Grays Thurrock is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Essex.

Alternative names: Grays

Parish church: St. Peter and St. Paul

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1674
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1629

Nonconformists include: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Independent/Congregational, Wesleyan Methodist, and Wesleyan Methodist Reform.

Adjacent Parishes

Parish History

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

GRAYS THURROCK, or GRAYs, a small town and a parish in Orsett district, Essex. The town stands on the Thames, and on the London and Southend railway, between Fiddler’s Reach and Northfleet Hope, 3 miles WNW of Tilbury Fort, and 10 SE of Romford; consists chiefly of one street, irregularly built, extending along a small creek; contains many new houses; was given, in 1194, by Richard I. to Henry de Grey; is a seat of petty sessions; and has a station on the railway, a post office, of the game of Grays, under Romford, London E, and a pier 400 feet long. A weekly market is held on Thursday; fairs are held on 23 May and 20 Oct.; and a large trade is carried on in the export of bricks to London. The parish comprises 1,374 acres of land, and 260 of water. Real property, £6,889. Pop. in 1851, 1,713; in 1861, 2,209. Houses, 400. The increase of pop. arose from the influence of the railway, and from the establishment of a chemical manufactory. The property is got much divided. Belmont Castle, about a mile from the town, the seat of R. Webb, Esq., is a modern Gothic edifice, and stands on an eminence, amid fine grounds. A whale, 58 feet long, came ashore at the parish in Oct. 1849. Brick making, and chalk-limeburning are largely carried on. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Rochester. Value, £250. Patron, James Theobald, Esq. The church is cruciform and good; and has a tower, with a recent low spire. There are a national school, a free grammar school, and some charities.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

THURROCK, GRAYS (St. Peter and St. Paul), a market-town and parish, in the union of Orsett, hundred of Chafford, S. division of Essex, 22 miles (S. S. W.) from Chelmsford, and 20½ (E. by S.) from London; containing 1464 inhabitants. The town consists of a single street irregularly built, on the north bank of the Thames, which has a creek here navigable for small craft. On the river is a wharf connected by a railway with some kilns where lime-burning is carried on to a considerable extent; and the making of bricks for the London builders, which are conveyed hence in barges, affords employment to about 300 persons. Great facility of communication with the metropolis is afforded by the Gravesend steamers, some of which stop at the neat pier of this place. The market is on Thursday; and fairs for cattle and hardware are held on May 23rd and October 20th. The parish takes its distinguishing epithet from the noble family of Grey, who were proprietors of the manor for more than three centuries: it comprises 1300 acres, all arable, with the exception of a little woodland, and 100 acres of pasture. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king’s books at £5. 0. 10., and in the gift of the Rev. H. S. Hele: the impropriate tithes have been commuted for £220, and the vicarial for £249. The church is a handsome cruciform structure, with a tower rising from the north transept, surmounted by a spire: the edifice has lately been improved. The old market-house is used as a place of worship for dissenters. A free school situated in the churchyard, and now united with a national school, was founded and endowed by William Palmer, in 1706. Rare and valuable fossils are frequently found in the chalk-pits.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848


Below is a list of people that were declared bankrupt between 1820 and 1843 extracted from The Bankrupt Directory; George Elwick; London; Simpkin, Marshall and Co.; 1843.

Biddle James Holloway, Grays, Essex, wheelwright, Nov. 12, 1833.

Parish Records

FamilySearch Catalog


Census returns for Grays Thurrock, 1841-1891

Church Records

Bishop’s transcripts for Grays-Thurrock, 1629-1640 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Grays-Thurrock (Essex)

Bishop’s transcripts for Grays-Thurrock, 1801-1862 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Grays-Thurrock (Essex)


Poll Books


Vision of Britain historical maps


  • County: Essex
  • Civil Registration District: Orsett
  • Probate Court: Court of the Archdeaconry of Essex
  • Diocese: Pre-1846 – London, Post-1845 – Rochester
  • Rural Deanery: Pre-1845 – Barstable, Post-1844 – Orsett
  • Poor Law Union: Orsett
  • Hundred: Chafford
  • Province: Canterbury

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