History of Billericay
Billericay was first inhabited in the Iron Age, burial mounds still exist in Norsey Woods, but it was in the Roman period, when the local Trinovante tribe assisted Queen Boadicea and were quelled, that a Roman settlement brought about the town's real birth.
During the Saxon period our traditional form of local government came into being. The area was then owned by King Harold's father, who is buried locally, who named the fortified settlement Burghstede.
The area then passed into the ownership of William the Conqueror's half brother. When he fell out of favour, William gave the lands to the Cistercian monks.
Barstable Hundred came about when the county was divided into "hundreds".
In the 12th and 13th centuries a manor house called Blunts Walls was built by Bartholomew Blunt on the north west of the town. In 1262 Reginald Blunt joined the Barons Revolt, under Simon-de-Montfort but was defeated at the Battle of Evesham.
His lands were then confiscated and passed to the Augustinian Thoby priory at Mountnessing.
In 1342 Billericay acquired a Chantry Chapel with sufficient funds to support its own priest.
The next important event was in 1381 when local men joined with those from Kent in a peasants' revolt against Richard II's poll tax.
Wat Tyler led a march on London where he was killed. His followers were driven home and 500 were massacred in Norsey Woods by Thomas of Woodstock. They are buried in Great Burstead.
In 1620, victualler Christopher Martin set sail with several fellow townsfolk for the new world in "The Mayflower". The town Billerica was set up in Massachusetts. Find out more about Billerica by clicking here
The town became increasingly prosperous during the Georgian period as it was an important stop en route to the Tilbury Crossing and a highly successful coaching route running between Brentwood, Billericay, Rayleigh, Hadleigh, Leigh and Rochford. The Crown, a large coaching inn was built to accommodate the many travellers, as existing hostelries were unable to cope.
In the reform election of 1832 Billericay was one of only seven polling stations in South Essex, the county being divided into north and south for the elections.
From that date Billericay continued to hold its place as a centre of administration. This was confirmed in 1894 with the formation of the Billericay Rural District Council.
In 1937 all the Parishes within the Rural District Council were abolished and the whole area was the administered by Billericay Urban District Council.
In 1955 this Council changed its name to Basildon Urban District Council.
In 1972 the Local Government Act created Basildon District Council and abolished the Billericay Parish.
The Basildon Parishes Order 1996 resulted in the creation of the new parishes of Billericay, Great Burstead and South Green, Little Burstead, Ramsden Crays and Ramsden Bellhouse in 1997.
Thus Billericay Parish Council came into being in May 1997. At the first meeting on 2nd June 1997 the Council elected to style itself as Billericay Town Council.
The Basildon and Billericay seat was created for the 2010 general election following a review by the Boundary Commission for England which has now recommended that a constituency named Billericay be re-established for the 2022 elections.
Close ties continue to exist between Brentwood and Billericay, borne out not only by the coming of the railway from Shenfield, but also by the A127 major road link.