South Benfleet

South Benfleet

infobox UK place
country = England
region= East of England
shire_county= Essex
shire_district= Castle Point
official_name= South Benfleet
latitude= 51.5455
longitude= 0.5686
os_grid_reference= TQ782860

South Benfleet is a town in the Castle Point district of Essex, 30 miles east of London. The Benfleet post town includes South Benfleet, Thundersley and Hadleigh. It is located north of Canvey Island and is served by Benfleet railway station. It is home to the South Benfleet Primary School, which was used temporarily to house local residents during the widespread flooding of 1953.



The name of the town originates from the time of the Saxon settlers in the 5th Century, when the area was largely marshland. They named the area "Beamfleote", meaning "tree stream", being the area where the creeks from the River Thames adjoined the wooded area to the north.

The current spelling was adopted at the time the railway service was brought to the area and a railway station built for the town. Throughout the intervening period various documented versions of the names has been 'Benfleota', 'Beamflet', 'Bemflet', 'Bienflet' and 'Bemfleet'. The last was used on John Norden's maps in the 17th Century.


In Roman times the reclaimed area which is now Canvey Island was joined to the interior of Britannia by the empire's ubiquitous road system. This provided access from Benfleet to Camulodunum (Colchester) and Londinium (London). The A130 road from Saddler's Farm roundabout to Canvey Island follows the route of the original Roman road. Its construction in 1971 brought to light a number of artefacts dating back to the early settlements in the area.

axon and Viking

In Saxon times the village became known as South Benfleet when a new settlement, which became known as Little Benfleet, developed to the north of the original settlement. The new settlement did not last, and its site, which has since become known as North Benfleet, is now largely rural.

The Battle of Benfleet took place between the Vikings and Saxons in 894. This was towards the end of the Saxon period, and the Thames and other waterways made the area vulnerable to Viking attacks. Benfleet was used as a Viking base. However the Vikings were defeated in the battle by the army of King Alfred under the command of his son Edward the Elder and his son-in-law Earl Aethelred of Mercia. Subsequently a church was built by the Saxons in thanksgiving for the victory over the Vikings. St Mary's church is the most recent church building occupying this site.


The railway was brought to the town in 1855. The new South Benfleet railway station connected the town with Southend-on-Sea to the east and London Fenchurch Street station.

In July 2002 Castle Point District Council named a 6-mile cycle way, from near Benfleet railway station to near Leigh-on-Sea railway station, the "de Neumann Way" after Captain Peter de Neumann, GM.


Local towns

*Canvey Island


Since the abolition of the Benfleet Urban District in the Local Government Act 1972, South Benfleet, along with Canvey Island, Hadleigh, and Thundersley has formed the parliamentary constituency and local government district and borough of Castle Point. As of 2008, the Member of Parliament representing Castle Point is Bob Spink of the United Kingdom Independence Party. South Benfleet is represented within Castle Point Borough Council by nine councillors from the wards of Appleton, St. Mary, and Boyce.


Benfleet is served by the London, Tilbury and Southend railway line, currently run by c2c rail. By road the A13 and A12/A127/A130 connect the town to London.


The Church of England in Benfleet is served by the parish church of Saint Mary. The public houses located in the Monument and St Mary's area of the town include "The Anchor", "The Hoy and Helmet" and the "Half Crown". Further north is the "Benfleet Tavern". There are also a range of restaurants in the South Benfleet conservation area.


South Benfleet is the home of Sceptre League Division 1 side Benfleet FC.

It is also host to a number of youth teams and has done over the years

ee also

* North Benfleet


*Norman M. Chisman, D.P.A., "Bygone Benfleet", Phillimore, 1991

External links

* [ Benfleet Cricket Club]
* [ St Mary's Church]
* [ Sceptre League]

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