Basildon Borough History
Basildon Borough History
Basildon, Essex, England
Basildon Borough Timeline
Middle Stone Age (8000-6000BC)
A stone age axehead was found in Norsey Wood during 1994. The axehead was handed in to the police and later identified.
Neolithic Age (4000-2000BC)
In 2009 the remains of Neolithic houses were found in Nevendon, in the land next to the A127 flyover. It is also thought that the site was home to a religious monument.
Flint skinning knives were found in Norsey Wood, Billericay during the 1950’s. A hand-held axe was found during the 1900’s.
Bronze Age (2500-700BC)
Excavations in Norsey Wood, Billericay during 1865 found cremation remains in the last remaining Tumulus. One other Tumulus was later flattened and a garage built on it.
Iron Age (800BC-100AD)
During the Iron Age the Essex area was home to the Trinovantes tribe, who had their capital in Colchester. Evidence has been found in Wickford showing the area was inhabited during this period, most likely by the Trinovantes.
During 1887 a late Iron Age bead was found in Norsey Wood, Billericay.
During building work in Billericay, in the area where Roman Way is now situated, some Roman burials were found.
Evidence of a fortified area has been found in Blunts Wall (right) and other Roman artefacts, pottery and coins amongst them, have been found in the town.
Beauchamps School, in Wickford, now occupies the area of a Roman camp and then a villa.
‘Burghstede’ is recorded, meaning ‘stronghold’.
‘Wicford’ is mentioned in a Saxon charter. Saxon charters typically documented who lands were granted to, or privileges given to.
After the Norman Conquest King William The Conquer wanted to know what the land of England and Wales was used for, who was living on it and working it so it could be determined what taxes could be raised. The completed documents were known as ‘The Book of Winchester’, but now better known as The Domesday Book.
The Domesday Book lists areas in the modern-day borough:
Berdestestapla (Barstable Hall)
Bura (Bowers Gifford)
Burghesteda (Great and Little Burstead)
Langenduna (Langdon Hills)
Lea (Lee Chapel)
Winthelle (Cray’s Hill)
12th Century (1101-1200)
It was during the 12th Century that St. Mary The Virgin’s Church in Little Burstead and All Saint’s Church in Vange were built.
St. Mary Magdelene’s Church in Great Burstead also dates from the 1100’s.
13th Century (1201-1300)
St. Peter’s Church in Nevendon was built in the 1200’s.
Billericay was first recorded as ‘Byllyrica’.
14th Century (1301-1400)
The Nave of Holy Cross Church was built during the 14th Century. A chapel was built in Billericay High Street, on the site of the current church.
St. Michael’s Church is built in Bowers Gifford and St. Nicholas’ Church is built on the site of a Norman Church.
Residents of Billericay became involved in the Peasant’s Revolt. Some of those involved fortified Norsey Wood with Earthworks but were killed by the King’s soldiers.
16th Century (1501-1600)
In the early 1500’s the tower of Holy Cross Church was built and Great Chalvedon Hall is built in Pitsea.
Numbers 57 to 61 High Street, Billericay are built. This is reported to be the home of Christopher Martin.
Agnes Bryant of Great Burstead is accused of witchcraft and found guilty of bewitching 20 ‘brewinges of beere’.
‘Southwoode Green’ is shown on a map of the area.
Ramsden Bellhouse Hall was built during the late 1500’s.
17th Century (1601-1700)
During the 1600’s the wooden bell cote is added to St Peter’s Church in Nevendon and the current Pitsea Hall is constructed. St. Michael’s Church is built on Pitsea Mount, probably on the site of a previous church.
The government employed Dutchmen to set up walls to stop Vange from flooding.
The Mayflower set sail for the New World, with several Billericay residents.
The town of Wickford in Rhode Island is settled.
The town of Billerica in Massachusetts, named after Billericay, is settled.
24 May - Mary Hurst, a spinster of Nevendon, was accused of bewitching William Hodge. She was found guilty, 'convicted of felony by witchcraft' and remanded in gaol until 'she shallbe delivered by due course of lawe'.
18th Century (1701-1800)
During the early 1700’s Ivy Cottage on Southend Road, Wickford was built.
The Five Bells Public House was constructed during the 18th Century and The Chapel in Billericay High Street was reconstructed.
Doves Farmhouse was built along Pound Lane in Laindon. And Guinea Pig Hall is built on Runwell Road in Wickford.
The Lighthouse was built on Lee Chapel Lane during the mid-1700’s.
The Five Bells was named in the Alehouse List and The Chequers opens in Billericay High Street.
During the late 1700’s a milestone, that still exists today, is installed on Southend Road, Wickford.
The Rectory in Bowers Gifford is built.
19th Century (1801-1900)
During the early years of the 19th Century The White Hart Public House was built in Billericay. In recent years it has been converted in to a Turkish restaurant.
Priest and educationalist Nathaniel Woodward was born in Barstable Hall on 21 March 1811.
Nevendon Hall is built.
Pitsea railway station was opened on 1 July.
It was during the 1870’s that St. Catherine’s Church was rebuilt in Wickford.
St. Mary’s Church in Ramsden Crays was rebuilt.
Billericay Cricket Club was formed.
St. Mary and All Saint’s Church was built in Langdon Hills.
Great Burstead Board School opened on 13 February.
Billericay Football Club was formed, they would add ‘Town’ to the clubs name after the Second World War.
The Reading Rooms were opened in Billericay High Street.
Wickford Cricket Club was formed and won their first match against East Hanningfield on 30 May.
A new railway station was built at Pitsea next to the original station on 1 June.
Billericay and Wickford railway stations were opened for goods on 19 November. Laindon railway station also opened during 1888.
Billericay and Wickford railway stations became passenger stations on 1 January.
Nore View was built in Langdon Hills. It has been suggested that Nore View was to be a pavilion for a race course in Laindon.
Little Burstead School was built. The building still stands.
Queen Victoria celebrated the 60th year of her reign. To mark the occasion a clock was added to the tower of St. Mary Magdelen’s Church in Billericay.
20th Century (1901-2000)
The Mission Hall was built on London Road, Wickford.
The tower was built on All Saint’s Church in North Benfleet.
Albert and Emma Watson were murdered in Honeypot Lane on 23 August.
St. Michael’s Church in Bowers Gifford was renovated.
A German Zeppelin is shot down over Great Burstead on the night of 24 September.
Between June and September The Southend Arterial Road (A127) opens in stages.
Billericay Windmill was blown down and Pitsea War Memorial was erected and unveiled on 18 September 1928.
It was during the 1930’s that Plotland homes start being built in Dunton.
The Railway Hotel, Broadway Cinema, Tudor Chambers and Anne Boleyn Mansions were built in Pitsea. Joan Sims is born in Laindon on 9 May 1930.
Pitsea railway station is renamed ‘Pitsea for Vange’ station on 18 July.
Craylands County Secondary School opened.
The Billericay School is opened.
The Courts and Police Station were built in Billericay, the same year Nore View, in Langdon Hills, was destroyed by fire.
During the 1940’s Great Gubbins Manor House in Laindon was demolished.
RAF Pilot William Hodgson crash landed his damaged Hawker Hurricane in fields near Shotgate during May.
Basildon Town Football Club and Bowers United Football Club were formed.
Basildon was officially designated as a New Town on 4 January.
The New Town’s first house was built.
Pitsea for Vange railway station becomes Pitsea station once again in December.
Bob Downs, professional cyclist, is born in Basildon on 24 July. Basildon Rugby Club was formed in the same year.
It was during 1956 that Billericay and Wickford railway stations were electrified with the rest of the London to Southend line. Fryerns School became the first school to open in the New Town.
The ‘Man Aspires’ sculpture, by AJ Poole, was unveiled on the wall of Freedom House in Basildon town centre.
Distance runner Eamonn Martin was born in Basildon on 9 October. Basildon Bus Station was opened, Wickford was flooded in September after heavy rains. The Mother and Child sculpture and pool is put in place, and Billericay Rugby Club was formed.
Singer and song writer Alison Moyet was born in Billericay on 18 June.
Barstable Grammar and Technical School opens on 1 March. Brook House, named after Henry Brooke MP then minister for Housing and Local Government was opened in 1962. It was also in 1962 that Basildon Rectory was pulled down to make way for the Tractor Plant.
Graham Bonney, born in Basildon on 2 June 1943, releases his solo single 'Super Girl' which reaches number 19 in the UK and number 1 in Germany.
Billericay railway station was no longer used for goods from 15 June.
Basildon Cricket Club was formed, moving in to Mopsies Park which is still the clubs home. Craylands County Secondary School and Fryerns School merge to become Fryerns Comprehensive in 1968, the same year that Barstable Grammar and Technical School merges with Timberlog Secondary Modern School.
Pitsea War Memorial is moved from the town centre and in to Howard’s Park. The Evening Echo opened offices in Basildon during 1969.
Pitsea Young Person’s Club was formed, soon changing their name to Pitsea Football Club.
Basildon Hospital opens its doors to patients.
Basildon railway Station was opened.
Snooker champion Stuart Bingham is born in Basildon on 21 May. Wickford War Memorial is moved from the nurse’s home and in to the Memorial Park.
Basildon Council bought Great Chalvedon Hall in Pitsea during 1977, converting it in to a pub in 1979.
The first stage of Eastgate Shopping Centre was opened, with SavaCentre being the first shop to open its doors. Depeche Mode formed in 1980, playing their first gig that May at Nicholas Comprehensive School.
Having left Depeche Mode Vince Clark formed Yazoo with Alison Moyet. Bob Downs wins a cycling Gold Medal at the Commonwealth Games.
St. Michael’s Church on Pitsea Mount becomes redundant.
Wat Tyler Country Park is opened on 14 April.
The completed Eastgate Shopping Centre, the largest indoor shopping centre in Europe at the time, is opened by Prince Edward. The current roofing over Basildon Bus Station is added.
Felmores Farmhouse is demolished.
The Arts Centre, then known as the Towngate Theatre, is closed.
The Grade II listed Rectory and a barn in Nevendon are demolished.
Eamonn Martin won the London Marathon on 8 April.
Fryerns Comprehensive School becomes Fryerns Community School. All Saint’s Church in Vange holds its last service.
All Saint’s Church, North Benfleet holds its last service.
Basildon and Pitsea Cricket clubs merge.
Laindon School and Nicholas Comprehensive merge and form James Hornsby High School.
Queen Elizabeth II visits Basildon and officially opens the St. Martin’s Bell Tower. Fryerns Community School is closed down.
Casey Stoney, Basildon-born footballer, makes her England debut as a sub against France in August.
21st Century (2001- )
SavaCentre, in Eastgate, is sold to Asda.
Chalvedon School becomes Basildon Academy Upper, with Barstable School becoming Basildon Academy Lower.
Basildon becomes a Borough. The ‘Basildon’ sign, mimicking the famous Hollywood sign, is erected next to the A127.
The new Wickford and Runwell War Memorial is installed.
Casey Stoney captains the Great Britain Women's Football Team at the London Olympics.
All Saint’s Church in North Benfleet is taken over by the Orthodox Church and is begins holding weekly services again.
Great Berry is declared a village by Essex County Council.
Casey Stoney makes her 130th, and final, appearance for England.
Basildon-born vlogger and singer/songwriter Emma Blackery releases her first album, 'Villians' on 31 August.