Friday, 29 October 2010
It is a small town but as it is only 25 mins train journey to London, it has a population of 40,000. And it is pretty town with small shops and lots of restaurants and pavement cafes. Just the place and sit and see friends passing by, who stop for a chat.
A bit of the history...........
Some of the earliest records of human occupation of Billericay are the burial mounds in Norsey Wood: evidence of occupation in the Bronze and Iron Ages. Evidence of Roman occupation has been found at a number of locations in the town and there may have been a small cavalry fort at Blunts Wall.
The Saxons did not settle in the centre of Billericay. They established themselves two miles south, at Great Burstead. In the late 10th century it was known as 'Burhstede'. Billericay was not mentioned in the Domesday Book, as it lay within Great Burstead. At this time the parish church for Billericay was at Great Burstead. In 1291 the name 'Byllyrica' is first recorded. This is believed to be from a medieval Latin word, bellerīca, meaning 'dyehouse or tanhouse'.
In the 13th and 14th centuries some pilgrims to Canterbury journeyed via Billericay. Some of them may have spent the night in Billericay before crossing the River Thames at Tilbury. This may account for the large number of inns in the town.
Billericay's most notable historical episode was on the 28th June 1381, when King Richard II's soldiers defeated Essex rebels at Norsey Wood. About 500 rebels were killed in the battle, which ended the Peasants' Revolt.
The Wycliffe preachers influenced the town. Four local people (Thomas Watts, Joan Hornes, Elizabeth Thackwell, and Margaret Ellis) were burnt at the stake. Two other residents (Joan Potter and James Harris) were tortured for their faith during the reign of Queen Mary
A meeting of the Pilgrim Fathers prior to their sailing in the Mayflower is said to have taken place in Billericay, and many local names and much historical imagery reflect this: Mayflower House, Morris Men, Taxis, School, Hall. Sunnymede School's houses were called Mayflower, Pilgrim, Chantry and Martin (after Christopher Martin, a Billericay merchant who travelled on the Mayflower as Ship's Governor).
Four people from Billericay were on board, including Christopher Martin. He and his wife Marie, along with Solomon Prowe and John Langemore, perished shortly after their arrival at Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
The unfortunate fate of the would-be pioneers did not deter other inhabitants of Billericay from setting sail for the New World. The town of Billerica, Massachusetts was established in 1655 to commemorate the origins of some of the first settlers
And this is where we're off to today... for ten whole days, Yeh!!!!
ps I am struggling to finish my ABC by Sunday to keep to my pledge of finishing one UFO each month...before I can start anything new.... trouble is I am crocheting a scarf for my friend's birthday!! Its all Hazel's fault for showing her crochet blanket!!