West Tilbury

West Tilbury

infobox UK place
country = England
official_name= West Tilbury
latitude= 51.48
longitude= 0.39
unitary_england= Thurrock
lieutenancy_england= Essex
region= East of England

constituency_westminster= Thurrock
post_town= GRAYS
os_grid_reference= TQ665785

West Tilbury is a village situated on the top of a river terrace overlooking the river Thames. The original part of the village, around the old church of St. James, has been a site of human habitation for many hundreds if not thousands of years. Further inland a settlement was formed in 1257 when a 'fair green' was laid out for use as a market. West Tilbury is also a parish in the unitary authority of Thurrock, Essex, England.

Part of Tilbury Fort is in West Tilbury. The modern town of Tilbury is mainly in the traditional parish of Chadwell St Mary.

Queen Elizabeth I reviewed her troops here in 1588, delivering her Speech to the Troops at Tilbury "(Many have mistakenly assumed that the Tilbury mentioned as the site of the speech refers to the town around the docks about a mile and a half to the south west. This is not the case as Tilbury town was not built until the docks were constructed in the late 1800s on what was open marshland.)" It is believed that the main Spanish attack was expected in Essex, but ships were used to construct a bridge allowing troops to cross the river and prevent the attacking Spanish army from capturing London if it landed in Kent.

West Tilbury is one of seven conservation areas in Thurrock [ [http://www.thurrock.gov.uk/planning/environment/content.php?page=conservation_consult Thurrock Council | Natural & Historic Environment | Conservation Areas In Th ] ] .

In the eighteenth century, water from West Tilbury was bottled and sold for its medicinal properties. [ [http://www.thurrock.gov.uk/heritage/content.php?page=factfiles_details&id=48 Thurrock Council | Thurrock Heritage | Heritage Factfile Details ] ]

Parish Church

Bede's "History of the English Church" talks of a minster church established by St Cedd at "Tilaburg". A case has been made that this was West Tilbury [ David R Mott "The Medieval Religious Houses of Essex", Vol 2, page 38 ] , however, majority opinion favours East Tilbury. [ A Saunders "Chapel-Hospital-Blockhouse?", Panorama, The Journal of the Thurrock Local History Society, Volume 13, 1970 ] The West Tilbury parish church was dedicated to St James. Most of the windows appear to be 14th century [ Nikolaus Pevsner, "The Buildings of England, Essex" (Penguin, 2nd edition reprinted 1996)] . It is now a private dwelling [Andrew Barham, "Lost Parish Churches of Essex;; (Ian Henry Publications, 2000)] . William Laud, later Archbishop of Canterbury, was appointed rector of West Tilbury in 1609.


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