Benfleet, North (All Saints)

BENFLEET, NORTH (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Billericay, hundred of Barstable, S. division of Essex, 2½ miles (S. S. E.) from Wickford; containing 364 inhabitants. This district, previously to its subdivision into the North and South parishes at present recognized, was the usual landing-place of the Danish pirates during their incursions into this part of the country in the 9th century; and towards the close of that century, Hesting, one of their chiefs, erected a strong castle here, in which was deposited the plunder he obtained from the inhabitants, and which was, in 894, demolished by Alfred the Great, who took Hesting's wife and two of her sons prisoners, with all their booty, to London. The parish of North Benfleet comprises about 2200 acres of flat land, of which about 700 form a portion of the isle of Canvey. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £16; present net income, £600; patron and incumbent, the Rev. C. R. Rowlatt. The church has a small wooden tower with two bells, and a spire.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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