Facts about Rochford
St Andrew’s Church, Rochford, is close to Rochford Hall, and is part of Rochford Deanery, within the Bradwell Area of the Church of England Diocese of Chelmsford. Rochford Congregational Church has been part of the local community since 1750. The Congregational Church also established the first Dissenting School in the area; When others were afraid of educating the children of the lower classes because they might prove a danger to the state, the church ensured that ordinary people had “a plain and useful education.”
The town is the main settlement in the Rochford district and takes its name from Rochefort, Old English for Ford of the Hunting Dogs. The River Roach was originally called the Walfleet. It was renamed the Roach in what is known as a back-formation. This is where it is assumed that Rochford means ford over the River Roach so they renamed the river to fit the theory. The town runs into suburban developments in the parishes of Ashingdon and Hawkwell. Kings Hill, in Rochford, was notable for containing the Lawless Court up until the 19th century.
In 1837 John Banyard and William Bridges took a lease on the old workhouse, which became the first chapel of the Peculiar People, a name taken from Deuteronomy 14:2 and 1 Peter 2:9. The Peculiar People practised a lively form of worship bound by the literal interpretation of the King James Bible, banning both frivolity and medicine.