Reflections on the Land of the Fanns

The Land that Fanns was a phrase coined by Leslie Thomson for his book of parish register extracts from the Thurrock area. On 19th December 2016 it was announced that “The Land of the Fanns Landscape Partnership Scheme” has been granted £1.3 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to improve the quality of the local landscape and increase awareness of, and access to, the natural and cultural heritage of the area.

This cultural heritage includes the legacy of the East Saxons who had arrived at Mucking by the 5th century and gave us most of the settlement names we still use. Bulphan – fort by the marshes (Reaney, The Place-names of Essex) – continues to remind us that much of Thurrock was too wet for settlement. Translating these place names into modern English gives us a glimpse of the Thurrock landscape through Saxon eyes

There is an interesting (but not always reliable) historical survey of the area on the Thames Chase Forest web site –

In Panorama 7, we published a story of barges travelling up the Mardyke to Bulphan and later republished it on our web site –