Great Burstead as a village dates back at least to AD500, when it was settled by Saxons, from Lower Saxony, nowadays better known as Germany. It was first recorded, about 975, as `Burgestede` meaning `stronghold-site`.
The adjacent village of South Green was first recorded as `Southwood Greene` in 1593, becoming the more recognised South Green in 1777.
The centrepiece of Great Burstead is the Conservation area, centred around the Church of St. Mary Magdalene on Church Street and a trio of listed buildings, one of which I had the pleasure of selling about ten years ago - a beautiful16th-17th century timber framed house.
The Grade 1 listed Norman church dates back to the 12th century and was the original parish church for the whole of the area, in those days encompassing Billericay too.
Great Burstead has a great local pub on the corner of Mill Road and Southend Road, which serves great food.
The King`s Head Pub dates back to 1750 when it was known as the White Horse and interestingly travellers to and from Rochford and Brentwood would stop here before passing through the toll-gate which I think stood adjacent.
The `Outstanding` St Peter`s Catholic Primary School on Coxes Farm Road is almost opposite the pub and at school run times you`ll often see the Lollipop Man/Lady on duty, guiding the children across the road in front of the pub.
Along Kennel Lane are the popular small housing estates of Coopers Croft and Froden Brook. Pretty developments built in the early 1990`s by Countryside Homes, on the site of the Balls Plastics factory.
The old brook itself is still there, running underground but surfaces as a culvert in the lower part of Church Street.
Opposite the developments, on the other side of Kennel Lane, is a 1.25 acre, 12ft plus deep (in places) reed fringed Fishing Lake with a good mix of different fish.
As a local agent, I associate the whole of Church Street, Mill Road, Kennel Lane and some of the roads off these as Great Burstead. A few other pockets fall into the area (part of Southend Road, Coxes Farm Road and Grange Road, etc), with the rest coming under South Green.
Towards the top of Bell Hill, Gatwick House, a Grade II listed building from 1767, now secluded from the road by trees, presides over the area which heads down towards the village green on the right.
A great parade of shops on Grange Road overlook the ancient `Green` (originally much bigger) and together they form the heart of the area.
The shops include a Costcutter Supermarket, Post Office, Chemist, Greengrocer and a pretty good fish and chip shop.
The local South Green Infants & Junior Schools both have `Good` OFSTED Reports and the area falls within catchment for Billericay Secondary School, also benefiting from a `Good` OFSTED rating.
Built in 1956 the local village hall serves the community well and on the opposite side of the road a bit further up, `Main Road Garage` provides petrol and the usual garage services.
The bulk of the residential development has been London Borough estates, built in the 1950`s and 1960`s to cater for London overspill. That said, there is a number of old properties in the area, particularly around the Green, providing character appeal.
Finally, public transport. There are bus stops a-plenty in the area taking you to Billericay High Street and Mainline Railway Station in minutes and the surrounding towns in little more.
In 1997 legislation was passed resulting in the two parishes coming under the Billericay area of the Basildon District Council.
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