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Brightlingsea, Essex

Historical Description

Brightlingsea, a town and a parish in Essex. The town stands on the estuary of the Colne, opposite Mersea Island, and is connected with the G.E.R. by a branch line from Wivenhoc, 8 miles SE by S of Colchester, is a sub-port to Colchester and a member of the Cinque port of Sandwich, and has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Colchester. A fair is held on St Swithin's day or the Thursday before, and a large trade is carried on in the fishing of sprats and oysters. The parish comprises 2873 acres, of which 682 are tidal water and foreshore; population, 3920. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of St Albans; net yearly value, £223. Patron, the Lord Chancellor. The church, a building of rubble and flint chiefly in the Perpendicular style, has a fine tower nearly 100 feet high, serving as a sea-mark, and contains a number of brasses, chiefly of the Beriffe family. Besides a chapel of ease, erected in 1837, there are Congregational, Free Methodist, Wesleyan, and Swedenborgian chapels.

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


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

Ancient CountyEssex 
Ecclesiastical parishBrightlingsea All Saints 
Poor Law unionLexden and Winstree 

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

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Brightlingsea from the following:

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 Brightlingsea 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:

Postal districtCO7
Post TownColchester