Leigh-on-Sea lies thirty miles to the east of London and has a much longer history than her brash, near neighbour, Southend. Legra, as it was then known, is mentioned in the Domesday book and by the 13th century the town had its own parish church, St. Clement’s. The church that stands today dates from the 15th century.
Leigh’s early prosperity was based on trade with the France and the Low Countries, and shipbuilding. By the 18th century boats were much larger and Leigh’s deep-water channel had silted up and fishing became the economy’s mainstay. Still the unrivalled fishing centre on the Thames estuary, you can eat the freshest cockles, mussels and whelks from the cockle sheds. The Old Town retains all of its olde worlde charm and is well worth a visit.
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