The Strood

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The Strood at high tide

The Strood (Old English: strōd, "marshland") is a causeway crossing the marshes and the Strood Channel between the coast of Essex in the south east of England and Mersea Island. About half a mile (800 metres) in length, it carries the B1025 Mersea to Colchester road and is the only road access to the island. It is regularly inundated at high tide; local people carry a tide table to avoid being trapped on the wrong side.[1]

It is an ancient structure, having been constructed during the reign of St Sæbbi, a King of the East Saxons who ruled from 664 to 694. Speculation that the Strood was built by the Romans was disproved by the dating of some oak piles found in 1978 when a water-main was being laid. This was the first early Saxon site in England to be dated using dendrochronology. It is estimated that between 3,000 and 5,000 oak piles were used in the original construction: a major undertaking for this period, probably associated with the minster at West Mersea.[2]


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Coordinates: 51°47′57″N 0°55′00″E / 51.79924°N 0.91656°E / 51.79924; 0.91656