10 interesting and quirky facts about Southend on Sea & Essex
Essex is a vibrant county with over two thousand years of history and an economic powerhouse, Essex is a fascinating place to discover and explore – here’s some fascinating things about our county you might not know!
- Southend Pier, at 1.33 miles long, is the longest pleasure pier in the world.
- Southend pier was originally a wooden structure built in 1830. It has been rebuilt several times over the years.
- The 350 mile long Essex coast is the second longest coastline of any English county.
- The county has 35 islands, more islands than any other English county.
- In 1920, the first ever radio broadcast featuring Australian Dame Nellie Melba, a famous opera soprano of the time, was made from Chelmsford, the Birthplace of Radio.
- Chelmsford was once the capital of England for a few days when the seat of Government was temporarily moved to the town 600 years ago.
- Northey Island is where the battle of Maldon took place in 991, making it the oldest battlefield in Britain.
- Did you know five US presidents hailed from Essex? George Washington, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush.
- Essex is one of the few places in the world where the “Little Scarlet” strawberry is grown, the perfect variant for jam making.
- The first crocodile to be brought to the UK was in 1701 by Richard Bradley who kept it in the lake and grounds of his home in Braintree.