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Maplin Sands, Essex

Historical Description

Maplin Sands, a shoal or foreshore on the Essex side of the estuary of the Thames, extending from Southend 7 miles eastward to Shoeburyness. A lighthouse is on its SE side, was erected in 1841, and shows a fixed light visible at the distance of 10 miles. The sand of which the shoal or foreshore consists was alleged, some years ago-by the promoters of a metropolitan sewage scheme-to be well suited, with aid of sewage irrigation, to produce luxuriant crops of grass, and an experiment was made in 1866 to test its properties, by removing 3000 tons of it in barges to the vicinity of the outfall reservoir at Barking Creek, spreading it there over an acre of land and fertilizing it exclusively with sewage, and the experiment proved eminently successful. Up to the present, however, nothing further has resulted from the experiment. The sands were purchased by the Government in 1893 for artillery practice.

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

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Essex is available to browse.

The Essex pages from the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 is online.


Online maps of Maplin Sands are available from a number of sites: