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Basildon Borough History

Basildon Borough History

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Basildon, Essex, England

Est. 2015

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Norsey Wood covers over 160 acres of land in Billericay and is a short walk from the High Street.  It contains one of the largest concentrations of bluebells in Europe.

 

I entered the wood from Deerbank Road, though there are several entrances off of Norsey Road, Outwood Common Road and Break Egg Hill, amongst others.  The information centre is on Norsey Drive, an unmade track that passes through the wood.  From here I collected a route guide having walked for some time before finding the centre.

 

The walk was well worth it and the guide added to the rest of my time there. 

 

Within a few minutes of entering the wood the bluebells were the most notable aspect of the area, and this was only a small hint at what was to come.

The pathways are worn tracks; some were tough in places but not impassable.  There were several dog walkers and people with young children but some of the paths are not buggy friendly.

Tumulus

The Bronze Age burial mound

From the main paths there are lots of little walkways going in to the trees.  These are well worth exploring.

 

I spent just over 2 hours walking around but you’d need several more to fully explore everything the wood has to show.  You’ll also need food and drink as well as sturdy footwear.

In 1994 a chance find revealed a stone age axehead in the wood.  It's not sure whereabouts it was found.  It was just the latest in a number of prehistoric finds in the area.

 

A late Iron Age glass bead was discovered in the wood during 1887. 

 

The woodland was saved from redevelopment in the 1970’s when the council bought it.  Redevelopment had already seen a Bronze Age burial mound, or Tumulus, cleared.  One more survives to this day though it was excavated in 1865 revealing urns containing cremated remains. 

During World War 1 practice trenches were dug in the wood.  These were visible when I walked past them though the area appeared to have been recently cleared.

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