Basildon Borough History
Basildon Borough History
Basildon Borough History
Basildon, Essex, England
Welcome to Basildon Borough History. This site was created in April 2015 to look in to, and share, the history of Basildon Borough.
The history of Basildon tells a fascinating tale and through us creating this site I hope we can remind people of all that is great and good about where we live. We should always be proud of our roots - its what makes us who we are, shaped our past and moulds our future.
To navigate through the site hover the cursor over the area name at the top until the drop down menu appears. Then click on the page you would like to view.
Have you ever wondered what was where you live before you were around? Well hopefully we can give you that information and introduce you to some hidden gems that have been right under your nose. Read about the beginnings of Basildon, the creation of one of the first post war 'new towns' in the country and the ever-developing town we find all around us.
For many Basildon, the New Town, was nothing until 4 January 1949 but a quick look online shows otherwise.
We hope to not only show how Basildon has changed since 1949 but give some sort of idea about what was here before the New Town was founded.
Most of the areas that make up the Borough are listed in the Domesday Book, a record of the land and property of the country recorded by 1086, as requested by William the Conquerer.
Any contributions anyone would like to make would be great. All photos and any stories relating to the history of the Borough will be gratefully received and all submissions will be credited.
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The Borough of Basildon is made up of several towns and villages. The town of Basildon was just a hamlet not all that long ago. It was centred around Holy Cross Church and Botelers Moat House until it gave it's name to the New Town.
Today Basildon is made up several estates such as Fryerns, which was named after the farm which once stood opposite the current site of Fryerns Baptist Church. It is believed that this was the first farm to have been compulsory purchased for the building of the New Town.
Basildon Town Centre is home to the Mother and Child fountain which is Grade II listed, as is Brooke House and several structures in East Square. The nearby train station was opened in the 1970's and links the town centre with Southend and London Fenchurch Street.
Basildon Hospital stands near Dry Street on land that was once farmed from Fobbing Farm. The farmhouse is now used by St Luke's Hospice. This area also contains the Grade II listed Five Bells Public House.
Billericay shares its border with Brentwood and Chelmsford. The High Street is home to over 20 listed buildings. Norsey Wood, a short walk from the High Street, was the site of the end of the Peasants Revolt.
Billericay Town Football Club is the oldest senior club in the borough, having been established in 1880. In 1976 the club travelled to Wembley and lifted the F.A. Vase for the first time. They would win it again the following season, and for a third time in 1979.
Bowers Gifford shares its parish with North Benfleet and a border with Benfleet. Bowers Gifford Rectory was built in the 1790's and still stands on Church Road. Further along the same road is Bowers Gifford Hall and then St. Margaret's Church. The church sits at the bottom of a steep hill and next to a trainline.
Dunton is a hamlet on the west of the borough and is home to Ford's Dunton Technical Centre, which stands on the former site of Southfields Farm.
The town of Laindon has the other Grade I listed building; St Nicholas Church, which as looked over the area 1300's. Synth band Depeche Mode formed in Laindon before going on to Worldwide fame.
Langdon Hills is to the south of Laindon and shares it southern border with Thurrock. Within Langdon Hill is the village of Great Berry. The nature reserve along Staneway was once home to Nore View, said to have been built as a pavilion for a racecourse.
Lee Chapel, which is part of Laindon, The chapel that gave it's name to the area no longer exists but is thought to have stood near a site where The Knares meets with Staneway.
There are several listed structures around the War Memorial in Little Burstead. The parish church, St. Mary The Virgin sits in a hill on Rectory Road and overlooks Dunton.
A lot of the homes, as well as the parish church of Nevendon are hidden behind a large Sainsbury's shop next to the A127. The Grade II listed Nevendon Hall also sits in this area. Nevendon shares a border with Wickford and gives its name to Nevendon Bushes on the Felmores Estate.
The village of North Benfleet is considered to be part of Wickford. All Saints Church sits atop a North Benfleet Hall Road, next to the site that was occupied by the hall. The old pub and school house still stand in the area.
The town of Pitsea is made up of Burnt Mills, Chalvedon, Eversley, Felmores and Pitsea Mount. Burnt Mills and Felmores are named after farms whilst Chalvedon is named after the Grade II listed Great Chalvedon Hall. It was one of the areas that made up the New Town.
Ramsden Bellhouse is a village that sits between Billericay and Wickford, with Ramsden Heath to its north. At the centre of the village is the Grade II listed Church of St. Mary The Virgin with Ramsden Bellhouse Hall next door.
Ramsden Crays sits next to the A127 between Noak Bridge and Nevendon and contains the parish of Crays Hill. St. Mary’s Church, in the centre of the parish, is now a private residence.
Shotgate Village is part of Wickford and has a boundary with Rawreth.
The market town of Wickford shares a border with Runwell, which is considered to be part of Wickford but is within the boundaries of Chelmsford with Battlesbridge and Rettendon.