Canvey Island

Canvey Island is a civil parish and reclaimed island in the Thames estuary in Essex , England. It has an area of ​​7.12 square miles (18.44 km 2 ) and a population of 38,170. [1]Essex by a network of creeks. The only exception is the flood of exceptional tides, but it has been inhabited since the Roman invasion of Britain.

The North Sea flood of 1953 devastated the island, killing 58 islanders and leading to the temporary evacuation of the 13,000 residents. [3] Canvey is likely protected by modern sea defenses comprising 2 miles (3.2 km) of concrete sea walls. [4]

Canvey is also notable for its relationship to the petrochemical industry. The island is the site of the first delivery in the world of liquefied natural gas by container ship, and later became the subject of an assessment of the risks of a population living within the vicinity of petrochemical and storage facilities.



Excavations on Canvey have unearthed a collection of early man-made objects from the Neolithic era, [5] a bracelet dating from the Bronze Age , [6] and Iron Age pottery. [5] However, the remains of Roman structures and objects suggests the first settlement of Canvases between AD 50 and 250. [5] [7] The remains of a community in a farm, a garrison, a burial ground, and the operation of a large salt-making industry (revealed by the existence of several Red hills ). [5] [8]

The discovery of a Roman road found to terminate 109 yards (100 m) across the creek in neighbouring Benfleet suggests a way to facilitate the salt distribution to Chelmsford and Colchester , [5] and the recovery of rich items of pottery and glassware The Romans may also have exploited Canvey’s location in the Thames for shipping. [5] [9]

Counus Island events

In 1607 the Elizabethan antiquarian William Camden Noted In His work Britannia (a topographical and historical survey of all of Great Britain and Ireland ) That Canvey Island (qui he called Expired Island Convennon) Was documented in the 2nd century by the Alexandrian geographer Ptolemy . [10] In his work Geographia , Ptolemy mentions a headland in the mouth of the Thames to the east of the Trinovantes region called Counus Island. However, Ptolemy’s Island and Contemporary Canvey. MacBean and Johnson, 18th century historians, contend Counus Island Would Have Existed much further Top out to sea (or Even Likely to be the Isle of Sheppey [11] ), so Any similarity entre le names is mere coincidence. Ptolemy’s Counus Island, 20th century, historians, White and Yearsley, is one of the most important articles on the subject. [5] [7]

Saxon and medieval

The settlement and agricultural development of Essex by the Saxons from the 5th century saw the introduction of sheep-farming which would dominate the island’s industry until the 20th century. The Norman conquest of the area of ​​Canvey recorded in the Domesday Book as a sheep farming under the control of nine villages and parishes in Essex . [12] Apart from the meat and wool produced from the sheep, the milk from the ewes was used for cheese-making. [6] The abundance in the future would have become a commodity for sale at the London markets, and at one stage exported via Calais to the continent.[5]

The existence of several places on Canvey using the wick suffix shows the influence of the early Saxon culture. Yearsley states the island has its name derived from the Anglo-Saxon Caningaege , meaning The Island of Cana’s People . [5] The development of the English language could lead to the more familiar name of Caneveye written in manorial records of 1254. [13] The period of development often produced a confused use of letters [14]such that comparative comparisons would also include Canefe, Kaneweye, Kaneveye and Koneveye. By the 12th century, Essex and subsequently Canvey were in the possession of Henry of Essex who inherited the land from his grandfather, Swein, his son Robert Wymarch. [15] During the reign of Henry II (1154-1189) the land was confiscated from Essex and redistributed among the favored King’s favors. [15]

Tudor divisions

Shown on John Norden’s 1594 map with the second word “insula” with the traditional middle “s”, facing the ‘ Isle of Grain rather than a Latinised “Sheppey insula” to the southeast which later almost wholly merged into the present island, with the said boundary being, having the same far point as the Canvey Point and the Leighbeck Point marshes. Two Tree Island is also recognizable, if halved in length.

The third eastern island or mudflat could be the Council Council where the Trinovantes, Cantiaci and the Catuvellauni counceled with the Iceni, shortly before staging Boudicca’s rebellion against the Romans.

If so Counties Occupied an area from the Canvey Sandbank Point until just before Shoeburyness , the eastern point of the relatively straight estuary so stretched the Southend on Sea , giving a reason for the tidal flats along this shore being so shallow (see for instance the world’s longest pier, which is in the town).

Cana’s people were descendants of both Cantiaci and the Catuvellauni. A counterstring point, Councils in the Trinidad and Tobago, on the other side of the world. quote needed ]

14th century – 17th century

During Edward II’s reign (1307-1327) the land was under the possession of John of Apeton [6] and the first attempts were made to manage the effects of rudimentary defense, [5] [6] but periodical flooding continued blight the small population of mostly shepherds and their fat-tailed variety of sheep for a further 300 years. William Camden wrote of the island in 1607 that it was so low that it was often quite flooded, except the hills, which had a place of safe haven. [10] The uniform flatness of Canvey suggests that these hills are likely to be the red hills of the Roman salt making industry, or the early makeshift sea defenses made by some of the landowners around their farms.

In 1622, Sir Henry Appleton (a descendant of John of Apeton), and Canvey’s other landowners [17] instigated a project to reclaim the land and the island of the Thames . Appleton’s – Joas Croppenburg, a Dutch Haberdasher of Cheapside in London . An agreement was reached in 1623 which stipulates that in return for inning and recovering the island, the landowners would grant a third of the land as payment for the work. [6]

A relation of Croppenburg’s, the Dutch engineer Cornelius Vermuyden present in England at the time of the project on a commission to drain the Fens and involved in repairing the seawall at Dagenham , but proof to be wave, [5] however the work was completed by around 300 Dutch skilled in the construction of dykes and other sea defense. The engineers successfully reclaimed 3,600 acres (15 km 2 ) [5] by walling the island with local chalk , limestone and heavy clayof the marshes with Thames faced with kentish ragstone . [5] [7]

A broad drainage ditch was dug inland off the area facing the river while smaller inlets were filled in. Excess water would have been collected in the broad spectrum and discharged into the river by the means of seven sluices (later known as Commissioners Dykes). [7] The completion of the work of a large number of Dutch engineers, and their payment on the island. [15]Approximately one-third of Canvey’s streets have names of Dutch origin.

Modern era

Chapman Lighthouse

The coast of Canvey Island was host to the Chapman Lighthouse as briefly described in Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart of Darkness . [18] It is believed by whom? ] Que le peril of the mudflats below Such shallow waters off the coast Canvey Island Prompted the Romans to currency Some form of beacon as a warning in the area. In 1851 a hexagonal lighthouse was constructed by the engineer James Walker , a consultant lighthouse engineer at Trinity Houseat the time. [19] This all-iron lighthouse replaced a lightshipwhich had been moored in the area for the preceding four years. The lighthouse was demolished in 1957-1958 due to its poor condition. [20]

Preventive service

Philip Benton reported about Canvey Chapel in 1867: “The seats are open and unappropriated, except one, which is set apart for the officer and the men under the Preventive Service, there being a station on the island for nine men, an officer and a chief boatman. ” The Lobster Smack Inn is located in Lobster. This ancient pub was also described by Charles Dickens in Great Expectations. So out of the way (and therefore the smugglers) was known as ‘The World’s End’. In the 19th century, the isolation made it an ideal point for the meetings of pugilists. The row of Preventive Men’s Cottages has survived against the odds. Today they are surrounded by a small housing estate. [21]

Bare-knuckle boxing

The Lobster Smack Inn saw many bare-knuckle fights in the 1850s, but few as dramatic as that between Tom ‘the Brighton Boy’ Sayers (1826-65) and Aaron Jones on 6 January 1857. The fight lasted for three hours and 65 rounds , and was finally declared when it became too dark to see. Sayers won at the latest in London.

Sometimes the ends Were entre local families, the best being white Known That entre champion Ben Caunt and Nat Langham. The fight arose from a family feud and Caunt took Langham to 60 rounds in September 1853. Langham was knocked down 59 times during the last days of his life. [22]


During the Victorian era Canvey became a very fashionable place to visit, and it was promoted to having healing properties. This started in 1899, after the Black Monday floods, when an entrepreneur called Frederick Hester bought Leigh Beck Farm, and started what was called Southview Park estate. [23] The properties sold very quickly. Hester wanted to create Canvey as a great seaside resort for Londoners, and so built the first walk, a pier and a magnificent winter garden & palace, of which he planned to cover six miles (but only covered a mile), more mono rail system (originally horse drawn then later electric). [23] Hester marketed Canvey asYe Old Dutch Island giving many of the new roads Dutch sounding names, and enticing potential buyers. The project, however, was one of the reasons for the failure of the railways. Hester was declared bankrupt and everything was sold off at Chimney’s Farm. [23]

A new sea front was developed in the 1930s, with Canvey Casino – a fun arcade and park opening the first building on what would become Eastern Esplanade. [23] Since then more amusements, a cinema, the pioneering Labworth Cafe , the Monico pub and nightclubs such as the Goldmine were built. Canvey Island Remained a popular holiday and weekend destination up to the cheap foreign package holiday est devenu popular in the 1970s.

Second World War

During the Second World War the island was a part of the GHQ Line , a line of concrete pillboxes constructed as part of the defense against the expected German invasion . Some of the old pillboxes are still in place. Also, concrete barges have been used extensively just off the south coast of the island, partly as a barrier and also for the purpose of anti-aircraft guns; One of these islands is one of the most popular beaches in the world. It has been prepared by the Island Yacht Club as a risk to health and safety.

Along with the Coalfort Fort at nearby East Tilbury , Thorney Bay on the southern coast of the island was the site of a station built to monitor the effectiveness of the equipment on board Thames . The structure is the last intact, and was still operating in 1974. Known as the Canvey Loop, the Women’s Royal Naval Service and used for monitoring merchant ships. The building has since been re-opened as a museum dubbed the “Bay Museum” and has First World War exhibits on the ground floor and Second World War exhibits on the first floor.[24] [25]

Floods of 1953

On February 1, 1953, the infamous North Sea Flood hit the island during the night and caused the deaths of 58 people. Many of the victims were in the holiday bungalows of the eastern Newlands.

The small village is about two feet (60 cm) above sea level and then escaped the effects of the flood. This included the Red Cow pub qui Was later renamed the King Canute in reference to the legend of the 11th century Danish king of England commanding the tide to halt with the sea lapping at His Feet. The King Canute pub was closed in May 2014. In 2016 a scheme has been proposed. [26]

After the flooding of 1953, a new seawall was built, which was then replaced with a significantly larger construction in the 1980s.

Petrochemical industry

The southern area of ​​the Canvey Island West ward at Hole Haven has predominantly existed as a petrochemical site since the first construction of an oil terminal in 1936. [27] In 1959, as part of a pioneering Anglo-American project designed to assess viability of transporting liquefied natural gasoverseas, a gas terminal with two one thousand tons capacity storage tanks was constructed at the site alongside the oil terminal. The gas terminal built by the British Gas Council was designed by Thames Haven and the local refinery at Shellhaven in Coryton. The first delivery of 2,020 tons arrived on 20 February 1959 from Lake Charles, Louisiana by a specially modified liberty ship Normarti renamed The Methane Pioneer . The following is a summary of the results of this study. [28] Established the international industry for transporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) by sea, [29] but the discovery of oil and gas in North Sea limited further British development. Canvey continued to receive 50 shipments of LNG per year from Arzew Algeria, until about 1984, British gas closed the site in 1994.

In 1964 the Italian company Agip Ltd. was granted a $ 15 million oil refinery in the north west of the island. [30] The refinery was never built.

In 1972 Occidental Petroleum began construction of an oil refinery , access roads, about 20 oil-storage tanks, a river and a concrete chimney were constructed, but work was halted in 1975 to a major design study review following the oil crisis of 1973- 4 and OPEC ‘s increase of oil prices.

On March 28, 1973 planning permission was granted to United Refineries Ltd. to develop a site of the Western refinery site for the construction of another oil refinery . An exploratory public inquiry was held in February / March 1975 into the possible revocation of the planning permission for the United Refineries development. The report of 30 April 1975 recommended revocation and further expert evaluation of the totality of risks facing people who lived in and around Canvey. In March 1976 the Secretaries of State for the Environment and Employment asked the Health and Safety Commission to investigate the risks of health and safety of various facilities on Canvey and the neighboring part of Thurrock. The Commission invites the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to carry out an investigation.

From the Canvey Report (1978) the following hazardous facilities were identified:

Hazardous facilities and activities at Canvey 1978
Company Installation Storage Employees Import Export
British Gas Corporation Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) Terminal Liquified Natural Gas: 6 x 4,000 ton above-ground tanks, 2 x 1,000 ton above-ground tanks, 4 x 20,000 ton in-ground tanks. Butane Liquid: 1 x 10,000 ton tank, 2 x 5,000 ton tanks 200 Sea Pipeline & road
Texaco Ltd Petroleum products storage Petroleum products more than 80,000 tons total capacity 130 Sea Pipeline, road, sea
London & Coastal Wharves Ltd Flammable and toxic liquids storage Flammable and toxic liquids more than 300,000 tons 50 Mainly sea but some road Pipeline, road, some sea
Occidental Refineries Ltd Oil refinery (proposed) Liquified petroleum gases: 2 x 750 ton propane spheres, 2 x 400 ton butane spheres. Hydrocarbon liquids in about 50 tanks totalling about 125,000 cubic meters. Process and storage of 10-20 tons of hydrogen fluoride Sea Pipeline, road, sea
United Refineries Ltd Oil refinery (proposed) Liquified petroleum gases: 4 x 200 tonnes propane spheres, 3 x 900 tonnes butane spheres. Hydrocarbon liquids in about 50 tanks totalling about 125,000 cubic meters. Sea Pipeline, road, sea

In 1978 the HSE concluded that the residents of the island faced a risk in South Benfleet. [31]

Upper limit of average individual risk (expressed in chances in 10,000 a year) [31]
Canvey Island South Benfleet
Existing facilities 5.3 1.0
Existing + Improvements (in report) 2.7 0.4
Existing + Improvements + Additional measures 1.4 0.4
Existing + Developments + Improvements 3.4 0.4
Existing + Developments + Improvements + Additional measures 1.4 0.4

On July 27, 1978 Castle Point District Council asked the Secretary of State “to revoke the planning permission granted to United Refineries Ltd. in accordance with his Inspector’s recomendation at the exploratory inquiry in 1975”. [32]

The issue of risk was again highlighted in an attack by the IRA in January 1979 on the Texaco oil terminal. A bomb was detonated at a fuel tank, but failed to ignite with the fuel escaping into a safety moat. [33] [34] The Occidental site was abandoned in 1975 leaving a half-built oil refinery, storage tanks, and an unused mile long jetty which cost about £ 10 million of the total £ 60 million on the project. [35] However, in the following years, the United States and the United States of America have been removed from the United States, and in 2003, the final storage tanks were removed in a clean-up operation, and the site was renamed as Canvey Wick. and opened as a nature reserve.

In September 1997, the celebrity steeplejack Fred Dibnah was hired by Safewaysupermarkets to demolish the 450-foot (140 m) concrete chimney that was part of the abandoned oil refinery. Safeway had planned for the 2,500-ton chimney to be demolished on 18 September in front of a large crowd of invited guests. This would have been the first time Fred Dibnah’s technical demolition of pit props and fire (without explosives) had been attempted on a concrete chimney and it was also the tallest chimney he had ever attempted to fell. However, the chemney unexpectedly collapsed the previous day while Fred and his team were making the final preparations for the controlled demolition, fortunately without injury. The incident is described in various biographies by Fred in his public speaking events afterwards.[36]

The sites today

Calor Gas Ltd now operates the British Gas site. Liquified Petroleum Gases (LPG) propane and butane. There were plans in 2005-7 to convert the natural gas (LNG) but the planning application was rejected.

Oikos Storage Limited now operate the London & Coastal Wharves Ltd. The site offers a bulk liquid storage facility for refined petroleum products.

Neither of the refineries proposed in the 1970s were completed or commissioned. The Texaco site was demolished and the tanks removed, the former Texaco River jetty is still extant.


Canvey Island is 30 miles (48 km) east of London , and 15 miles (24 km) west of Southend-on-Sea . The island is separated from the mainland to the north and west by Benfleet , East Haven and Vange creeks, and faces the Thames Estuary to the east and south. Along with Neighboring Two Tree Island , The Lower Horse and Upper Horse, Canvey is an alluvial island formed in the Holocene period from the River Thames and material entering the estuary on the tides of the North Sea from the coast of Norfolk . [37] [38]An unsuccessful search for coal beneath the island in 1953 revealed that the alluvium rests upon layers of London Clay , Lower London Tertiaries, Chalk, Lower Greensand and Gault Clay , with the basement rocks at a depth of 1,300 feet (400 m) Old Red Sandstone of Devonian age. [37] [39]

The island is extremely flat, lying 10 feet (3 m) below average and is at risk of flooding. Before reclamation, the surrounding area is contained by tidal creeks. [40] Flood defenses have been constructed since the Middle Ages, and the first sea wall was completely built as part of the island’s claim in 1622. [41] The island suffered extensive flooding in 1731, 1736, 1791, 1881 and 1897, and substantial loss of life in the North Sea Flood of 1953 . [42] As of 2008 , the flood defenses consist of a concrete seawall, a flood sirens and an internal surface storm water drainage system.

The extensive sea wall, completed in 1982, is 15 miles (24 km) long and surrounds 75% of the island’s perimeter terminating with flood barriers spanning Benfleet Creek to the north and East Haven Creek in the west. The drainage system consists of sewers, culverts, natural and artificial dykes and lakes which feed the water and water into the Thames and creeks. Four of the discharge sites are “high flow” stations capable of discharging 600 liters of water per second at any level. The levels within the system are managed by a further “low flow” pumping stations. [4] The Environment Agency’s Thames Estuary 2100 flood defense plan includes Canvey Island as a site for alleviating the risks of London and the Thames estuary area. It is proposed that the western side of Canvey is developed as a one-time flooded site at times of risk, or transformed into a permanent wetland . [43] [44]

Developments in the 20th century have produced a marked contrast between the environments in the east and west of the island. The eastern half of the island is divided into two areas, the main half of the island and the other, while the western half of the island is mainly farmland, marshes and industrial areas. The marshes in the west include the 30 hectares known as West Canvey marshes, acquired by the RSPB in 2007, [45] and the Canvey Wick nature reserve. Canvey Wick is a designated site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) at the site of the abandoned and incomplete oil refinery. The foundations of the 100 hectare (0.4 sq mile) site were prepared in the 1970s by tons of tons of siltdredged from the Thames; the abandoned and undisturbed areas of the world have grown to be 1,300 species of wildlife, many of which are endangered or were thought to be extinct; including the shrill carder bee , the emerald damselflyand the weevil hunting wasp.

It has been said that the site may have one of the highest levels of biodiversity in Western Europe . [46] [47] Other areas of natural interest include the 20 acres (8 ha) of Canvey Lake Local Nature Reserve owned by Castle Point Borough Council. The lake was used for salt-making during the Roman settlement of the island, and is also thought to have an oyster bed. [48] At the eastern point of the island is the 36-acre (150,000 m 2) Canvey Heights Country Park which was reclaimed from the Newlands landfill site that operated there between 1954-89. The park is the highest land elevation on the island and the mainland and the Thames. The environment supports an array of wildfowl such as skylarks , dark-bellied brent geese and gray plover . [49]


Canvey Island coalesced into a separate civil parish and ecclesiastical parish in 1881. These REPLACED with separate Remits the 17 divisions of the Largely land split into meadowland grazing since the Norman era by the Neighboring parishes of North Benfleet , South Benfleet , Bowers Gifford , Prittlewell , Southchurch , Hadleigh , Laindon , Pitsea and Vange . [38] In 1926, the parish was converted to the Canvey Island Urban District , then dissolved along with the Benfleet Urban the Local Government Act 1972 to form the local government district and borough of Castle Point . [38]

Since the 2010 General Election , the Member of Parliament Representing the parliamentary constituency of Castle Point has-been Rebecca Harris of the Conservative Party .

Canvey holds two seats on Essex County Council . As of 2009 , the seat of Canvey Island West is represented by Ray Howard of the Conservative Party, while Canvey Island East is taken by Brian Wood (replaced in May 2013 by Dave Blackwell) of the Canvey Island Independent Party. [50]

affiliation Councilors
Canvey Island Independent Party (CIIP) 16
Conservative Party 1
Labor Party 0
Liberal Democrats 0

Canvey is represented on the Castle Point Borough Council by 17 councillors elected from six wards: Canvey Central Island, East, North, South, West and Winter Gardens. 16 of the 17 councillors belong to the Canvey Island Independent Party (CIIP) formed in 2003 by ex-Deputy Labor Council leader and local resident Dave Blackwell. The remaining councillor is Conservative. [51]

The Canvey Island town council was formed in 2007 after a petition by Albert Payne, with the signatures of 3,000 islanders, was accepted by the government. [52] As of 2008 , the council has 11 councillors, 10 of whom are Canvey Island Independent members, and functions with Councillor surgeries and through four committees – Community Relations, Environment and Open Spaces, Planning and Policy and Finance. The surgeries are held at the town council offices, while the committees meet at various times every fortnight. [53]

Some Canvey Islanders want independence from Castle Point Borough Council . [54]


The population of Canvey HAS Increased Significantly in the last 100 years, Mainly due to the island’s popularity as a residential holiday resort During the first half of the 20th century, drank aussi due to the London overspill Plans and the introduction of council estates for 100 families from the Dagenham and Walthamstow boroughs in 1959. [55]


year 1851 1887 1901 1911 1921 1931 1939 1951 1961 1971 2001 2011
Population 69 [38] 282 [56] 307 [42] 583 [38] 1,795 [27] 3,532 [57] 6.248 [57] 11,258 [57] 15,605 [57] 26,608 [57] 37,479 [58] 38, 170 [59]


Canvey Island Compared
2001 UK census Canvey Island Castle Point England
Total population 37.479 86.608 49138831
Foreign born 4.2% 4.6% 9.2%
White 98% 97% 91%
Asian 0.6% 0.7% 4.6%
Black 0.2% 0.2% 2.3%
Christian 74% 75% 72%
Muslim 0.2% 0.3% 3.1%
Hindu 0.1% 0.2% 1.1%
No religion 16% 15% 15%
Over 65 years old 15% 17% 16%
Unemployed 2.2% 2.4% 3.3%

At the 2001 census , the population of Canvey was 37.479 of which 87.9% of people were living in the area of ​​population density of 38 persons per hectare, The largest area of ​​the island was 4.6 persons per hectare.

There were 15,312 dwellings on Canvey of which 98.7% were households. 42.4% were occupied by couples, 13.9% of households and 26% were occupied by co-habiting couples. Canvey had a higher proportion of 35.2% of households compared to the average of 29.2% for England, but had a lower proportion when compared to the average for Castle Point at 39.9%.

There was a higher proportion of female residents than male by 0.03%. The median age of the population was 40 years old, and 23% were under 18, while 15% of residents were over 65.

The island has a high proportion of white people compared to national figures; the ethnicity recorded was 98.2% white compared with 91% for England. 0.6% of the population were mixed ethnic groups, while 0.6% were Asian, 0.2% Black and 0.2% Chinese.

4.2% of the population were foreign born, with 1.7% of residents born in another country of the UK. 2.5% of the population were born outside the UK; and 1.2% of residents born outside Europe.

Religion was recorded as 74% Christian, 0.2% Muslim, 0.1% Jewish, 0.1% Hindu, while 16% of islanders had no religion.

The proportion of unemployed persons on Canvey was lower at 2.2% than for Castle Point at 2.4%, and England at 3.3%. [1]

Retail, leisure and industry

Canvey Island has several shopping areas. The main town is known as the Haystack (after the pub in the town) and is based on Furtherwick Road and the High Street. Most shops are located in the Knightswick Center (opened 1978) and Furtherwick Road with the lead store being Sainsbury’s (formerly Key Markets ). The other main store on Canvey is Morrisonswhich is located on Northwick Road, some way from the town center. There are small shopping parades in St. Michael’s Road, The Long Road Village, Jones Corner on Long Road, Third Avenue, High Street and Dotted High Street. Castle Point Council is currently planning a £ 50m regeneration scheme for the town center including a larger Sainsbury’s on the current Knightswick Car Park (with parking on the roof) and better connection to the town center and the lake. [60]

Canvey currently has a small multi screen cinema located on the sea called Movi-Starr (opened late 1990s) which replaced the former Rio Cinema which closed in the 1970s and was replaced by Rio Bingo Hall (Furtherwick Road). There are several arcades along this stretch of the seafront, along with a small amusement park and the Monico public house. The island HAD Previously-been Known for icts nightlife with Both the Goldmine (hosted big name DJs Including Emperor Rosko and Chris Hill ) and King’s Nightclubs (acts included comedian Mike Read ) [61] being white Well Known Hot goal spots thesis closed in the 1980s and 1990s respectively.

Canvey’s industry is primarily based in two locations. The main location is Charfleet Industrial Estate, while there is further industrial buildings in Point Road. Canvey Island was home to Prout’s Caterers from 1949 to 2002. [62]Canvey is also home to a Calor Gas Storage Terminal, and an Oikos Oil depot located off Thames Road and Holehaven Road. [63]

More private developers have announced a new retail park to be built next to Morrisons supermarket at Roscommon Way on Canvey Island which will be opened in 2018. [64]


Designed by Ove Arup in 1932, the Labworth Cafe is a listed building on Canvey Island’s seafront.

The Lobster Smack public house at the southwest corner of the island is a Grade II listed building dated to the 17th century. The pub was known to Charles Dickens who mentioned it in Great Expectations . [65] Alongside the pub is a row of wooden Coastguard cottages that date from the late 19th century. [66] [67]

Landmarks from the era of Canvey’s development as a seaside resort in the 20th century include the International Style Labworth Café built from 1932 to 1933 and designed by Ove Arup . The building fell into a state of disrepair in the 1970s and 1980s but was renovated in 1996 and now functions as a beach bistro and restaurant.

Opened in 1979, the Heritage Center along Canvey Road is housed in the St. Katherine’s Church, which was built in 1874. Originally timber-framed, the church was rendered over in the 1930s to give it its present appearance; it closed as a place of worship in 1962. It now contains an art and craft center with a small folk museum .

The island is also home to two Dutch Cottages, one in Haven Road and the other on Canvey Road, which were built during the 17th century by Dutch immigrants working on the sea walls. The Cottage at Canvey Road is home to the Dutch Cottage Museum.

Some of Canvey’s lost landmarks include the Goldmine club is Western Esplanade, [68] the original public Oysterfleet house and lighthouse [69] and Cherry Stores. [70]



Canvey Island is connected to the A130 (Canvey Way) and the B1014 (Canvey Road). Built in 1972, the A130 (Canvey Way) crosses East Haven Creek to Bowers Gifford and joins the London-Southend A13 at Sadler’s Farm Roundabout. The two lanes of the A130 are currently the island’s primary access route with 25,000 vehicles using the road and bridge per day. [71] The B1014 and Canvey Road Bridge (or Canvey Bridge) Benfleet Creek to Benfleet to Benfleet , and provides access to the London c2c ( Fenchurch Street ) to Shoeburyness line via Benfleet railway station.

Canvey Road Bridge was built in 1973, and replaced the island’s first bridge to the mainland, which dated from 1931. The 91 meters (299 ft) Colvin Bridge – named after the Lord Lieutenant of Essex , Brigadier-General RB Colvin [72] – operated with a sliding 18 m (59 ft) central section that retracted for boats passing along Benfleet Creek. [38] Prior to the Colvin Bridge’s construction, crossing the creek was achieved by either rowing-boat or by a gravel causeway or stepping-stones at low tides. [42]

Congestion and the third road

Since the late 1970s, residents and local politicians have been working on the construction of a third road access (or “third road”) to ease the island’s congestion and rush hour and have a viable means of evacuation from flooding or industrial accidents at the petrochemical facilities . [73] [74] In 2008, the congestion and failure to secure the construction of such a road or significant improvements to the “breaking point” and on the verge of ” civil unrest “. [75] Plans for the third access route-have included a tunnel to Kent , [76] and road bridges to places Such As Leigh-on-Sea and Coryton . [77]Opposition to the road quotes the enormous cost, the environmental damage, and the increase of vehicles to districts with already overburdened traffic systems. [76]

The island’s access congestion was partially addressed by Essex Council in December 2011 with its completion of the £ 12.1 million Roscommon Way Extension. [78] The road runs from Northwick Road to Haven Road, providing a bypass for small numbers of traffic and adding a new entrance to Charfleet Industrial Estate while also navigable in the case of flooding. [79] However, the road has not gained public support, and the extension has become known as ‘The Road to Nowhere’. [80] This road is used by boy racers drifting in cars. As such, there are talks about putting speed restrictions in place such as road humps .

Bus and rail

AEC Routemaster nozzles at Labworth car park for the classic vehicle event.

Bus services have been running on Canvey since 1906. [42] From 1934, the services of the local bus depot at Leigh Beck by the Canvey & Bus District Co, later to be incorporated into the Eastern National Omnibus Company . The depot closed in 1978, but the building was re-opened at the Castle Point Transport Museum . The museum currently houses a collection of buses, commercial, military and emergency vehicles, and general items related to public road transport. [81] Organized by volontaires, the museum’s annual show and open days coincides with a classic vehicle cruise That convenes at the parks because of the seafront. [82]

The current bus services on the island are operated by First Essex from the Hadleigh bus depot, and Regal Busways based in Chelmsford . First Essex is providing services through the town center and provides services to Southend, Basildon and Bournes Green. [83] Regal Busways began services in May 2006, and operated the primary (1 and 1A) service to Chelmsford and services via South Benfleet, Battlesbridge , Howe Green and Sandon and beyond Chelmsford to Writtle .

Both bus companies Provide services to Benfleet railway station , qui est Located close to Canvey Bridge, just north of the island. The railway station has a taxi rank. Train services are provided by c2c entre London Fenchurch Street and Southend Central / Shoeburyness .


Canvey Island has two comprehensive schools : the Cornelius Vermuyden School and Castle View School . Both were built in 2012 as replacements for the island’s three age comprehensives, and as a response to the island’s declining numbers of 11- to 16-year-olds.

Cornelius Vermuyden occupies the same site as its predecessor near Waterside Farm, while Castle View School – within the city center of the island – has replaced Furtherwick Park School , having previously existed within the central island / winter gardens Ward, overlooked by Hadleigh Castle . Furtherwick Park School shut up in 2010, remaining pupils were moved to Castle View School to finish their education. This site is now the location of Canvey Skills Campus which was built in 2013 and provides vocational education for 14-to-19-year-olds, and adult learning and is run by PROCAT . [84]



This island is just 5 miles from east to west and 3 miles north to south and only HAS-been populated since the 17th century When the Dutch Including reputedly Cornelius Vermuyden made the marshlands Living. There are local legends of a Dutchman carrying a sack wandering the northern parts of the island. Although only inhabited since the 1600s, the land was used as grazing pastures by the Romans. [85]

Canvey has its own ‘lady of the lake’ in the form of a woman who was drowned there many years ago. Local stories are sketchy, some even say it was a man who drowned, but the majority speak of a female ghost who has wandered the area since her horse-drawn carriage plummeted into the lake. A recent clean-up of the lake founds two horses and fragments of a wooden carriage.

The story of ‘The Black Man’ and ‘The White Lady’ is believed to be a mythical tale of smugglers and smugglers. It was said that ‘The Black Man’ offered a price for your soul, while the ‘White Woman’ would be tempt you to dance with her. Men in the air, only to watch them vanish before their eyes. [85]

Many night fishermen have seen a tall, burly Viking standing on the mudflats at The Point, on the far eastern side of the island. It is believed that he was left behind by his fleet and waited for his ship to return; only to drown in the rising tide. [85]

A farmer’s hand at the farmhouse. Knightswick Farm watched at the Farmhouse. Puzzled to the nun had walked the muddy fields, the girl left the porch and walked towards the nun intending to greet her. Suddenly the nun began to vanish into the ground as she walked! [85]

According to local legend a tunnel to the Lobster Smack to Hadleigh Castle, and was said to be used by smugglers bringing in French wines.


Canvey Island was an influential destination in the 1970s for artists of the pub rock genre of music [86] such as Graham Parker , Elvis Costello , [87] Eddie and the Hot Rods , Nick Lowe , [88] and The Kursaal Flyers , while also being home to “Canvey Island’s finest” Dr. Feelgood band . [89] During the 1970s The Goldmine opened in the Bay Country Club [90] and became known to the British DJ Chris Hill .

The island continued to be a source of inspiration for artists Such As British Sea Power Who included a song Entitled “Canvey Island” on Their 2008 album Do You Like Rock Music?

Cultural references

Canvey Island is the setting for the British author Nicola Barker’s 2002 novel Behindlings . [91] The island was also the subject of the 2006 Turner Prize nominee Rebecca Warren’s 2003 painted clay sculpture titled Canvey Island . [92]

Canvey was also home to a Prada fashion shoot in James McAvoy’s 2014 starring , [93] and featured in BBC’s Silent Witness shown on February 2 & 3, 2015. [94]


Canvey Island has two senior semi-professional football teams in Canvey Island FC (The Gulls) and Concord Rangers FC (The Beachboys). The oldest of the two clubs (founded in 1926) Canvey Island FC currently plays a new role in their rivals (Concord Rangers FC being founded in 1967) in the Isthmian League Premier Division , while ‘The Beachboys’ compete in The South Conference . Despite Canvey Island FC having historical success reaching the National League in 2004 and winners of the FA Trophy in 2001, it is Concord Rangers FC who boast the most impressive recent record; being the current holders of the Essex Senior Cup, having won the competition for the past 3 seasons.

Amateur participation in sport is popular on the island, with sports such as rugby union, cricket, and martial arts represented by clubs and corresponding facilities. The Castle Point Golf Course is located on Canvey, and the Waterside Farm Sports Center (recently refurbished 2013) provides pitch. Also home to Canvey Island Swimming Club providing coaching for children ages 4 and upwards to standard national competitive prices.

Water sport

Water sports are also popular recreational pursuits. Canvey Has Two sailing clubs in The Island Yacht Club and the Chapman Sands Sailing Club , with Benfleet Yacht Club and slipway aussi Situated on the island at Benfleet Creek in the north. A region between Thorney bay and Labworth beach is designated by the Port of London Authority as an approved windsurfing area. [95] The Canvey Island Swimming Club is based on Waterside Farm Leisure Center. The British record for the largest angler-caught angler fish (Lophius piscatorius) is from Canvey Island, [96]caught by H.Legerton in 1967. During 1953 and 1954 two unusual fish were washed ashore and known as Canvey Island Monster .

Notable people

  • Ebenezer Joseph Mather , the founder of Royal National Mission to Deep Sea . He died December 23, 1927 and was buried in the grounds of the local St Nicholas church. [97] (Note here, Mather was buried in the grounds of the parish church – at the time this was St Katherine’s Church.The grounds for St. Nicholas had not been acquired.)
  • Edwin Bernard Griffith MBE [98] Founded Canvey Island Branch of the RNLI. In 1992 Griffith received an Honorary Life Governorship of the RNLI. He also received an award from the Lifesaving Society for saving the life of a Canvey sea front boy. This award was given to the Canvey Island Heritage Center and Museum following his death in June 2000.
  • Clara James , one of the founding members in 1889 of The Women’s Trade Union Association (WTUA) established a holiday home on the island and served from 1925 as a parish councillor. She died on Canvey in 1956. [99]
  • Jessica Judd , middle distance runner for UK Athletics, grew up on the island and was educated at Castle View [100] [101]
  • Dean Marney (footballer) , to form St Katherine’s Primary School pupil, currently playing for Burnley FC [102] [103]
  • Roland and Francis Prout; the pioneers of the modern catamaran , were born and lived on the island and operated the Prout Catamaran business from the boat yards at Leigh Beck. The brothers also represented Britain at the 1952 Olympics Olympic Canoeing Event. [104]
  • Ashley George Old , the war artist lived on Canvey from the mid-1960s until his death in 2001. [105]
  • Dean Macey , the Olympic decathlete was born and raised on the island
  • Robert Denmark , Olympic and Commonwealth (gold) 5,000 meters athlete attended Furtherwick Park School
  • Peter Taylor , the temporary manager of the football team in 2000 was born on Canvey citation needed ]
  • Frank Saul : FA Cup winner in 1967 with FC Tottenham Hotspur was born on Canvey.
  • Ty Gooden , who played between 1992-2005 for teams such as Arsenal and Swindon Town FC , was sold in 2003 to non-league Canvey Island.
  • Lee Brilleaux , vocalist and founder of influential 1970s rhythm and blues group Dr. Feelgood moved to Canvey Island with his family when he was 13.
  • Wilko Johnson guitarist and composer best known for his work with Dr. Feelgood, also played with The Blockheads , The Wiilko Johnson Band and Roger Daltrey , was born on Canvey
  • Lew Lewis , harmonica player with Eddie and the Hot Rods, who has had his own group, and guest with The Stranglers and The Clash was brought up in the same Canvey Island street as Lee Brilleaux
  • Dominic Lyne , author, was born and lived on Canvey until the age of 4.
  • Joshua Hayward, guitarist of The Horrors, grew up in the island before moving 18. [106]

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