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GRAYS THURROCK, WEST THURROCK AND LITTLE THURROCK, WITH STIFFORD, CHADWELL AND PURFLEET

Pigot's Essex 1832-3 Trade Directory

WEST THURROCK AND LITTLE THURROCK, WITH STIFFORD, CHADWELL AND PURFLEET

GRAY'S THURROCK, once a market town, is in the hundred of Chafford, 21 miles east of London; situated on the north bank of the Thames, opposite to Dartford; and consisting chiefly of a single street, irregularly built, extending along a small creek from the river, which is navigable for lighters and other small craft. It derives its name from having been the property of the noble family of Gray, for upwards of three centuries. It had formerly a good market for corn, but that of Romford has been the means of bringing it to decay. The making of bricks is carried on here extensively, and are forwarded to London in barges kept solely for that purpose. On an eminence, about a mile from the town, is 'Bellmont Castle', the beautiful seat of Richard Webb, Esq. The church, dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, is a small neat building. Here is a free-school for the education of the poorer class of children. Fairs are held on May 23rd and October 20th, for cattle, &c. The population of the parish, according to the census of 1831, was 1,248 being an increase of 571 inhabitants in the preceding thirty years.

The village of WEST THURROCK is a short distance from the Thames, about two miles from Gray's, and contains nothing remarkable. The church is very ancient, with a tower and three bells. West Thurrock parish, which includes Purfleet, contained, by the late census, 804 inhabitants; the number of its population having decreased 19 in the last 30 years.

LITTLE THURROCK is situated about a mile from Gray's. The inhabitants are principally employed in the making of bricks. The church is a plain building. Contiguous to this place and the village of Chadwell are some curious and ancient excavations, formed in the chalk, - some of which, it is said, lead to Cavefield, at East Tilbury. The population of this parish, in 1831, was 302.

STIFFORD is a small village, about two miles from Gray's Thurrock. The number of inhabitants in the parish is 274.

CHADWELL is a village, about two miles and a half from Gray's Thurrock, and consists of a few houses scattered throughout the parish. The number of inhabitants is only 180.

PURFLEET is a hamlet to West Thurrock, on the north bank of the Thames; eight miles from Romford, four from Gray's Thurrock, and sixteen from London. It is situated on a gently acclivity, commanding a bold, romantic and interesting view over the county of Kent. Business in lime is carried on here to a very considerable extent, and bestows employment on the majority of the labouring population. William Henry Whitbread, Esq., is the sole proprietor. One of the largest powder magazines in the kingdom is established here, the superintendence of which is confided to Chas. Wilkes, Esq. with assistants. In this hamlet is a neat chapel of ease to the parish of West Thurrock.

POST OFFICE, GRAY'S THURROCK, Ann Smith, Post Mistress. - Letters from ROMFORD arrive every morning at half-past nine, and are despatched every afternoon at four.

COACHES, To LONDON, the Perseverance (from Horndon-on-the-Hill, calls at the King's Arms, every Monday and Friday morning at a quarter-past seven; goes through Rainham and Barking.

To HORNDON-ON-THE-HILL, the Perseverance (from London), calls at the King's Arms, every Monday & Friday evening at half-past six.

VAN To LONDON, James Baker's Van, every Sunday and Thursday morning; goes through Purfleet and Barking.

CONVEYANCE BY WATER To LONDON, Steam Packets pass, in the summer season, every one or two hours, and, in winter, twice every day - also Barges, occasionally, from the wharf.

Transcribed by CG

WHITE'S DIRECTORY OF ESSEX 1848

STIFFORD is a healthy and pleasant village, in a finely undulated and richly wooded country, on the south side of the Purfleet, or Marditch brook, 2 miles N. of the Thames, 3 miles W. of Orsett, and 19 miles E. of London. Its parish contains about 350 inhabitants, and 1547 acres of land. It had its name from a ford which crossed the brook near the present bridge, and the farm called Ford Place, which was the seat of the late Rev. Dr. Hogarth. Another farm, called Flethall, or Clays, is a mile N.E. of the church. Stifford Lodge is the pleasant seat of J. B. Freman, Esq., but R. B. Wingfield is lord of the manor, and he and Wm. Wingfield, Esq., are owners of nearly all the parish. The Embroiderers' Company were formerly lords of the manor and owners of the advowson. The Church (Virgin Mary,) is an ancient structure of flint and stone, with a tower containing three bells, and crowned by a single spire. It has a nave, south aisle, chancel, and south chapel, and on the floor are several ancient brasses. The rectory, valued in K.B. at £15, and in 1831 at £507, is the patronage of R. B. Wingfield, Esq., and incumbency of the Rev. Wm. Palin, M.A., who has a good residence, and 26A. of glebe. The tithes were commuted, in 1836, for £450 per annum. The poor parishioners have a yearly rent-charge of 20S., out of Cat's mead, left by John Durninge, in 1631. The parish School was built at the cost of £200, in 1840, by R. B. Wingfield, Esq., and is chiefly supported by him.

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales...., by John Marius Wilson. circa 1866

GRAYS-THURROCK, or GRAYS, a small town and a parish in Orsett district, Essex. The town stands on the Thames, and on the London and Southend railway, between Fiddler's Reach and Northfleet Hope, 3 miles WNW of Tilbury Fort, and 10 SE of Romford; consists chiefly of one street,  irregularly built, extending along a small creek; contains many new houses; was given, in 1194, by Richard I. to Henry de Grey; is a seat of petty sessions; and has a station on the railway, a post-office of the name of  Grays, under Romford, London E, and a pier 400 feet long. A weekly market is held on Thursday; fairs are held on 23 May and 20 Oct.; and a large trade is carried on in the export of bricks to London. The parish comprises 1,374 acres of land, and 260 of water. Real property, £6,889. Pop., in 1851, 1,713; in 1861, 2,209. Houses, 400. The increase of pop. arose from the influence of the railway, and from the establishment of a chemical manufactuary. The property is not much divided. Belmont Castle, about a mile from the town, the seat of R. Webb, Esq., is a modern Gothic edifice, and stands on an eminence, amid fine grounds. A whale, 58 feet long, came ashore at the parish in Oct. 1849. Brick-making, and chalk-lime-burning are largely carried on. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Rochester. Value, £250. Patron, James Theobald, Esq. The church is cruciform and good; and has a tower, with a recent low spire. There are a national school, a free grammar-school, and some charities.

Transcribed by Noel Clark

 

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