Eastwood shown within Essex
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||East of England|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
|UK Parliament||Southend West|
Eastwood is a town four miles west of Southend-on-Sea in Essex, England. It is a suburb of Southend and part of the Southend-on-Sea unitary district. Eastwood is sometimes called Eastwood Park, particularly for local elections.
It is bordered by Rayleigh to the west, Rochford to the north-east, and Belfairs, part of Leigh-on-Sea, to the south. To the north lies Edwards Hall Park, a large area of open countryside, part of which is farmland. This green space extends all the way to Hockley Woods, and Hockley. There are also several playparks throughout Eastwood.
Eastwood has good bus links to both Southend and the surrounding areas, with popular services including Arriva Southend's route 9 service, and First Essex's route 20 service. The nearby Southend Airport is in the process of being re-developed to operate a range of European passenger flights once again. However, the nearest railway stations are Rayleigh station and Rochford station on the Great Eastern Main Line with services to London Liverpool Street operated by Greater Anglia, and Leigh-on-Sea station on the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway, with services to London Fenchurch Street operated by c2c. There are currently no buses connecting the north side of Eastwood (north of the A127) with the south side and its administrative town of Leigh-on-Sea.
It is a mainly residential area with housing and small clusters of independent local shops scattered throughout. There are several pubs, including The Oakwood, The Brookside Tavern, The Bellhouse (now a Toby Pub and Carvery), and The Loyal Toast; and also a snooker club (The Green Baize). Along Western Approaches there is a supermarket (Morrisons) a doctor's clinic (Scott Park Surgery) and a community centre. There is also a larger clinic at Kent Elms corner, with a pharmacy and library. The parish is served by the Grade I listed medieval St. Laurence and All Saints Church, Eastwood which sits at the end of the main runway for Southend Airport.
Eastwood has many infant and junior schools. There is also one secondary school, The Eastwood Academy, a mixed school with about 850 pupils (in 2004). The Eastwood Academy is home to the Eastwood Theatre, which puts on several theatrical productions, as well as other events such as battle of the bands.
Eastwood has its own small police station, though it is called a police office as it is only open to the public every Thursday for "Community Surgery" whereby residents can raise any community issues they have. These sessions are hosted by Neighbourhood Specialist Officer PC Neil Gale, who has worked at the station about 5 years.
Eastwood Cricket Club play at Belfairs Recreation Ground, Leigh on Sea. The field four sides in the T-Rippon Mid Essex League and a number of youth teams. Current chairman is Graham Fletcher and the club secretary is Kevin Robinson.
According to figures from Southend Borough Council, Eastwood has only half the national average of people having degree level qualifications, but the number of home-owners is above average.
Eastwood took its name from its situation on the eastern side of the woods and parkland of Rayleigh and Thundersley which were part of the Great Forest of Essex. The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Estwa", and was held by Suen of Essex, whose father Robert had held it during the reign of Edward the Confessor. Suen's son, Robert d'Essex, founded Prittlewell Priory in 1100 A.D. but his descendant, Henry d'Essex, forfeited all his estates to the Crown in 1163, because of cowardice in battle. After this date the Manor was generally held by the Crown.
In the 13th century, the English Kings would often visit the district for hunting, making Hadleigh Castle their residence. Henry VIII was the last king known to have hunted here and Eastwood Lodge was the centre of the last reserved portion of hunting land. In 1536, during the Reformation, the Manor was given by Edward VI to Lord Rich whose descendants became Earls of Warwick, then by marriage it passed to the Earl of Nottingham.
The Bristow family purchased the estate and held it until 1866 when it was sold in lots: "Eastwoodbury", the large house which stood immediately to the east of the Church, was on the site of the original Manor house. It was demolished in 1954.
One can read about the history of Eastwood in Leonard Sellers book Eastwood Essex a History. It contains 672 pages, 522 photographs and 56 maps/plans.
- 9332 is the population from the 2001 census. Source: Southend Council Area Profile for Eastwood Park Ward.[dead link] The Electorate for Eastwood Park Ward in 2006 is 7,497. Source: Southend Council.[dead link]
- "St Laurence & All Saints, Eastwood, Essex". www.st-laurence.org.uk. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
- Source: Southend Council Area Profile for Eastwood Park Ward[dead link]
- "History Part One". St Laurence & All Saints, Eastwood, Essex. 2010. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
- "Church of St Laurence and All Saints, Southend On Sea". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
- Sellers, Leonard (2010). Eastwood Essex a History. Peterborough: Fastprint Publishing. ISBN 9781844268788.