To celebrate King Charles III Coronation we have searched the archives and found some royally good places along the c2c route.
Did you know Southend was once a spa town for princesses, Barking hosted William the Conqueror, and Kings were crowned in Grays? From Saxon Kings to modern day monarchs, there’s a whole host of history in South Essex.
- Just a short walk from Fenchurch Street Station is the Tower of London. Built during the reign of William the Conqueror and currently owned by King Charles III. The Tower of London has seen many members of the royal family and some are rumoured to be still seen walking the corridors. With your train ticket you can get 2FOR1 entry to the Tower and visit the Crown Jewels.
- William the Conqueror stayed at Barking Abbey in December 1066 whilst he built the Tower of London.
- The Royal Gunpowder Magazines were built in Purfleet in 1759 to store gunpowder for the army and navy. Magazine 5 now houses the Purfleet Heritage and Military Centre.
- Upminster Hall was given to Thomas Cromwell by Henry VIII and is now the clubhouse for Upminster golf club.
- It is rumoured that the coronation of the Anglo Saxon King, Sæberht 604-616 AD, took place around Lodge Lane in Grays.
- Tilbury Fort was first built by Henry VIII to protect London against France and also played an important role in the Napoleonic and World War I. Now owned by English Heritage the fort is seen as one of the finest examples of a 17th Century bastion.
- Elizabeth I gave her famous ‘Speech to the Troops’ to forces assembled at Tilbury to prepare them for the invasion of the Spanish Armada in August 1588.
- St Martin’s Bell Tower in Basildon was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1999. The bells were gifted to the church and were all cast in Whitechapel over 500 years ago. The tenor bell was cast in 1441 by Joanna Hille and is the first bell cast by a woman.
- In 894 King Alfred’s army defeated the Danish Vikings in the Battle of Benfleet. To celebrate the Saxons built a church which would be where the current St Marys is located.
- Taking the train from Benfleet to Leigh-on-Sea you will pass by Hadleigh castle. Stripped from its owner in 1239 Hadleigh Castle became a royal castle although Kings and Queens had little use of the place. The woodland surrounding the castle was used to build ships for the navy of Henry VIII.
- Until 1350 the Crown owned the rights to fish in the rivers of England, Richard I sold off the rights to the City of London. Marker stones were erected to show the boundaries of the City of London. The Crowstone in Chalkwell marks one of these boundaries, the current stone was placed in 1837 replacing the older stone which is now in Priory Park.
- King Charles III, at the time the Prince of Wales, visited Southend in 2022 to bestow the letters patent to the borough to make Southend-on-Sea an official city.
- In 1801 Princess Charlotte was ordered to visit Southend for the good of her health. The 5 year old spent much of her time on the beach and at Mrs Glasscocks bathing machines near the pier.
- The Royal Artillery School of Gunnery was established at the Garrison in Shoeburyness in 1859. Having trained many people and animals over the years parts of the school relocated to various places, the remaining part at Shoeburyness became the Coast Artillery School in 1920.