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10 amazing Essex Facts to blow your mind!
Soak up some of the very best trivia on Essex
A 350 mile long coastline!
The Essex coastline is over 350 miles long – that’s as big as the distance from London to Germany, and further than London to Paris, to imagine the scale! The Essex Coastline is only the second longest of any English county, but it takes the top spot for having the largest number of islands – 35.
Borley Rectory is the ‘most haunted house in England’
Not named the ‘most haunted house in England’ for nothing, Borley Rectory has had reports of floating nuns and headless figures throughout the grounds for over 200 years, and been a hotspot for séances and ghost walks even after its demolishment in 1944 (following a mysterious fire in 1939). A popular spot for ghost hunters and thrill seekers, Borley Rectory has certainly earnt its status as the most haunted place in England.
Famous faces of Essex
Some famous people who come from Essex include:
- Rupert Grint (Ronald Weasley!)
- Maggie Smith
- Jamie Oliver (seen above creating the "Ultimate Mac & Cheese")
- Russell Brand
- Olly Murs
- Chiwetel Ejiofor
- Presumably most of the cast of "The Only Way is Essex"
- Mrs Hinch
And that’s to name but a few!
Five US presidents came from Essex
Rumour has it that five of the past US presidents owe their legacies to the county of Essex: claims have been made that the “Mayflower” which famously made the transatlantic voyage to North America, had a crew that hailed mostly from Essex, as well as the Captain and the actual ship being constructed there!
Colchester is Britain’s oldest town
Dating back to the Roman times, it’s no big secret that Colchester is Britain’s oldest recorded town. Colchester was so developed that they had their own Mint – meaning many ancient coins were made in Colchester, and the Colchester Mint even helped the Royal Mint in London produce all the Roman coins made for Britain!
Longest pier in the world
Building first started in 1829, and today Southend Pier is the longest pleasure pier in the world measuring in at a huge 1.34 miles long. The pier is so big it’s home to its own train track, along with cafes, shops, rides, mini golf and more!
Manningtree is Britains smallest town
Across Essex there are some of the largest towns in the UK as well as the very smallest….. Manningtree is the smallest town in Britain, home to only 200 people! At the opposite end of the spectrum is the village of Tiptree which has a population in excess of 9,000, making it the largest village in Britain. You might need to google the difference between a "town" and a "village" - I know I did.
Home to the Flitch Trials
The oldest recorded competition in Britain, the “Great Dunmow Flitch Trials” are one of the more bizarre historic events to come out of Essex. Happening every 4 years and dating back to 1104, married couples compete to prove their devotion to each other - and the winners are awarded a flitch of bacon (that’s half of a pig that has been cut in half lengthwise, but then you already knew that).
One of the only growing seaside resorts in the UK
With many of Britain’s seaside resorts having struggled since the 1970’s, Southend on Sea has defied this trend and actually managed to grow in recent years. With great train links into London it’s a popular place with commuters, as well as many holidaying families, with great activities for the kids like Adventure Island and Sea Life Adventure to name just a couple.
14,000 listed buildings
There are an impressive 14,000 listed buildings and around 1000 of them are Grade I or II, dotted all throughout Essex. The town wall of Colchester spans 1.5 miles and is the oldest of its kind – just a short way away from the Roman remains of the enormous Temple of Claudius which can still be seen under the castle.
Essex is an incredibly popular destination, full of amazing things to discover. It is a land of wonderful contrasts, the bright lights of resorts like Clacton, to the tranquil coastline around Maldon.
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