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St Leonards, Southminster
|Southminster shown within Essex|
|Population||4,272 (2011 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||East of England|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
Southminster is a town and electoral ward on the Dengie peninsula in the Maldon district of Essex in the East of England. It lies about three miles north of Burnham-on-Crouch and ten miles south-east of Maldon. To the north is the River Blackwater, which is tidal and since Roman times has been the gateway to trading in the area.
A major horse market used to be held annually in the town.
Southminster marshes were a favourite centre for hare coursing in Victorian times.
Pandole Wood contains ancient earthworks believed to date from the Iron Age. The landscape surrounding the town, and elsewhere on the peninsula, is characterized by a pattern of strictly rectangular field boundaries, with evidence of a unit of measurement having been applied to the scheme as a whole. Middle-Saxon administrations have been suggested as its origin, although the road to the Roman sea fort at Bradwell also conforms to the pattern.
St Leonard's Church
The medieval St Leonard's Church dates mainly from the 15th century, although there are traces of much earlier work. It is a relatively large, "townish" church by Essex standards. The church also stands at an important road junction, contrasting with the familiar Essex pattern of a church and manor house complex on the same site. These features are consistent with John Blair's formulation of an Anglo-Saxon minster, in contrast to a private oratory in its origins, and the placename would perhaps suggest Cedd's mission at St.Peter's on the wall at Bradwell as its parent. There have been several well-known rectors, including naturalist Rev Walter Henry Hill, and Rev Alexander John Scott who was personal chaplain to Admiral Lord Nelson. After the Battle of Trafalgar Nelson died in the arms of Rev Scott. Several artefacts that once belonged to Rev Scott are found in the church. The church also gives its name to the town's local football team, Southminster St. Leonards F.C.
The town has an infant and a primary school, a small library, a handful of pubs, a police station, a swimming pool, a brewery and cidery and one holiday park.
Parishes adjacent to the Southminster parish:
- "Town/Ward population 2011". Retrieved 22 September 2015.
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