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Leigh-on Sea

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Essex  /  Southend-on-Sea  /  Leigh-on Sea
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Things to do: parks, wildlife areas, spas
Leigh-on-Sea, also referred to as Leigh, is a civil parish, in Essex, England. A district of Southend-on-Sea, with its own town council, it is currently the only civil parish within the borough.LocationLeigh-on-Sea is situated on the northern side of the estuary of the river Thames, only a few miles from the open waters of the North Sea to the east, and a similar distance from the Kent coast to the south. The coastal environs of the town feature a nature reserve at Two Tree Island and a centrally located beach. At low tide, Leigh's forshore becomes characterised by a wide expanse of mud flats and creeks, extending out towards the deep water channel of the Thames, (Yantlet Channel).Leigh-on-Sea is served by Leigh-on-Sea station on the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway. The town is accessible by bus with regular, daily services between Southend-on-Sea, Benfleet, Canvey Island, Basildon, Rayleigh and Chelmsford. Scheduled flights to and from national and European destinations are operated out of the nearby London-Southend airport.HistoryOriginsFrom at least the Saxon period, a hilltop clearing amidst the woodland that covered much of the surrounding areas of Essex gave rise to human settlement and then came to be known as Leigh (alternatively given as 'Ley', 'Lee', or 'Lea', where shown on archaic maps). The place was of only very minor economic importance at the time of the Norman Conquest; a cursory reference to it is given in the Domesday Book survey of 1086, noted as Legra. This is a Norman-French literation of an Old English word meaning meadow or clearing, also a place-name element found in the nearby towns and villages of Hadleigh, Rayleigh, Hockley, and Thundersley. Although it was only a marginal community of homesteads at that time, the fact that five fishermen were recorded allows present-day Leigh to claim nearly a thousand years of activity as a centre of the fishing industry.
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