in the Epping Forest district of Essex. It is located between 11 and 13 miles north east of Charing Cross in London, south of the M25 and west of the M11 motorway and has boundaries with Chingford, Waltham Abbey, Theydon Bois, Chigwell and Buckhurst Hill...

  • Maldon
    Maldon, Essex
    Maldon is a town on the Blackwater estuary in Essex, England. It is the seat of the Maldon district and starting point of the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation.Maldon is twinned with the Dutch town of Cuijk...

     Historic market town site of the Battle of Maldon
    Battle of Maldon
    The Battle of Maldon took place on 10 August 991 near Maldon beside the River Blackwater in Essex, England, during the reign of Aethelred the Unready. Earl Byrhtnoth and his thegns led the English against a Viking invasion. The battle ended in an Anglo-Saxon defeat...

  • Mangapps Railway Museum
    Mangapps Railway Museum
    The Mangapps Railway Museum is a heritage railway located near Burnham-on-Crouch in Essex. The stretch of standard gauge track and museum are owned and operated by the Jolly family assisted by a dedicated staff of volunteers...

      (Burnham-on-Crouch
    Burnham-on-Crouch
    Burnham-on-Crouch is a town in the Maldon district of Essex in the East of England. It lies on the north bank of the River Crouch.-History:Historically, it has benefited from its location on the coast - first as a ferry port, later as a fishing port known for its oyster beds, and most recently as a...

    )
  • Marsh Farm Country Park
  • Mersea Island
    Mersea Island
    Mersea Island is the most easterly inhabited island in the United Kingdom, located marginally off the coast of Essex, England, to the southeast of Colchester. It is situated in the estuary area of the Blackwater and Colne rivers and has an area of around...

  • Mistley towers
    Mistley Towers
    Mistley Towers are the twin towers of the now demolished Church of St. Mary the Virgin at Mistley in Essex. The original Georgian parish church on the site had been built in classical style early in the 18th century following the death of Richard Rigby Esquire...

  • Mountfitchet Castle 
  • North Weald Airfield
    North Weald Airfield
    North Weald Airfield is an operational airfield, near the village of North Weald Bassett in Epping Forest, Essex, England. It was an important fighter station during the Battle of Britain, when it was known as the RAF Station RAF North Weald. It is the home of North Weald Airfield Museum...

  • Orsett Hall
    Orsett Hall
    Orsett Hall was a 17th century grade 2 listed building in Orsett, Essex . It was set in of parkland and was the centre of the Orsett Hall agricultural estate. The house was destroyed by fire on 11 May 2007 and rebuilt in the same style and on the same footprint as the original building in 2009...

  • St Peter-on-the-Wall
    St Peter-on-the-Wall
    The Chapel of St Peter-on-the-Wall, Bradwell-on-Sea, Essex is a Grade I listed building and among the oldest largely intact Christian church buildings in England still in regular use, dating from the 7th century...

     
  • Saffron Walden
    Saffron Walden
    Saffron Walden is a medium-sized market town in the Uttlesford district of Essex, England. It is located north of Bishop's Stortford, south of Cambridge and approx north of London...

     
  • Southend Pier
    Southend Pier
    Southend Pier is a major landmark in Southend-on-Sea. Extending into the Thames Estuary, it is the longest pleasure pier in the world. Sir John Betjeman once said that "the Pier is Southend, Southend is the Pier". The pier is a Grade II listed building....

  • Thaxted
    Thaxted
    Thaxted is a town in the Uttlesford district of Essex, England, with about 2,500 inhabitants.-History:Thaxted appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Tachesteda, Old English for "place where thatch was got." Once a centre of cutlery manufacture, Thaxted went into decline with the rise of Sheffield...

  • University of Essex
    University of Essex
    The University of Essex is a British campus university whose original and largest campus is near the town of Colchester, England. Established in 1963 and receiving its Royal Charter in 1965...

     (Wivenhoe Park, Colchester)
  • Waltham Abbey
    Waltham Abbey (abbey)
    The Abbey Church of Waltham Abbey has been a place of worship since at least 1030, and is in the town of Waltham Abbey, Essex, England. The Prime Meridian passes through its grounds. Harold Godwinson is said to be buried just outside the present abbey...

     


Sister counties and regions

Jiangsu
Jiangsu
' is a province of the People's Republic of China, located along the east coast of the country. The name comes from jiang, short for the city of Jiangning , and su, for the city of Suzhou. The abbreviation for this province is "苏" , the second character of its name...

, China Picardy
Picardy
This article is about the historical French province. For other uses, see Picardy .Picardy is a historical province of France, in the north of France...

, France Thuringia
Thuringia
The Free State of Thuringia is a state of Germany, located in the central part of the country.It has an area of and 2.29 million inhabitants, making it the sixth smallest by area and the fifth smallest by population of Germany's sixteen states....

, Germany Henrico County
Henrico County, Virginia
Henrico is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia, a state of the United States. As of 2010, Henrico was home to 306,935 people. It is located in the Richmond-Petersburg region and is a portion of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area...

, Virginia Accra
Accra
Accra is the capital and largest city of Ghana, with an urban population of 1,658,937 according to the 2000 census. Accra is also the capital of the Greater Accra Region and of the Accra Metropolitan District, with which it is coterminous...

, Ghana

See also

  • The Earl of Essex
    Earl of Essex
    Earl of Essex is a title that has been held by several families and individuals. The earldom was first created in the 12th century for Geoffrey II de Mandeville . Upon the death of the third earl in 1189, the title became dormant or extinct...

  • Q Camp
    Q Camp
    The Q Camp was an experimental community set up in Essex, England towards the end of the Second World War. It was envisioned as a self governing community populated by disturbed or delinquent city children who were not suitable for inclusion in the evacuation programme due to their behavioural...

    : WWII camp in Essex
  • List of civil parishes in England
  • Lord Lieutenant of Essex
    Lord Lieutenant of Essex
    This is a list of people who have served as Lord Lieutenant of Essex. Since 1688, all the Lord Lieutenants have also been Custos Rotulorum of Essex.*John Petre, 1st Baron Petre*John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford 1558–?...

  • High Sheriff of Essex
    High Sheriff of Essex
    The High Sheriff of Essex was an ancient High Sheriff title originating in the time of the Angles, not long after the invasion of the Kingdom of England, which was in existence for around a thousand years...

  • MPs of Essex
    Essex (UK Parliament constituency)
    Essex was a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1290 until 1832. It elected two MPs, traditionally referred to as Knights of the Shire, to the House of Commons...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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