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West Thurrock

Coordinates: 51°29′01″N 0°16′55″E / 51.4836°N 0.2820°E / 51.4836; 0.2820
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West Thurrock
St Clements Church
West Thurrock is located in Essex
West Thurrock
West Thurrock
Location within Essex
Population7,795 (2001 Census)
OS grid referenceTQ585785
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townGRAYS
Postcode districtRM20
Dialling code01708
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°29′01″N 0°16′55″E / 51.4836°N 0.2820°E / 51.4836; 0.2820

West Thurrock is an area, former civil parish and traditional Church of England parish in Thurrock, Essex, England, located 18 miles (28.1 km) east south-east of Charing Cross, London.



West Thurrock was an ancient parish. In 1894 it became part of Orsett Rural District. In 1929 the parish became, with Aveley and South Ockendon, part of Purfleet Urban District. In 1931 the parish had a population of 5,153.[1] On 1 April 1936, the parish and Purfleet Urban District were abolished to form Thurrock Urban District.[2]



West Thurrock is part of the unitary authority of Thurrock located on the north bank of the River Thames about 17 miles (27 km) from Charing Cross, London.

Nearest places:

Nearest stations:


Procter & Gamble works

Industry along the Thames includes a Unilever chilled distribution centre for all its chilled food products including Flora, Bertolli, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, Stork, Peperami and AdeZ. A Procter & Gamble (originally Hedley's) plant manufactures detergents and soaps.[3]

The large coal-burning West Thurrock Power Station closed in 1993, and was replaced by a plant making industrial chemicals, particularly the raw materials for detergent manufacture. The 190 metre tall electricity pylons of 400 kV Thames Crossing, the tallest electricity pylons in the UK, remain. Just upstream of the pylons the tunnel of High Speed 1 passes under the Thames.

West Thurrock was formerly the site of a large chalk quarrying and cement making industry. Individual companies included Brooks (which became part of APC), Gibbs & Co., Wouldham Cement and Tunnel Cement (now part of Hanson Cement). Today, this industry is represented only by the works of Lafarge below the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. A new plant for the production of aluminous cement was completed in 2003.[4]


Belmont Castle seen from the River Thames circa 1830

West Thurrock is the location of the Lakeside Shopping Centre on the site of a chalk quarry owned by Tunnel Cement.[5]

The parish church (now redundant) was used for the funeral in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Belmont Castle, England, a neo-Gothic mansion, was built in West Thurrock in 1795[6] but was demolished in 1943 to make way for a chalk quarry.[7]

Origin of the name


Thurrock is a Saxon name meaning "the bottom of a ship".[8] West Thurrock is one of three "Thurrocks", the others being Little Thurrock and Grays Thurrock.


  1. ^ "Population statistics West Thurrock CP/AP through time". A Vision of Britain through Time. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
  2. ^ "Relationships and changes West Thurrock CP/AP through time". A Vision of Britain through Time. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
  3. ^ "West Thurrock". Victoria County A History of the County of Essex: Volume 8 (1983), pp. 57-74. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
  4. ^ "New Mill Building for Lafarge - West Thurrock". Wright Engineering. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
  5. ^ Jonathan Catton, Down Memory Lane
  6. ^ Hughson, David, London; being an accurate history and description of the British metropolis and its neighbourhood: to thirty miles extent, from an actual perambulation, Volume 6, J. Stratford, 1809, p. 210
  7. ^ Carney, T. J., "A Picturesque Object", the story of Belmont Castle, Grays, originally published in Panorama, No. 28, Thurrock Local History Society, 1986
  8. ^ PH Reaney, The Place-Names of Essex, (CUP, 1969)