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Tilbury

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Essex  /  Tilbury
(4.1/5 based on 200+ reviews for 2 attractions)
Things to do: parks, historic sites
Tilbury is a town in the borough of Thurrock, Essex, England. It was established in the late nineteenth century, on land that was mainly part of Chadwell St Mary. It contains a 16th-century fort and an ancient cross-river ferry. Tilbury has a major deep-water port which contributes to the local economy.EtymologyThe name of the present town of Tilbury is derived from the nearby settlements of East and West Tilbury. The name of these settlements is derived from the Saxon burgh, "fortified place", either belonging to Tila, or perhaps at a lowland place. The 8th century spelling was "Tilaburg", and the spelling in Domesday was "Tilberia".HistoryTilbury's history is closely connected with its geographical location . Its counterpart on the south bank of the River Thames, Gravesend, has long been an important communications link, and it was there that a cross-river ferry was connected, mainly due to the narrowness of the river at this point. In addition, Gravesend and Northfleet both became vitally important to shipping on the Thames: the former as the first port of call for foreign shipping bound for London, and the latter as a naval dockyard.There is archaeological evidence of Roman occupation. At the time, sea-levels had dropped, making the marshes habitable. There may well have been a Roman settlement on the site of what is now Tilbury Docks. In the 12th century the river, which had hitherto consisted of difficult channels with uncharted shoals, was changed by the process of embanking the river and enclosing areas of marsh. This improved the river's flow, and also resulted in improved land resources on the marsh. It was nevertheless an unhealthy place in which to live; Daniel Defoe, who, in 1696, operated a tile and brick factory in the Tilbury marshes and lived in a nearby house, wrote about "the Essex ague".
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