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Archaeology of South Essex

The Archaeology of South Essex, UK

These pages, prepared by Essex County Council Heritage Conservation are part of a project called "The Finest Prospect in all England" funded by English Heritage with a grant from the Aggregates Sustainability Levy Fund.

The project aims to enhance public understanding and appreciation of the outstanding archaeology of south Essex, knowledge of which has been developed largely as a result of archaeological collection and recording during more than one hundred years of widespread and intensive mineral extraction in south Essex. In this case south Essex is loosely defined as the area south of the Crouch estuary and a line roughly from Battlesbridge and Walthamstow. This area includes the whole of the Thames Gateway South Essex Partnership TGSEP). As part of the wider Thames Gateway initiative TGSEP seeks to foster regeneration and development of south Essex in a manner sympathetic to the area natural and historic environment.

  • Palaeolithic and Mesolithic
    Find out how the sands and gravels in quarries can tell us about the earliest humans to live in Essex.
  • Neolithic
    Find out about the period when farming was first introduced into Britain. See some of the first pottery to be made in this country.
  • The Bronze Age
    Find out about the fields and farms that filled the landscape 3,000 years ago, when bronze casting flourished in south Essex.
  • The Iron Age
    Find out about the period when coinage was first introduced into Britain. Have a look at one of the largest defended Iron Age settlements in England.
  • The Romans
    Find out about the period when Essex was part of the Roman Empire and how the Romans defended their province from Saxon raiders from across the North Sea.
  • The Saxons
    Find out about the people that gave Essex its name and about their conversion to Christianity.
  • Mediaeval Essex
    Find out about the Norman castles and where the largest nunnery in England was. Have a look at a carved unicorn's head from Thurrock.
  • Post-Mediaeval to the Present Day
    Find out about a house that was 270 feet long and how was brought amazing new buildings to the south of Essex.