Purfleet, Essex

Historical Description

Purfleet, a hamlet in West Thurrock parish, Essex, on the river Thames, at the mouth of Marditch rivulet, and on the London, Tilbury, and Southend railway, 8 miles ESE of Barking. It belonged once to the Knights of St John; was then called Portflete or Pourteflete; and is popularly fabled to have got its name from an exclamation of Queen Elizabeth, " Oh, my poor fleet!" on seeing her fleet depart from its vicinity to encounter the Spanish Armada. It is overlooked by Beacon Hill, commanding a fine view; had formerly a ferry over the Thames; has now a post, money order, and telegraph office (S.O.), a railway station, a bridge over the Marditch, a small harbour, a hotel, and some pleasure gardens which are much resorted to in the summer. It has also some extensive Government powder magazines, with store-houses, barracks, and a good quay, and on the marshes adjacent there are petroleum storage works and a paper mill. Ecclesiastically it ranks as a chapelry, annexed to the vicarage of West Thurrock.

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 West Thurrock
Hundred Chafford
Poor Law union Orsett

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

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Purfleet from the following:

Newspapers and Periodicals

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