There are a number of interesting facts about the county that you might not know. Do you know other interesting facts about Essex? Why not email us and we will share them.
Essex is home to Britain’s oldest recorded town, Colchester. It was the first capital the Romans established in Britain
- Greensted Church is the oldest wooden church in the world. It was built in 1081 AD.
- Great Dunmow is home to the oldest recorded competition in Britain still running today, the Flitch Trials. Mentioned in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and believed to have begun in the 13th century, the Trials aimed to find a married couple who had not quarrelled or repented their marriage during the preceding year and a day. A mock court of locals would test the veracity of stories of marital bliss, with a flitch of bacon the prize for success. It takes place every four years like the Olympics. This year’s date is the 9 July.
- The oldest timber-framed barn in the world is at Cressing Temple near Braintree. The huge Barley Barn was built by the Knights Templar.
- National Trust’s Northey Island is where the battle of Maldon took place in 991, making it the oldest battlefield in Britain.
- The James Stevens No.14 was the second RNLI lifeboat at Walton-on-the-Naze. She has been restored and is now the oldest surviving motor lifeboat in the world.
Essex’s smallest, largest, longest, tallest and more…
- Manningtree is Britain’s smallest town…whilst Tiptree is the UK’s largest village.
- Colchester Castle is the largest Norman Castle Keep in Europe.
- Saffron Walden is home to the world’s largest turf maze. It’s believed to be over 800 years old.
- The largest village green in England is at Great Bentley. It covers an area of roughly 43 acres.
- National Trust’s Danbury Common, near Chelmsford, has the largest population of Adder snakes in Britain.
- The 350 mile long Essex Discovery Coast is the longest coastline of any English county.
- Southend Pier, at 1.33 miles long, is the longest pleasure pier in the world.
- Built during the reign of Henry VIII, Layer Marney Tower is the tallest Tudor Gatehouse in Britain.
- The county has 35 islands, more islands than any other English county.
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