West Horndon shown within Essex
|OS grid reference|
|– London||20 mi (32 km) WSW|
|Civil parish||West Horndon|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||East of England|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
|UK Parliament||Brentwood and Ongar|
West Horndon is a village in the parish of West Horndon in the south of the Brentwood borough of Essex on the boundary with Thurrock and in the East of England. It is located 20 miles (32 km) east north-east of Charing Cross in London.
The village has its own parish council and forms part of the 'Herongate, Ingrave and West Horndon' ward of Brentwood Council. The local school is West Horndon Primary School, and the village falls within the Brentwood County High catchment area.
The village is surrounded by open countryside and an industrial estate. It is the first area east of London to not be continuously built up. There are hills rising as high as 100 metres covered in trees, arable fields and fenland of London clay.
There are several streams running down from the hills into the Mar Dyke which drains the fens out to the Thames at Purfleet. There was a time when it was planned to make the Mardyke into a canal but it was never brought to fruition.
Thorndon Avenue is a long straight road leading to the heart of the modern village of West Horndon. Halfway down is the junior school with playing fields at the back and opposite is the modern church of St Francis. At the centre of the village is a village hall which was built around 1961. On the other side of Station Road (which runs through the centre of the village) is a housing estate, consisting of meandering roads and cul-de-sacs, bordered at the rear by the railway line. Road names on this estate are named after places in Essex, namely Fyfield Close, Clavering Gardens, Witham Gardens, Dunmow Gardens and Chafford Gardens. More modern housing exists off both sides of Station Road towards the Industrial estate and railway station.
West Horndon railway station is a station on the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway main line from London to Southend. The Railway Hotel, behind the station, was once a coaching inn. North of the town and parallel to the railway is the A127 Southend Arterial Road. West Horndon is east of junction 29 of the M25 motorway.
The village is served by two bus routes which both terminate in Brentwood.
Originally there were three manors in the area of West Horndon, Tillingham Hall being the one which had most of the land in its borders. In 1066 Alwin, a free woman held it, but by 1086 it had passed to Swain of Essex in the hundred of Barstable. Following this the Tillingham family held the hall for several hundred years.
It was eventually sold to Sir William Bawd, who conveyed it to Coggeshall Abbey, where it remained until the Dissolution of the Monasteries. It is thought that the Abbey began to restrict the rights of the commons, for there were many proceedings in the manor-courts against the ordinary people, supposedly trespassing on the land of the lords. After they acquired the commonland it was mostly left as wild heath and woods, much as we see it today, the later lords of the manor having much pleasure hunting to hounds through it, even as far as Southend.
The church of All Saints is built entirely of brick, the present one being the third on this site. The village of Torinduna (Thornhill) referred to in Domesday was built around this hill. The Saxon church was built around AD 807, then rebuilt in the Norman style by the Neville family about 1200.
In 1930, three houses were given to farm workers, only one of these remain, Number 18 Thorndon avenue. This house has been restored to its original condition. The rest of Thorndon avenue was constructed during the 50s.
The southern portion of the traditional parish of West Horndon is now in the unitary authority of Thurrock.
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