Interesting Facts About Chelmsford
In 1199, following the commissioning of a bridge over the River Can by Maurice, Bishop of London, William of Sainte-Mère-Eglise was granted a Royal Charter for Chelmsford to hold a market, marking the origin of the modern town. An under-cover market, operating Tuesday to Saturday, is still an important part of the city centre over 800 years later. The city’s name is derived from Ceolmaer’s ford which was close to the site of the present High Street stone bridge. In the Domesday Book of 1086, the town was called Celmeresfort and by 1189 it had changed to Chelmsford. Its position on the Londinium – Camulodonum Roman road (the modern A12) ensured the early prosperity of Chelmsford.
Chelmsford was significantly involved in the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, and Richard II moved on to the town after quelling the rebellion in London. ‘The Sleepers and The Shadows’, written by Hilda Grieve in 1988 using original sources, states: “For nearly a week, from Monday 1st July to Saturday 6th July (1381), Chelmsford became the seat of government.
Chelmsford is the principal settlement of the City of Chelmsford district, and the county town of Essex, in the East of England. It is located in the London commuter belt, approximately 30 miles (48 km) northeast of the notional centre of London at Charing Cross and approximately 22 miles (35 km) from Colchester. The urban area of the city has a population of approximately 112,000, whilst the district has a population of 168,310.
The main conurbation of Chelmsford incorporates all or part of the former parishes of Broomfield, Great Baddow, Galleywood, Writtle, Moulsham, Widford, and Springfield, including Springfield Barnes, now known as Chelmer Village. Chelmsford’s population consists of a large number of City and Docklands commuters, attracted by the 30–35 minute journey into Central London via the Great Eastern Main Line railway. The same journey takes approximately 60 minutes by road via the A12.