Inside the hall
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Old West Tilbury
Village Records
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653 A.D. – The first written reference to “Tillaburg” in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.  Bishop Cedd founds a monastery near the Thames edge.

1066 – The manor belongs to Aelfric the Saxon, a priest.  There are 60 sheep.

1086 – Swein of Essex owns the manor, his tenants in chief are two Frenchmen, Osbern and Ralf. There are 260 sheep, 31 cattle, 12 goats and 9 pigs.

c. 1200 – The church is founded on its present site at “LittleTiliburi”

1257 – Richard de Tilbury is granted a Wednesday market at West Tilbury by the King.

1323 – Cranes Farm, referred to in a grant as “Snarrieslond”, comes in to the possession of a lady called Grecia Senaries.

1327 – Fourteen named West Tilbury persons are taxed to raise money for French wars.

1441 – Nicholas Condorowe holds the manor of Condovers at Low Street.

c. 1450 to 1480 – Marshall’s, Condovers, West Tilbury Hall and Well House farm houses built.

1540 – Henry VIII orders building of blockhouse fort and new marsh roads (Fort Road and Cooper Shaw Road)

1584 – John Walker maps the manor house grounds and fields.

1588 – Queen Elizabeth visits the Armada Camp at Gun Hill.  Soldiers break stools and damage walls in St.James’s Church.

1609 to 1616 – William Laud holds Rectory of the parish.  He later becomes Archbishop of Canterbury.  Executed by orders of Parliament in 1645.

1652 – Susan Haveringe accused of witchcraft; alleged she bewitched to death 3 bay colts of Robert Smith.

c. 1660 – Sir Richard Hatton builds Bluehouse (Manor Farm) by the Green.

1676 – William Nevison, a highwayman (the “Real” Dick Turpin) rides through West Tilbury on his gallop to York.

1695 – Village gets postal service, delivered 3 days per week from the “George” at Grays.

1712 – St. James’s church collapses.  Rebuilt c. 1713 by Rev. William Philps.

1718 – Sir John Cass makes will, leaving Hoford Farm rents to pay for schooling and clothing of poor children at Aldgate (now the CassFoundation)

1724 – John Kellaway, lord of the manor, sinks a well which soon becomes famous as a medicinal water spring.

1736 – Great Tide. Marshes flooded as far inland as Low Street.

1752 – West Tilbury fair on the Green declared an "event of lewdness and debauchery".  The East India ship “Tilbury” sails for Bombay – named after the village and owned by Thomas Hunt of West Tilbury Hall.

1793 – Turnpike Act establishes the first toll gates on Fort Road Common and Muckingford Road.

1798 – Rev. Sir Adam Gordon Bart. Buys the “Old King's Head” pub and turns it in to a rectory house.

1801 – First census. Population 201.

1811 – Samuel Turner appeals for a penny post delivery to the village.  Postmaster General approves.  Population 117.

1837 – The Low Street workhouse closes and paupers areremoved to Orsett.

1848 The “King’s Head” operates as first village post office under Edward Travis, wheelwright.

1849 – Seabrooke’s brewery buys the “Blue Anchor” beershop.

1854 – Low Street station opens on the Eastern Counties Railway.  Single line only.  Population 259.

1872 – James Burness acquires the West Tilbury estate. Population 372.

1876 – West Tilbury school opens. Enlarged 1894.

1879 to 1880 – St. James’s Church rebuilt and dedicated April 1880.

1883 – Tower added to church.

1891 – Over 100 gipsies encamped on West Tilbury commons.  Population 439.

1895 – All commons registered and regulated by Act of Parliament.

1905 – Smock mill demolished at Mill House.  Joseph James last miller in village.

1914 to 1918 – Nine parishoners killed on active service.

1924 – Memorial hall opened. Population 418.

1931 – Most of the Burness estate sold to Allen Charles Cole.

1939 – The smith’s forge demolished.

1939 to 1946 – Four parishoners killed on active service.

1953 – Great tide. Gun Hill used as a searchlight base for illuminating work on breaches at Marsh Farm.

1960 – School closes. Last headmistress Miss Grover.

1969 – Low Street Station closes.  An early Saxon settlement is discovered on Gun Hill.

1977 – West Tilbury becomes part of a new ecclesiastical parish with East Tilbury and Linford.

1985 – Historical photographs of West Tilbury village and its rectors hung on permanent display in Memorial Hall.  Roman potters kiln found. 

With acknowledgements to Thurrock Museums Service.