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West Tilbury

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"TILBURY (WEST), a parish in the hundred of BARSTABLE, county of ESSEX, 3¾ miles (E.) from Grays-. Thurrock, containing 249 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, in the archdeaconry of Essex, and diocese of London, rated in the king's books at £20, and in the patronage of the Crown. The church is dedicated to St. James. The parish is bounded on the south by the Thames, and lies directly opposite to Gravesend, with which town and the interior of Kent there is a constant traffic, by means of the ferry-boats stationed here for the conveyance of foot passengers, cattle, carriages, and merchandise. In a chalk hill near the village are several caverns, termed Danes' Holes, curiously constructed of stone, being narrow at the entrance, and very spacious at the depth of thirty feet. A medicinal spring was discovered in 1737, which is beneficial in haemorrhages, scurvy, diabetes, and some other complaints. Tilbury Fort, partly in this parish, and partly in that of Chadwell adjoining, was originally a blockhouse, built in the reign of Henry VIII.; but after the memorable attack of the Dutch fleet, in 1667, upon the English shipping in the Medway, it was converted. into a regular fortification, to which considerable additions have since been made. It is encompassed by a deep wide fosse, and its ramparts present several formidable batteries of heavy ordnance, particularly towards the river. It contains comfortable barracks, and other accommodations for the garrison, which at present consists of a fort-major and a detachment of invalids. Some traces of the camp formed in the neighbourhood, to oppose the invasion of the Spanish Armada, during the reign of Elizabeth, are still visible. According to Bede, Tilbury, or Tillaburgh, was the seat of Bishop Cedda, when, about 630, he was engaged in baptizing the East Saxons." [From Samuel Lewis A Topographical Dictionary of England (1831) - copyright Mel Lockie 2016]



  • Census returns are available from the usual sources for 1841-1911, which includes most copies held at the ERO, Wharf Rd, Chelmsford. More information on other ways to view these census returns on the Essex

Description and Travel

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Historical Geography

  • West Tilbury was a member of the Barstable Hundred

You can see the administrative areas in which West Tilbury has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

  • West Tilbury was a member of the Orsett Poor Law Union