Historic Civil Engineering in Essex

This leaflet gives brief descriptions of some of the interesting historic civil engineering works in Essex.

This leaflet gives brief descriptions of some of the interesting historic civil engineering works in Essex.

Transport links in Essex began with the first roads built by the Romans between towns, which are still evident. The original route of the A12 between Brentwood, Chelmsford, Colchester & on past Ipswich to become the A140 to Norwich is still visible, as is Stane Street, the old A120, running West-East between Bishops Stortford, Great Dunmow & Braintree, meeting the old A12 at Marks Tey, although both roads have now bypassed the towns. The other main route to the North is on the West, now the M11 to Cambridge, having bypassed the old A11.

The Chelmer & Blackwater Canal (open 1796) & the Stour Navigation (open 1725) proved successful shipping routes until the advent of the railways. The first railways linking London to the main centres were to Chelmsford & Colchester in the 1840s, the London, Tilbury & Southend (1852-94) & the Shenfield to Southend (1887-89). These allowed branches to smaller towns including the Braintree-Witham-Maldon line (1848), the Marks Tey to Sudbury line (1849), the Harwich & Parkeston Quay line (1853-54), the Chappel to Halstead line (1860), & the Colchester to Clacton & Walton line (1860-82).

Shipping ports are at Harwich, & Mistley further up the River Stour, in the North & Tilbury in the South, the smaller ports at Colchester & Maldon both being now defunct. Airports are at Southend, having been redeveloped recently, & London Stansted.

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