Rayleigh or Raleigh, Essex
Rayleigh or Raleigh, an ancient town and a parish in Essex, situated on a lofty range of hills dividing the valleys of the Thames and Crouch. The town has a station on the Southend branch of the G.E.R., and is 4 ½ miles NNE of Benfleet station on the London, Tilbury, and Southend railway, and 4 ¼ W by N of Rochford. It was held at Domesday by Sweyn or Sueno, was formerly a market-town of some importance, consists now of one wide street of considerable length, has a post, money order, and telegraph office (S.O.), and a fair for horses and cattle on Trinity Monday, and gives the title of Baron to the family of Strutt. The parish comprises 2906 acres; population, 1301. There is a parish council consisting of nine members. The manor belongs to the Digby family. A moated mound 100 feet high and 250 above sea level is at. the upper end of the town, was the site of a castle built by Sweyn, and commands a very extensive view. Roman coins were found in 1849. The living is a rectory in the diocese of St Albans; net value, £614 with residence. The church, which stands on rising-ground, is a picturesque, ivy-clad, ancient building of flint and stone chiefly in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel with aisles, nave, S porch, and massive western tower with fine peal of six bells. There are Baptist and Wesleyan chapels.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Rayleigh Holy Trinity|
|Poor Law union||Rochford|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
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Directories & Gazetteers
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