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Orsett

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Orsett is a village and ecclesiastical parish located within Thurrock unitary district in Essex, England, situated around 5 km north-east of Grays.HistoryIt has historically been a primarily agricultural community situated at the southern edge of the old ice age flood plain traversed by the river Mardyke.Orsett contains a ring and bailey earthwork known locally as Bishop Bonner's palace. On the gravel terrace, there is a neolithic causewayed enclosure discovered as a result of crop marks which showed on aerial photographs taken by Dr St Joseph of Cambridge University. It has three concentric ditches with a number of breaks or causeways. The enclosure was used as a burial ground by the Saxons and contained at least three barrows visible on the aerial photo.Orsett Heath in the south of the parish was formerly part of an extensive area of heathland that included Terrel's Heath.GeographyThe centre of Orsett is aligned on an east-west axis along the High Road on which is the parish church of St Giles and All Saints along with the animal pound and lock-up opposite Rowley Road. Its former workhouse on Rowley Road was developed into a large modern hospital in the 1960s but has, since the 1980s, been reduced in size once again. Most of the former shops in the High Road, including the Post Office opposite the Church and the blacksmith's in Rowley Road have closed to be replaced by just one convenience store which contains a sub post office.
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