A Walk Around Billericay
The July Walk
Today, Sunday 3 July was the second in the planned Billericay Town Walks for 2011, led by Councillor Pam Went. An interesting group of local history enthusiasts met at the railway station and off we went to learn a little more from Pam and Dave, who took photos. In the short time available, we visited the site of the old Billericay Workhouse built in 1840 and serving 26 surrounding towns. It is now a beautifully restored building full of great apartments. We were invited into one interesting home in Grey Lady Place and learned about its history and that of St Andrew’s Hospital which existed on the site for 80 years.
Onward then to the Festival Gardens created in 1951 to learn of its provenance, then along the High Street, studying the ancient buildings (now shops), the intriguing old Chantry House dated 1510, the place where half a dozen Pilgrims were said to have prayed the night before they left for the New World in 1620. Although they arrived safely, all died within a month.
We checked out the Tudor beamed frontages of shops and stable-yards, the Italian restaurant that was once the Billericay Grammar School and police-station built 1830 and of course, our great Cater Museum at 74 High Street which offers historical background to visitors every day from 2pm-5pm (except Sunday). Refreshments were welcomed in St Mary Magdalen Church, which itself has been restored over the last few years and deserves a decent amount of time to look around and appreciate.
There is so much to see in Billericay and more town walks are planned for the summer with details posted on the Council display boards.