Main Births etc

Coordinates: 51°34′56″N 0°42′23″E / 51.5821, 0.7065
Rochford in 2006.jpg

Rochford is located in Essex

 Rochford shown within Essex
Population 7,610 (2001 census)
OS grid reference TQ876904
District Rochford
Shire county Essex
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Rochford
Postcode district SS4
Dialling code 01702
Police Essex
Fire Essex
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament Rochford and Southend East
List of places: UK • England • Essex

Rochford is a small town in the Rochford district of Essex in the East of England. It is sited about 43 miles (69.2 km) from Central London and approximately 21 miles (33.8 km) from the Essex county town, Chelmsford. According to the 2001 census the civil parish of Rochford, which includes the town proper, Stroud Green, and London Southend Airport, had a population of 7,610.


The town is the main settlement in the Rochford district, and takes its name from Rochefort, Old English for Ford of the Hunting Dogs. The River Roach was originally called the Walfleet (Creek of the foreigners). It was renamed the Roach in what is known as a back formation. This is where it is assumed that Rochford means ford over the River Roach so they renamed the river to fit the theory. The town runs into suburban developments in the parishes of Ashingdon and Hawkwell. Kings Hill, in Rochford, was notable for containing the Lawless Court up until the 19th century.[1]

First World War[]

The Area currently occupied by Southend Airport was used as a fighter station in World War I.[2] The site was founded in the autumn of 1914 when farmland between Westbarrow Hall and the Great Eastern railway line at Warners Bridge 2½ miles north of Southend Pier was acquired for RFC training purposes. Training continued until May 1915 when the site, known also as Eastwood, was taken over by the RNAS to become a Flight Station (night) in the fight against intruding Zeppelins. After the last RNAS action from here on it became once again RFC Rochford. Initially it was defined as a Home Defence night landing ground but in September was reclassified as a Flight Station (night). Normal Home Defence duties continued until after the Armistice when a run-down of unit activities began, with No.198 Sqn disbanding in May and No.61 in June 1919. Except for the occasional civilian flights aviation lessened, even more so when the station closed in 1920 and the site returned to farmland.

Second World War[]

During World War II Southend Airport was requisitioned by the Air ministry in August 1939[3] for use as a fighter airfield for the No.11 Group RAF. Rochford was a satellite station for RAF Hornchurch and was primarily a fighter base, home mainly to Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane aircraft. Rochford airfield was accompanied by a radar base in Canewdon (around 4 miles (6.4 km) away.) It was returned to civilian service on 31 December 1946.[4]

Due to this fact Rochford was bombed a number of times.


Until the early 1980s one of the largest employers in Rochford was the Lesneys factory, who manufactured the famous Matchbox miniature die cast model. However, this company relocated to Rugby, Warwickshire in 1990.


The town is just to the north of Southend on Sea, but is sufficiently separated from both Southend and Rayleigh to preserve its own identity.


The Member of Parliament for Rochford and Southend East is James Duddridge (Conservative).


There is a Hall in Rochford which is privately owned by a family which live within the building, along with the golf course who also own a part of it. In 1525, Henry VIII awarded Thomas Boleyn the title of Viscount Rochford. Rochford Hall subsequently became the home of Mary Boleyn, sometime mistress of Henry VIII and (probably elder) sister of (Queen) Anne Boleyn, during her second marriage to William Stafford.


Rochford railway station from which trains run to Southend Victoria and to Liverpool Street station in the business district of central London. In consequence it has long been popular as a dormitory town for commuters. Southend Airport railway station is under construction on the eastern boundary of the airport, due to open December 2010.

It also has good bus links to the surrounding towns. The Number 7, 8 and 9 service going to both Rayleigh and Southend-on-Sea in both directions.

Services 7, 8 & 9 are normally operated by modern low-floor easy access buses.

There are twice daily scheduled flights to Waterford and Galway in Ireland and a summer saturday flight to Jersey available from London Southend Airport.

Rochford Hospital[]

Aerial photo over Rochford. The old hospital boilerhouse can be seen.

Rochford Hospital used to be primarily the district maternity hospital. It was here, in 1956, that Sister J Ward made observations that led to the development of phototherapy for newborns suffering from jaundice.[5]

This hospital was closed and housing was built on much of the site. Some of the hospital was demolished in 1997, with the remainder being utilised for mental health inpatient services by South Essex Mental Health and Community Care NHS Trust until spring 2005 when services were dispersed and Rochford Hospital closed for redevelopment as part of the Runwell Hospital reprovision programme (latterly South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust) The old boilerhouse which was built in 1933 and provided heat and power for the hospital still stands. It is a grade 2 listed building. it has been converted into apartments

In February 2008 the new Rochford Hospital opened to mental health inpatient services provided by South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, Rochford Hospital provides services for wards which moved from Runwell Hospital.

Built in the grounds of the old hospital, the new development has 111 beds and cost £25 million. It was designed to care for people with mental health needs in a modern and therapeutic environment, initially opening four new wards for adult and older peoples mental health care, these wards are Beech Ward (previously Elm Ward) and Maple Ward (previously Ashingdon Ward) provide services for older people, Cedar Ward (previously Boleyn One Ward) and Willow Ward (previously Chalkwell Ward) provide services for Adults age people, Poplar ward is a new development which will provide inpatient services for adolescents suffering from mental ill health, Poplar ward opened in February 2009. The new Rochford Hospital is part of the wider plans to permanently close the current Runwell Hospital.

Rochford Hospital was officially opened on Thursday 7 May 2009 by Professor Louis Appleby.


Rochford Community Church was founded in 1983. Its mission statement is "To create a growing community of God's people that is loving, accepting and caring, and which is able to minister God's love, reconciliation and healing with a servant heart, in faith, both within it and to the world outside."[6]

St Andrew's Church, Rochford is located near the Rochford Hundred Golf Club and is part of Rochford Deanery,[7] within the Bradwell Area[8] of the Diocese of Chelmsford[9] of the Church of England.

Rochford Methodist Church is in North Street, Rochford, near the White Horse pub. The Methodists have been in Rochford since 1822, meeting in a building where Market Alley turns into the Square. In 1841, they moved to a new building in North Street near Weir Pond Road, and in 1880 they moved to their current premises. The link to the church website is shown below.[10]

Notable people[]

The following notable people were born in Rochford:

  • Omar Abdullah (b. 1970), politician and Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, India
  • Terry Alderton (b. 1970), comedian and former goalkeeper
  • James Bourne (b. 1983), member of pop rock band Busted and pop punk band Son of Dork
  • Niall Buckler (b. 1985), bass player of rock band Mumm-Ra
  • Digby Fairweather (b.1946), jazz cornettist
  • Kirk Hudson (b. 1986), footballer
  • Stephen Pewsey (b. 1955), author and historian
  • Paul Taylor (b. 1976), guitarist in punk rock band Second In Line, frontman of hardcore punk band Just Add Monsters and zine author.
  • Amanda Tapping (b. 1965), actress in Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Sanctuary.
  • Adrian Bell (b. 1969), academic.


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External links[]

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Rochford. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.