Coordinates: 51°29′49″N 0°18′11″E / 51.497°N 0.303°E / 51.497; 0.303
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Stifford church.JPG
Stifford parish church
Stifford is located in Essex
Location within Essex
OS grid referenceTQ599778
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townGRAYS
Postcode districtRM16, RM17, RM20
Dialling code01375, 01708
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°29′49″N 0°18′11″E / 51.497°N 0.303°E / 51.497; 0.303

Stifford is an area and former civil parish in the unitary authority of Thurrock, Essex, England. The traditional parish of Stifford is divided by the A13 trunk road into two communities known respectively as North and South Stifford. In 1931 the parish had a population of 2188.[1] On 1 April 1936 the parish was abolished to form Thurrock.[2]

Origin of name[edit]

The place name Stifford is first recorded in Domesday as Stiforda and means "path ford".[3] The ford was across the Mardyke which flows through North Stifford before joining the Thames at Purfleet. Stifford gives its name to the Stifford Clays housing estate built in the late 1950s.

North Stifford[edit]

The original parish church (St Mary the Virgin) is located within North Stifford.[4] The church is originally 12th century with later 13th, 14th and 19th century alterations and extensions, and is a Grade I listed building.[5] The church contains several interesting medieval monumental brasses.[6] William Palin who was rector between 1834 and 1882 wrote the earliest local histories devoted solely to the Thurrock area - Stifford and its Neighbourhood (1871) and More about Stifford and its Neighbourhood (1872). Palin was followed in 1980 by The Stifford Saga by Doreen Dean and Pamela Studd and in 2012 The Idyll in the Middyl by Cliff and Jan Cowin. The North Stifford Village sign was unveiled on 1 July 2011[7]

South Stifford[edit]

South Stifford is a small residential area within the town of Grays. South Stifford separates Grays' town centre from West Thurrock and Lakeside Shopping Centre. It acts as a residential area for people working in many of the town's factories and surrounding retail areas, however it has recently been overshadowed by the huge housing estate of Chafford Hundred.


South Stifford has one primary school, Stifford Primary School.


  1. ^ "Population statistics Stifford AP/CP through time". A Vision of Britain through Time. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
  2. ^ "Relationships and changes Stifford AP/CP through time". A Vision of Britain through Time. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
  3. ^ PH Reaney, The Place-Names of Essex, (CUP, 1969)
  4. ^ Village web site
  5. ^ "CHURCH OF ST MARY THE VIRGIN, Non Civil Parish - 1111611 | Historic England". Retrieved 22 June 2022.
  6. ^ Christopher Harrold, Exploring Thurrock (Thurock Local History Society, 2008)
  7. ^ The Idyll in the Middyl by Cliff and Jan Cowin - publishers web site (2012)