Rochford is located to the north of Southend-on-Sea and is officially the main town in the Rochford district of Essex. It is located approximately 43 miles from central London and approximately 21 miles from Essex’s county town, Chelmsford.
Rochford town has a chequered but interesting past. This medieval market town has been host to a number of fascinating people and events, ranging from royal visits and public executions to the founding of a religious sect.
Visitors to Rochford will notice the town centre does not have a high street and instead contains one of the few remaining town cross patterns in England, comprising North, South, East and West Streets. A market is held every Tuesday in the main Square and is one of the oldest in existence. It began in 1247 when The Lord of the Manor, Sir Guy de Rocheforte was granted a charter to hold a weekly market.
Throughout its history Rochford has had links with royalty. In particular, Rochford Hall which was built in the 16th century was considered one of the grandest buildings in the country until it was ravaged by fire in 1760. In 1515 Rochford Hall became the property of Sir Thomas Boleyn of Norfolk. His daughter, Anne, was to become the second wife of King Henry VIII who visited the Hall before their marriage in 1533. Today the hall has been restored and is used as the home of Rochford Golf Club.