Brentwood, Essex

Historical Description

Brentwood, a small town and a parish in Essex. The town stands adjacent to the G.E.R. main line, on which it has a station, 5 ¾ miles NE by E of Romford. Its name is a corruption of Brunt-Wood, and was derived from the burning long ago of a circumjacent forest. Some Roman antiquities have been found in it. The town was a seat of assizes until the time of George I., when they were removed to Chelmsford. It consists chiefly of one long and wide street, and it has some pleasant suburbs with a good many new houses. The scenery around forms some of the best in the county. The town-hall was built in 1864, and is in the Italian style, with Corinthian portico. The county lunatic asylum, an edifice in the Tudor style, was opened in 1853, and was enlarged in 1864 and in 1871. It has upwards of 130 acres of land attached to it, and it affords accommodation for about 1200 patients. The grammar school was founded in 1557 by Sir Anthony Browne, and has a large endowed income. The Hackney Union Training Schools here afford accommodation for 600 children, and there are also an industrial and some large Roman Catholic schools for the reception of children from the workhouses. The old church was built in 1221, but only the tower now remains. The new church is a handsome structure in the style of the 13th century, with a tower surmounted by a spire 180 feet high containing a fine peal of 8 bells. The church accommodates 1100. Total cost about £22,000, which was raised by subscription. The Roman Catholic chapel was built in 1861, is formed of Kentish rag, with Bath stone facings; consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with a tower and spire 110 feet liigh, and was a gift of Lord Petre, whose seat near Ingrave is about 2 miles to the S. There are also Baptist, Congregational, and Wesleyan chapels. The town. has a head post, money order, and telegraph office, two banks, some good inns, and is a seat of petty sessions. The weekly market has ceased, but cattle fairs are held on 16 and 17 Oct. Brickmaking and brewing are carried on. Acreage of parish, 460 ; population, 4949. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of St Albans; net yearly value, £216 with residence.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient County Essex
Civil parish South Weald
Hundred Chafford
Poor Law union Billericay

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Brentwood from the following:


Online maps of Brentwood are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers covering Essex online: