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Braintree can trace its origins back before the Romans. The town prospered from the 17th century when Flemish immigrants made the town famous for its wool cloth trade. It then became a centre for silk manufacturing when George Courtauld opened a silk mill in the town in the 19th Century.
Braintree is an historic market town surrounded by pretty villages but at the same time offers exceptional transport links.
The recently upgraded A120 trunk road takes you to Stansted Airport and the M11 just over 15 miles away whilst in the other direction the road joins the A12 giving access to the East Coast as well as Suffolk and Norfolk but it's not just drivers who get the benefit of convenience. Braintree Station takes you into London Liverpool Street in around an hour.
The town centre features many independent retailers alongside 'high street' names such as Boots, Burtons, WH Smith, Superdrug, Argos and Tesco as well as a twice weekly market.
There's also a plentiful supply of restaurants and bars to take the weight off your feet after all that shopping!
Just on the outskirts of town is the Freeport Designer Outlet Village where visitors come from surrounding areas to experience designer shopping at a fraction of the price. There you will also find leading restaurant chains, a multiplex cinema and bowling alley.
The gentle rolling countryside around Braintree offers excellent relaxation opportunities and Great Notley Country Park and Discovery Centre is set within 100 acres of beautiful countryside.
Amongst the picuresque villages around Braintree is Finchingfield, described as "the most photographed village in England". Nearby Felsted is home to the notable Felsted School which dates back to the 16th century and stands in beautiful grounds in the village.
Nearby Rayne (pictured) is one of a number of number of villages close enough to Braintree to benefit from its town centre and station yet still enjoy their own identity. The Flitch Way, following the route of the long gone railway line through the village, is ideal for walking or cycle rides.
Braintree is a town of about 42,000 people and the principal settlement of the Braintree district of Essex in the East of England. It is 10 miles (16 km) northeast of Chelmsford and 15 miles (24 km) west of Colchester on the River Blackwater, A120 road and a branch of the Great Eastern Main Line.
Braintree has grown contiguous with several surrounding settlements: Braintree proper lies to the south of Stane Street, and Bocking lies to the north. The two together can be referred to as Braintree and Bocking, although many people refer to them together as "Braintree".
Braintree is twinned with the French town of Pierrefitte-sur-Seine.
Braintree, Massachusetts, United States, was named after the town in 1640.
The origin of the name Braintree is obscure. One theory is that Braintree was originally Branoc's tree, Branoc apparently being an old personal name. Another theory is that the name is derived from that of Rayne, which was actually a more important settlement in Norman times. Braintree, Essex was also called Brantry and Branchetreu in the Domesday Book and this means "town by the river". The River Braint is another possible origin. "Tree" comes from the Saxon suffix, more usually
With the seemingly idyllic balance of rural living within close proximity of London, Billericay has become very popular with commuters.
It has its own mainline railway station with direct access into London Liverpool Street taking as little as 30 minutes. It is also conveniently located for the A12 and A130 for Stansted and further north as well as the A127 and M25.
If you are looking for a relatively quiet area, great for families and for a commute to the City then Billericay could be the perfect option. The convenient High Street has a wide range of shops from familiar names such as Waitrose, Boots, Argos, Superdrug and Somerfield to boutique style shops. There’s also an excellent choice of restaurants catering for all tastes.
For those who enjoy green open spaces, then Billericay is for you. There is Lake Meadows, a 40 acre area of beautiful parkland situated in the heart of Billericay with a fishing lake, bowling green, football pitches and swimming pool.
Nearby Norsey Woods is also a thriving nature reserve set in 165 acres, affording pleasant and scenic walks whilst slightly further to the east, Hanningfield Reservoir and its surroundings are a nature lovers paradise with its trails, bird hides and visitor centre.
Billericay is steeped in history including a strong connection to America. The Pilgrim Fathers met in the Town before leaving on the Mayflower and the Massachusetts town of Billerica recognizes the link between Billericay and the New World
There are highly sought after secondary and infant / junior schools, as well as two private schools in the Town.
Stock Brook Manor Golf & Country Club is found just outside Billericay and really leaves golfers spoilt for choice on exactly how to play their round, with a 27 hole championship course and some truly spectacular scenery to take in. On the outskirts of Billericay is Greenwoods Hotel & Spa, set within a beautiful 17th century Grade II listed manor house, this is a wonderful retreat for those looking for a spot of pampering.
If town life isn’t for you, there a number of delightful villages surrounding the Town. Each has their own unique character and identity but all of them benefit from being close to Billericay’s wide range of amenities.
Billericay (/bɪləˈrɪkiː/ BIL-ə-RIK-ee) is a town and civil parish in the Basildon borough of Essex, England. It lies within the London Basin, has a population of around 40,000, and constitutes a commuter town 28 miles (45 km) east of central London. The town has three secondary schools and a variety of open spaces. It is thought to have been occupied since the Bronze Ages.
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