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Timeless (St Michael's Aveley) - geograph.org.uk - 36157.jpg
St Michael's, Aveley
Aveley is located in Essex
Location within Essex
Area1.64 km2 (0.63 sq mi)
Population9,801 (2021 Census)
• Density5,976/km2 (15,480/sq mi)
OS grid referenceTQ565805
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtRM15
Dialling code01708
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°30′06″N 0°15′12″E / 51.50177°N 0.25339°E / 51.50177; 0.25339Coordinates: 51°30′06″N 0°15′12″E / 51.50177°N 0.25339°E / 51.50177; 0.25339

Aveley is a town and former civil parish in the unitary authority of Thurrock in Essex, England, and forms one of the traditional Church of England parishes. Aveley is 16 miles (26.2 km) east of Charing Cross. In the 2021 United Kingdom census it had a population of 9,801.[1] In 1931 the parish had a population of 2,003.[2]


Aveley is located on the very edge of Greater London and is roughly bounded to the north and west by the London Borough of Havering, to the south by the A13 road and to the east by the M25 motorway. The nearest places are Purfleet, South Ockendon, Wennington and Rainham.

Prehistory and history[edit]

Aveley has given its name to the Aveley Interglacial period around 200,000 years ago. Important evidence of the local flora and fauna of the period and some signs of occupation by Neanderthal humans have been found there.[3]

In Domesday the name has various spellings – Alvithelea, Alvileia and Alvilea.[4] The name means Aelfgyth's wood clearing.[5] A variation, in 1418, is Alvythele.[6]

After the Second World War the population grew rapidly as the area absorbed London overspill.

On 1 April 1936 the parish was abolished to form Thurrock.[7]

The Aveley mammoth[edit]

In 1964, amateur geologist John Hesketh found the remains of a late form of steppe mammoth in a clay pit on Sandy Lane. The Natural History Museum excavated the site and uncovered the most complete mammoth skeleton found in the UK, along with a junior straight-tusked elephant found beneath it. The animals were separated by 50,000 years and were originally thought to date back 100,000 and 125,000 years respectively, but recent dating techniques show they died 200,000 and 250,000 years ago.[8]

The skeletons were on display from 1970 to 1990 in the Natural History Museum, before being stored in the museum's palaeontology department for a number of years.[9] They are currently being exhibited in the 'From the Beginning' gallery. Other animal remains were also found at the Aveley site, including a 200,000 year-old jungle cat, a large lion, a brown bear, wolf, rhinoceros, moles, bats, and terrapins.[10]

Notable people[edit]


Aveley forms part of the Thurrock constituency, and is covered by the Aveley and Uplands ward. Their local Member of Parliament (MP) is Jackie Doyle-Price, who was first elected in the 2010 general election, retaining her seat in the 2015, 2017 and 2019 elections.[14] She was appointed Minister of State for Industry during Liz Truss's short-lived premiership before returning to the back benches following the appointment of Rishi Sunak as Prime Minister.[15]

The Aveley and Uplands ward elects three councillors to Thurrock Council. As of May 2022, two were of those elected were members of The Conservative Party and one was a member of The Labour Party.[16]

Historic buildings[edit]

St Michael's Church[edit]

The parish church of St Michael is a Grade I listed building dating from the 12th century.[17][18] It contains a 14th-century memorial brass to Radulphus de Knevynton, which is echoed in the arms of the Thurrock unitary authority. The church was declared unsafe in the 19th century, with the recommendation that it should be pulled down. However, this was averted by its parishioners, who raised £1,000 to save it.[19]

Other listed buildings[edit]

Grade II*[17]

  • Brett's Farmhouse
  • Sir Henry Gurnett public house

Grade II[17]

  • 79, High Street
  • Crown and Anchor public house
  • Park Corner House
  • 54 and 56 High Street
  • Courts Farm, Park Lane.

The core is half of a 13th century timber framed Manor house.

  • Court's Farmhouse barn - demolished within last 15 yrs to make way for a modern housing estate.
  • Brett's Farmhouse barn
  • Aveley Hall
The Old Ship

The Old Ship public house at 58 High Street is on the Campaign for Real Ale's National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors.[20]


According to Thurrock Council, the ward of Aveley and Uplands had a population of 8,381 people in 2001.

In 2019 it had an estimated population of 9,461.[1]


Aveley is the home of non-League football club Aveley, which plays at Parkside. It was also home of now defunct Thurrock, who played at Ship Lane.

Belhus golf course is located in Aveley near the site of the former Belhus Mansion. Much of the remaining land from Belhus forms the Belhus Woods Country Park.


The nearest railway stations are:

It is also within reach of the M25 Motorway.


  1. ^ a b "Aveley". City Population De. Retrieved 20 November 2022.
  2. ^ "Population statistics Aveley AP/CP through time". A Vision of Britain through Time. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
  3. ^ Nick Ashton: Early Humans, New Naturalist series (London: HarperCollins, 2017), pp. 168–70.
  4. ^ Christopher Harrold (Editor), Exploring Thurrock (Thurrock Local History Society, 2008)
  5. ^ James Kemble, Essex Place-Names (Historical Publications, 2007)
  6. ^ Plea Rolls of the Court of Common Pleas; National Archives: CP 40/629; http://aalt.law.uh.edu/H5/CP40no629/aCP40no629fronts/IMG_0489.htm; first entry
  7. ^ "Relationships and changes Aveley AP/CP through time". A Vision of Britain through Time. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
  8. ^ "'He probably did not get the credit he deserved' - 50 years since Hornchurch man's 'unique' mammoth find". Romford Recorder. Retrieved 24 February 2023.
  9. ^ "London calling: nine specimens from our city". www.nhm.ac.uk. Retrieved 24 February 2023.
  10. ^ "The Aveley mammoth | Archaeological digs in Thurrock | Thurrock Council". www.thurrock.gov.uk. Retrieved 24 February 2023.
  11. ^ Thurrock Local History Society
  12. ^ Lewis, Frank (1976). Essex and Suger. Philimore. p. 51.
  13. ^ Association, The Football. "Homegrown Alex Pritchard itching for top flight chance". www.thefa.com. Retrieved 24 February 2023.
  14. ^ "MPS and Lords - Jackie Doyle-Price". UK Parliament. 2023.
  15. ^ Speight, Neil (26 October 2022). "Thurrock MP is returned to back benches in Rishi reshuffle". Thurrock Nub News. Retrieved 24 February 2023.
  16. ^ "Current councillors | Thurrock Council". www.thurrock.gov.uk. Retrieved 24 February 2023.
  17. ^ a b c "Appendix 7 to Thurrock Development Plan" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 May 2012.
  18. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Michael (1337099)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 21 November 2021.
  19. ^ "St Michael's, Aveley".
  20. ^ Brandwood, Geoff (2013). Britain's best real heritage pubs. St. Albans: CAMRA. p. 39. ISBN 9781852493042.

External links[edit]