Facts about Canvey Island
Canvey Island History
Excavations on Canvey Island have unearthed a collection of early man-made objects comprising axes from the Neolithic era, a bracelet dating from the Bronze Age, and Iron Age pottery. However, the remains of Roman structures and objects suggests the first settlement of Canvey Island occurred between AD 50 and 250. The remains point to a community existing with a farmstead, a garrison, a burial ground, and the operation of a large salt-making industry.
The discovery of a Roman road found to terminate 109 yards across the creek in neighbouring Benfleet suggests a means may have existed to facilitate the salt’s distribution to Chelmsford and Colchester, and the recovery of rich items of pottery and glassware of a variety only matched elsewhere by excavations of port facilities suggests the Romans may also have exploited Canvey Island’s location in the Thames for shipping.
Canvey Island coalesced into a separate civil parish and ecclesiastical parish in 1881. These with separate remits replaced the 17 divisions of the land split largely into grazing meadowland since the Norman era by the neighbouring parishes of North Benfleet, South Benfleet, Bowers Gifford, Prittlewell, Southchurch, Hadleigh, Laindon, Pitsea and Vange. In 1926, the parish was converted to the Canvey Island Urban District, then dissolved along with the Benfleet Urban District in the Local Government Act 1972 to form the local government district and borough of Castle Point.