Grays wharf overlooking the River Thames and Kent
|Grays shown within Essex|
|Population||36,601 (2001 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||East of England|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
Grays (or Grays Thurrock) is the largest town in the borough and unitary authority of Thurrock in Essex and one of the Thurrock's traditional (Church of England) parishes. The town is approximately 20 miles (32 km) to the east of London on the north bank of the River Thames, and 2 miles (3.2 km) east of the M25 motorway. Its economy is linked to Port of London industries, its own offices, retail and Lakeside, West Thurrock. Its diversely used riverside faces Broadness Lighthouse, Broadness Point, Swanscombe, Kent.
Samuel Pepys recorded in his diary that he visited Grays on 24 September 1665 and apparently bought fish from the local fishermen. Parts of Grays and Chafford Hundred are set within three Victorian chalk pits; the largest two being the Lion Gorge, and the Warren Gorge. Another area of the Chafford Hundred residential development is built on a Victorian landfill site.
Origin of the name
Thurrock is a Saxon name meaning "the bottom of a ship". The element "Grays" comes from Henry de Grai, a descendant of the Norman knight Anchetil de Greye, who was granted the manor of Grays Thurrock in 1195 by Richard I.
- Chadwell St Mary
- Chafford Hundred
- North Stifford
- South Ockendon
- South Stifford
- West Thurrock
From the top of the Derby Road Bridge in Grays one can look down to Thurrock Yacht Club, Grays Beach children's playground and the River Thames.
As well as Thurrock Yacht Club, Grays Beach is the site of the local landmark The Gull, a lightship built in 1860, which has lain on the foreshore for decades and is now in a serious state of dilapidation.
The Thurrock Campus of South Essex College relocated to a new complex in the town centre in September 2014.
The town is approximately 20 miles (32 km) to the east of London on the north bank of the River Thames, and 2 miles (3.2 km) east of the M25 motorway its economy is linked to Port of London industries, its own offices, retail and Lakeside, West Thurrock. Its variously used riverside (from homes through wild bird-habitat marshland to importation, storage and distribution) faces Broadness Lighthouse, Broadness Point, Swanscombe, Kent.
It's also home to Sunday League Football team Palmers F.C. who have grown in popularity online
A team named Grays raced against the home team which was called Cambridge at Caxton Speedway near Cambridge on 10 September 1931. Grays featuring Lionel Loudon, Wal Evans, Bill Bailey, Alf Lloyd and Smiler Puncher lost.
- Stuart Barnes
- Russell Brand
- Chris Cohen
- Danny Crates
- Phil Davis
- Sara Flower
- Mick Jackson
- Louisa Johnson
- Martin Litton
- Joe Pasquale
- Philip Vellacott
- Alfred Russel Wallace who lived at the Dell, College Avenue
Notes and references
- Evans, Brian. Grays Thurrock, A History, Phillimore, 2004, ISBN 1-86077-305-2.