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Wivenhoe

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Wivenhoe is a town and civil parish in north eastern Essex, England, approximately 3mi south east of Colchester. Historically Wivenhoe village, on the banks of the River Colne, and Wivenhoe Cross, on the higher ground to the north, were two separate settlements but with considerable development in the 19th century the two have merged.At the 2001 census, the town had a population of over 7,221. The town's history centres on fishing, ship building, and smuggling.Much of lower Wivenhoe is also a designated conservation area, with many streets being of particular architectural interest.EtymologyThe place-name Wivenhoe is Saxon in origin, deriving from the personal name Wifa's or Wife's spur or promontory (hoe). The place-name is now usually pronounced 'Wivvenho', but the Essex accent would traditionally have rendered it as 'Wivvenhoo'. The town's parish church, St. Mary the Virgin, is of Saxon origin though the present building is largely Victorian. According to folk etymology, the name derived from "Wyvernhoe", originating from the mythical beast called a wyvern and the previously mentioned ridge (hoe). The town's football team, Wivenhoe Town FC, is nicknamed 'The Wyverns'.HistoryWivenhoe is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Wiivnhou when it formed part of the land of Robert Gernon, where there was a mill, 12acre of meadow and pasture for 60 sheep. Wivenhoe developed as a port and until the late 19th century was effectively a port for Colchester, as large ships were unable to navigate any further up the River Colne, which widens here into its estuary. Wivenhoe had two prosperous shipyards. It became an important port for trade for Colchester and developed shipbuilding, commerce and fishing industries. The period of greatest prosperity for the town came with the arrival of the railway in 1863.
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