Rochford is a town and civil parish in the Rochford District in Essex, England, 3 miles (4.8 km) north of Southend-on-Sea, 43 miles (69 km) from London and 21 miles (34 km) from Chelmsford. At the 2011 census, the civil parish had a population of 8,471.[1]

Town Square, Rochford
Rochford is located in Essex
Location within Essex
Population8,471 (2011 census)[1]
OS grid referenceTQ876904
Civil parish
  • Rochford
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townRochford
Postcode districtSS4
Dialling code01702
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°34′55″N 0°42′23″E / 51.582071°N 0.706515°E / 51.582071; 0.706515

History edit

The town is the main settlement in the Rochford district, and takes its name from Rochefort, Old English for "Ford of the Hunting Dogs".[2] The town runs into suburban developments in the parishes of Ashingdon and Hawkwell. Kings Hill, in Rochford, was notable for containing the Lawless Court up until the 19th century.[3]

Peculiar People edit

In 1837 James Banyard (14 November 1800 – 1863)[4] (a reformed drunk and Wesleyan preacher) and William Bridges (1802–1874) took a lease on the old workhouse at Rochford, which became the first chapel of the Peculiar People, a name taken from Deuteronomy 14:2 and 1 Peter 2:9. The Peculiar People practised a lively form of worship bound by the literal interpretation of the King James Bible, banning both frivolity and medicine. During the two World Wars some were conscientious objectors, believing that war is contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ. The Peculiar People are nowadays known as the Union of Evangelical Churches,[5]

First World War edit

Nearby Southend Airport started life as a grass fighter station in World War I.[6] The site was founded in the autumn of 1914 when farmland between Westbarrow Hall and the Great Eastern Railway line at Warners Bridge 2+12 miles (4 km) north of Southend Pier was acquired for RFC training purposes. Training continued until May 1915 when the site, known also as Eastwood, was taken over by the RNAS to become a Station (night) in the fight against intruding Zeppelins.[7][8]

Second World War edit

Southend Airport was opened on the site on 18 September 1935. As World War II approached it was requisitioned by the Air Ministry in August 1939[9] for use as a fighter airfield by No.11 Group RAF. RAF Rochford was a satellite station for RAF Hornchurch and was primarily a fighter base, home mainly to Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane aircraft. Rochford airfield was accompanied by a radar base in Canewdon (around 4 miles (6.4 km) away). RAF Rochford was bombed a number of times during the war.[10]

It was returned to civilian service on 31 December 1946.[11]

Geography edit

Aerial photo over Rochford. The old hospital boilerhouse can be seen.

The town is just to the north of Southend-on-Sea, and is separated from both Southend and Rayleigh.

Governance edit

The Member of Parliament for Rochford and Southend East is James Duddridge (Conservative). An electoral ward in the same name exists. At the 2011 Census this ward had a population of 7,695.[12] The Area of Rochford District (inc. Rayleigh, Hockley, Hawkwell) is also represented in Parliament and the Member of Parliament for Rayleigh and Wickford is Mark Gino Francois (Conservative).

Landmarks edit

Rochford Hall, Rochford

Rochford Hall is privately owned by Rochford Hundred Golf Club.[13] The Corn Exchange, now home to the local branch of the Women's Institute, was completed in 1866.[14]

Leisure edit

Clements Hall Leisure Centre is managed by Fusion Lifestyle, for Rochford District Council.[15]

The Roach Valley Way is a 23-mile (37 km) circular path centred on Rochford and the River Crouch and River Roach estuaries.[16]

Sport edit

Rochford Hundred Rugby Club was formed in 1962 and as of 2019 play in London & South East Premier—level 5 of the English rugby union system.[17]

Rochford Town Football Club are a non-league side who play in the second division of the Essex Olympian Football League.

Rankin's Cricket Club was established in 1881 and play in the T Rippon Mid Essex League.

Transport edit

Trains run from Rochford railway station eastbound to Southend Victoria and westbound to Liverpool Street station in the business district of central London. Southend Airport railway station, which is sited on the eastern boundary of the airport, opened on 18 July 2011.[18]

Rochford has bus links to the surrounding towns; routes 7, 8 and 9 travel to Rayleigh and Southend-on-Sea.

There are over twenty scheduled flight destinations within Europe available from London Southend Airport.

Media edit

Local TV coverage is provided by BBC East and ITV Anglia. Television signals are received from the Sudbury TV transmitter and the local relay TV transmitter.[19] [20] BBC London and ITV London can also be received from the Crystal Palace TV transmitter. [21]

Local radio stations are BBC Essex on 95.3 FM, Heart East on 97.5 FM and Radio Essex on 105.1 FM.

The town is served by the local newspaper, Southend Echo.[22]

Rochford Hospital edit

Rochford Hospital used to be primarily the district maternity hospital. It was here, in 1956, that Sister J Ward made observations that led to the development of phototherapy for newborns suffering from jaundice.[23] Much of the site was redeveloped and turned over to housing use once the decision was made to transfer the majority of services to Southend Hospital in 1990, with only the Acute Adult Inpatient Service remaining on part of the former site.

Churches edit

St Andrew's Parish Church edit

St Andrew's Church, Rochford

The ancient Church of England parish church is St Andrew's Church, Rochford, close to Rochford Hall, and is part of Rochford Deanery,[24] within the Bradwell Area[25] of the Diocese of Chelmsford.[26] It is thought to have originated in Anglo-Saxon times,[27] but the current church building dates from the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. It is a Grade II* listed building.[28]

Free churches edit

Rochford Congregational Church has been part of the local community since 1750. The Congregational Church also established the first Dissenting School in the area; When others were afraid of educating the children of the lower classes because they might prove a danger to the state, the church ensured that ordinary people had "a plain and useful education." [29]

Rochford Methodist Church, near the White Horse Public House. The Methodists have been in Rochford since 1822, originally meeting in a building where Market Alley turns into the Square. In 1841 they moved to a new building in North Street near Weir Pond Road, and in 1880 they moved to their current premises.[30]

Rochford Community Church was founded in 1987 and meets at The Freight House near the railway station.[31]

Catholic church edit

There is a Roman Catholic church in Ashington Road, Rochford, dedicated to St Teresa of the child Jesus. It was founded in 1953; the present church building opened in 1977.[32]

Notable people edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Civil parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  2. ^ Rippon, Stephen (2022). Territoriality and the Early Medieval Landscape The Countryside of the East Saxon Kingdom. Boydell Press. p. 71. ISBN 978-1783276806.
  3. ^ Kenny, Courtney (1905). "The Lawless Court of Essex". Columbia Law Review. 5 (7). Columbia Law School: 529–536. doi:10.2307/1109762. ISSN 0010-1958. JSTOR 1109762.
  4. ^ "A Very Peculiar Preacher - James Banyard".
  5. ^ "Barrack Lane - The Peculiar People". Rochford Town Team. Retrieved 18 February 2023.
  6. ^ "London Southend Airport - Home".
  7. ^ "Southend airport's roots in war". Echo. 10 April 2008. Archived from the original on 28 October 2018. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Pastscape - Detailed Result: London Southend Airport". Archived from the original on 21 June 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  9. ^ "UK Cold".
  10. ^ "Air Raids on Southend". Southend Timeline. Retrieved 24 July 2023.
  11. ^ History
  12. ^ "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  13. ^ "Name:Rochford Hundred Golf Club Official Website".
  14. ^ Historic England. "Womens Institute Hall (formerly the Corn Exchange) (1168355)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 24 July 2023.
  15. ^ "Clements Hall Leisure Centre". Retrieved 29 December 2010.
  16. ^ "Roach Valley Way". Retrieved 1 March 2024.
  17. ^ "Information Rochford Hundred Rugby Club". Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  18. ^ "London Southend Airport opens station and control tower". BBC News. 18 July 2011.
  19. ^ "Full Freeview on the Sudbury (Suffolk, England) transmitter". UK Free TV. 1 May 2004. Retrieved 6 November 2023.
  20. ^ "Freeview Light on the Rouncefall (new) (Essex, England) transmitter". UK Free TV. 1 May 2004. Retrieved 6 November 2023.
  21. ^ "Full Freeview on the Crystal Palace (Greater London, England) transmitter". UK Free TV. 1 May 2004. Retrieved 6 November 2023.
  22. ^ "Southend Standard". British Papers. 25 December 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2023.
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Rochford Deanery - Home".
  25. ^ "Bradwell Area - Diocese of Chelmsford, the Church of England in Essex and East London". Archived from the original on 16 May 2008. Retrieved 3 June 2008.
  26. ^ "Diocese of Chelmsford".
  27. ^ "History of Rochford - Origins of Rochford". Rochford Town Team. Retrieved 30 August 2023.
  28. ^ Historic England. "CHURCH OF ST ANDREW, HALL ROAD (1112585)". Research records (formerly PastScape). Retrieved 30 August 2023.
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 May 2017. Retrieved 16 July 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  30. ^ "Rochford Methodist Church".
  31. ^ "Rochford Community Church".
  32. ^ "St Teresa of the Child Jesus Catholic Church". 22 March 2022. Retrieved 30 August 2023.
  33. ^ Tremayne, David (21 November 2014). "Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2014: Lewis Hamilton strikes key blow in battle of small margins". Retrieved 22 November 2014.

External links edit

  • Rochford Historic Town Project Assessment Report [1]