Front cover of the book 'Thurrock's Deeper Past: A Confluence of Time' by Christopher John Tripp.
Christopher John Tripp
Archaeopress, £25
ISBN 978-178969115

Reviewed by Edward Biddulph

These days, Thurrock on the edge of the Thames in Essex, is perhaps best known for its vast shopping centre, but the region also has a rich archaeological heritage. Christopher Tripp takes readers on a tour of Thurrock’s past, from the Palaeolithic (tools having been found at Purfleet, for example) to the Saxon period (Mucking being the stand-out site in this period). In between, there is the Iron Age enclosed settlement at Orsett, Roman pottery kilns at Grays, and much more besides.

The author, born and bred in Thurrock and with many years’ experience digging in Essex, provides a personal view of the region and its archaeology. The book is not fully up to date, though, and it is unfortunate that recent discoveries, among them a major Iron Age and Roman salt-production site near Stanford-le-Hope, are ignored. Some statements in the book – the Icknield Way having Neolithic origins, for example – are contentious, and inexplicably there is no location map with place-names.

Nevertheless, this is an entertaining and engaging introduction to an ancient and fascinating landscape.

This review appeared in CA 350.

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