South Benfleet

South Benfleet
High Rd Benfleet - geograph.org.uk - 98722.jpg
(c) Glyn Baker, CC BY-SA 2.0

High Road, Benfleet
South Benfleet is located in Essex
Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right, CC BY-SA 3.0
South Benfleet
South Benfleet
Location within Essex
OS grid referenceTQ782860
District
Shire county
Region
CountryEngland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBENFLEET
Postcode districtSS7
Dialling code01268
PoliceEssex
FireEssex
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
  • Castle Point

South Benfleet is a town and former civil parish, now in the unparished area of Benfleet, in the Castle Point district of Essex, England, 30 miles east of London. It is adjacent to the village of North Benfleet. The Benfleet SS7 post town includes South Benfleet, Thundersley, New Thundersley and Hadleigh. The Battle of Benfleet took place here between the Vikings and Saxons in 894.[2] In 1951 the parish had a population of 8191.[3]

The community is directly north of Canvey Island and is served by Benfleet railway station. It hosts South Benfleet Primary School, which was used temporarily to house local residents during the widespread flooding of 1953.

At the junction of Saint Mary’s Church and The Anchor pub is the site of the UK’s first "overrunable" mini roundabout.[4]

History

In Roman times the reclaimed area which is now Canvey Island was joined to the mainland by a road providing access from Benfleet at low tides to Camulodunum (Colchester) and Londinium (London). The A130 road from Sadlers Farm roundabout to Canvey Island follows the route of the original Roman road. Its construction in 1971 brought to light a number of artifacts dating back to the early settlements in the area.

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 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 railway was brought to the town in 1855. The new 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.

Battle of Benfleet

Battle of Benfleet
Part of the Viking invasions of England
Date894 AD
Location
South Benfleet, England
ResultAnglo-Saxon victory
Belligerents
Anglo-SaxonsDanish Vikings
Commanders and leaders
King Alfred
Edward the Elder
Earl Aethelred of Mercia
Unknown
Casualties and losses
UnknownUnknown

The Battle of Benfleet took place between the Saxons and Danish Vikings 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 is the most recent church building occupying this site and is a Grade I listed building.[5]

In December 2008 a sculpture commemorating the battle was erected in Ferry Road, South Benfleet.[6]

Geography

Local towns

Governance

Since the abolition of the Benfleet Urban District and the parish of South Benfleet[8] on 1 April 1974 as a result of 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 the 2010 general election, the Member of Parliament representing the parliamentary constituency of Castle Point is Rebecca Harris of the Conservative Party. South Benfleet elects 1 seat to Essex County Council. As of 2009, the seat is held by Colin Riley of the Conservative Party.[9] Within Castle Point Borough Council, South Benfleet is represented by nine councillors elected from the wards of Appleton, St. Mary, and Boyce.

Transport

Benfleet railway station 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.

Notable people

  • Ron Martin – Southend United Chairman
  • Ashley George Old the war artist is buried there
  • Nicola Willis - Olympic gymnast[10]

Landmarks

Saint Mary's Parish Church

The Church of England in Benfleet is served by the Church of St Mary the Virgin. 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 is also a range of restaurants in the South Benfleet conservation area.

Benfleet Water Tower (TQ 790 867) is a brick built structure built in 1903, which is 30m high with a 22m mast sited on the roof. All radio equipment is housed within the tower. Being on a prominent hilltop, some 137m amsl, this is an exceptional radio transmission and reception site. Coverage includes the whole estuary, including the Isle of Grain, Medway Towns, Southend, Bradwell, Danbury etc. This site provides both Highband and Lowband CBS systems.

Sport

Benfleet FC are members of the Essex Olympian Football League. The First Team play in Senior Division 1 and Seconds in the Reserve Division 2. There is also a third team who compete in the Mid-Essex Division 3. The club play their home fixtures at Woodside Park Extension at the top of Manor Road. Fixtures are organised on a Saturday afternoon, with some mid-week fixtures towards the end of the season.

Benfleet is the home to Sceptre League Division 1 Sunday team Benfleet FC, who finished 8th in 2010/2011 season.

Benfleet FC (Sunday) managed to win the Mike Wigget Cup in 2009/2010 season, beating Shoebury Boys 4-2 in the final at Burroughs Park, Great Wakering.

Benfleet Vikings RFC are the town's local rugby club, formed in 2013, with Senior, Youth, and Minis sides. The senior side currently compete in the Shepherd Neame Essex Merit League 6 East and play their home fixtures on Saturdays at Richmond Park, off of Brook Road.

Benfleet is also home to South Benfleet United F.C., a football club formed in 1978 for youth football but is now a mens and veterans (over 35's) club. Their mens team currently play in the Sceptre League and their veterans teams are in the Premier Division and Division 3 of the Southend Borough Combination Veterans League.

Benfleet Cricket Club (established 1948) currently play their home matches at Woodside Park at the top of Manor Road. Members of the Hambro Financial Cricket League (formerly Shepherd Neame Essex League), they currently field 5 adult teams on a Saturday, 2 adult teams on a Sunday, and teams at u9, u11, u13 and u15 age groups in competitions organised by the South Essex Cricket Participation Group.

Images

See also

  • North Benfleet

References

  1. ^ Map of South Benfleet manor (and later parish)
  2. ^ Holland, Julian (2007). Exploring the Islands of England and ... - Google Books. ISBN 9780711227439. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  3. ^ "Population statistics South Benfleet AP/CP through time". A Vision of Britain through Time. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  4. ^ Lawrence Goldman (7 March 2013). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2005-2008. OUP Oxford. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-19-967154-0.
  5. ^ "CHURCH OF ST MARY THE VIRGIN, Non Civil Parish - 1123690 | Historic England". historicengland.org.uk. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  6. ^ "Battle memorial's stylish fence". Echo. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  7. ^ http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/23765
  8. ^ "Rochford Registration District". UKBMD. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  9. ^ Essex County Council Election Results Archived 2009-06-07 at the Wayback Machine. Essex County Council. Retrieved 2009-06-05.
  10. ^ "Gymnastics: Nicola's the UK number one". Daily Gazette. 1 November 2001. Retrieved 4 February 2019.

External links

Media related to South Benfleet at Wikimedia Commons

Media files used on this page

Essex UK location map.svg
Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right, CC BY-SA 3.0

Map of Essex, UK with the following information shown:

  • Administrative borders
  • Coastline, lakes and rivers
  • Roads and railways
  • Urban areas

Equirectangular map projection on WGS 84 datum, with N/S stretched 160%

Geographic limits:

  • West: 0.06W
  • East: 1.32E
  • North: 52.11N
  • South: 51.42N
Flag of Essex.svg
Flag of Essex
High Rd Benfleet - geograph.org.uk - 98722.jpg
(c) Glyn Baker, CC BY-SA 2.0
High Rd Benfleet. This parade of shops is on the B1006 High Rd Benfleet
Bluebellswood.jpg
(c) Dabbishaw at English Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0
Author David Abbishaw Bluebells in Shipwrights Woods
BenfleetClock.jpg
(c) Dabbishaw at English Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0
Author David Abbishaw Clock - Magnet Roundabout
MonumentBenfleetcrop.jpg
Photograph of the War Monument, South Benfleet, Essex, United Kingdom
StMary'sChurchBenfleet SouthEast.JPG
Photograph of St Mary's Church, Benfleet from the south-west