About a month or so a go, we set out to Benfleet to visit the Thundersley Glen woodland area. Unlike our usual visits, we didn’t have much knowledge off the site, apart from some that BTP Liam had, due to visiting it in the past and some of his family living near.
When we arrived at the site, it backed up our thought, that it was nothing more than just woods, and little historic significance. Scattered around the woods are small bridges and pipes and the only locations that we knew of was a meadow and an island.
When we arrived at the ‘island’ it was far more overgrown to what BTP Liam remembered, 4 years ago.
We later stumbled across a sign of the woods which said:
It’s 25 acres of open parkland and mature oak and dense shrubs. The trees and clearings reveal clues to woodland clearance and farming. The glen was once part of a much larger woods however expansion and building has taken up most of it. It belonged to the manor of Jervis Hall and by the 19th century much of the woodland had been destroyed. The maps of 1843 show the glen as arable farmland except for a small amount of woodland in the south-west. An orchard was established and land was farmed for a short time before it was abandoned and taken over by the trees to become a woodland. It is now managed by Castle Point Council as a public open space.
Watch the documentary above for more information and also learn about the ‘Devil Steps’ at 10:10. I now leave you with something that sums up what we sometimes do to reveal the unseen history of South-East Essex!