Last updated

Shoeburyness east-beach.jpg
Shoebury East Beach
Essex UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within Essex
Population11,159 (2011 Census) [1]
OS grid reference TQ941851
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Southend-on-Sea
Postcode district SS3
Dialling code 01702
Police Essex
Fire Essex
Ambulance East of England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°31′54″N0°47′52″E / 51.5316°N 0.7978°E / 51.5316; 0.7978 Coordinates: 51°31′54″N0°47′52″E / 51.5316°N 0.7978°E / 51.5316; 0.7978

Shoeburyness ( /ˌʃbəriˈnɛs/ ; also called Shoebury) is a suburb of the city of Southend-on-Sea, in the City of Southend-on-Sea, in the ceremonial county of Essex, England. 3 miles (5 km) east of the city centre. It was an urban district of Essex from 1894 to 1933, when it became part of the county borough of Southend-on-Sea. [2] It is now in the unparished area of Southend-on-Sea, in the Southend-on-Sea district. It was once a garrison town and still acts as host to MoD Shoeburyness.


Shoeburyness is divided into halves; Shoeburyness refers to all of the town, but North Shoebury refers to the area that houses Shoeburyness High School and the nearby churches.


Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) personnel at the Royal Artillery Experimental Unit, at Shoeburyness, using the Window Position Finder to sight shell bursts in the air or water, 1943. Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) girls at the Royal Artillery Experimental Unit, at Shoeburyness in Essex, using the Window Position Finder to sight shell bursts in the air or water, 1943. TR744.jpg
Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) personnel at the Royal Artillery Experimental Unit, at Shoeburyness, using the Window Position Finder to sight shell bursts in the air or water, 1943.

The eastern terminus of the London, Tilbury and Southend line (c2c line) is at Shoeburyness railway station, services run to London Fenchurch Street in the City of London. The eastern end of the A13 is at Shoeburyness. The MoD Shoeburyness site at Pig's Bay is situated nearby and the facility is run by the company QinetiQ. [3]

Shoeburyness has two beaches: East Beach and Shoebury Common Beach (also known as West Beach), both Blue Flag beaches. [4]

East Beach is a sandy/pebbly beach around a quarter of a mile long and is sandwiched between the Pig's Bay MoD site and the former Shoeburyness Artillery barracks. Access to the large gravel/grass pay-and-display car park is via Rampart Terrace. East Beach is the site of a defence boom, built in 1944, to prevent enemy shipping and submarines from accessing the River Thames. [5] This replaced an earlier, similar boom built 100 yards (91 m) east.

The majority of the boom was dismantled after the war, but around one mile still remains, stretching out into the Thames Estuary. East Beach benefits from a large grassy area immediately adjacent to the sands, which is suitable for informal sports and family fun.[ citation needed ] Nearby is the site of the Iron Age Danish Camp.

At the beginning of the Second World War, the depositing of a magnetic ground mine in the mud at the mouth of the Thames by the Luftwaffe was observed at Shoeburyness. Various sinkings of ships near the English coast in the preceding months were thought by many to be due to U-boat torpedoes, though the Admiralty suspected magnetic mines were being used. [6] The heroic recovery of an intact mine on 23 November 1939, by Lieutenant Commanders Ouvry and Lewis from HMS Vernon made it possible for the Navy to study it and devise countermeasures to neutralise it; among these were the degaussing cables installed in merchant ships in Allied and British fleets, and, of course, wooden minesweepers. [7]

Shoebury Common Beach is bounded to the east by the land formerly occupied by the Shoeburyness Artillery barracks and continues into Jubilee Beach. Shoebury Common Beach is the site of many beach huts located on both the promenade and the beach. A Coast Guard watch tower at the eastern end of the beach keeps watch over the sands and mudflats while listening out for distress calls over the radio. A cycle path skirts around the sea-front linking the East Beach to Shoebury Common Beach, and thence into Southend and a number of other towns, including Leigh-on-Sea.[ citation needed ]

Shoeburyness Fisherman Hailing a Whitstable Hoy by J. M. W. Turner, 1809 Joseph Mallord William Turner 033.jpg
Shoeburyness Fisherman Hailing a Whitstable Hoy by J. M. W. Turner, 1809

The English painter J. M. W. Turner depicted the fishermen of Shoeburyness in his oil painting Shoeburyness Fishermen Hailing a Whitstable Hoy. The painting was exhibited in 1809, and was part of a series Turner made of the Thames estuary between 1808 and 1810. The painting has been in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada since 1939. [8] [9]

In the fifth Temeraire novel Victory of Eagles (2008) by Naomi Novik, Shoeburyness is the setting of a fictitious climactic battle in which Wellesley and Nelson drive Napoleon out of England in early 1808. [10]

Shoeburyness is home to "the commuter", protagonist in the eponymous song and music video by Ceephax Acid Crew. [11]

Shoeburyness is mentioned in the Porridge episode "The Harder They Fall" (S2 E6), at approximately 6'10". [12]

Shoeburyness is one of the better-known entrants in Douglas Adams' and John Lloyd's 1990 spoof dictionary The Deeper Meaning of Liff . It is defined as "the vague feeling of uncomfortableness caused by sitting on a bus seat still warm from someone else's bottom".

Shoeburyness is referenced in the Billy Bragg song "A13 Trunk Road to the Sea" [13] and in the Ian Dury song "Billericay Dickie". [14]

Shoeburyness was featured in the Viral Marketing [15] for the Universal Pictures 2022 American science fiction action film sequel Jurassic World Dominion , [16] with a number of the featured videos on the DinoTracker website filmed in the area [17] doubling for locations around the world.


Climate data for Shoeburyness, Essex 1991-2020
Average high °C (°F)7.8
Average low °C (°F)2.7
Average precipitation mm (inches)43.0
Average rainy days9.
Mean monthly sunshine hours 70.588.9136.8200.4241.2243.3257.0212.2162.4130.084.756.91,884.3
Source: Met Office [18]

Notable people

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Southend-on-Sea</span> City and Borough in Essex, England

Southend-on-Sea, commonly referred to as Southend, is a coastal city and unitary authority area with borough status in southeastern Essex, England. It lies on the north side of the Thames Estuary, 40 miles (64 km) east of central London. It is bordered to the north by Rochford and to the west by Castle Point. It is home to the longest pleasure pier in the world, Southend Pier. London Southend Airport is located north of the city centre.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Billericay</span> Human settlement in England

Billericay is a town and civil parish in the Borough of Basildon, Essex, England. It lies within the London Basin and constitutes a commuter town 25 miles east of Central London. The town has two secondary schools and a variety of open spaces. It is thought to have been occupied since the Bronze Age.

Tilbury Human settlement in England

Tilbury is a town in the borough of Thurrock, Essex, England. The present town was established as separate settlement in the late 19th century, on land that was mainly part of Chadwell St Mary. It contains a 16th century fort and an ancient cross-river ferry. Tilbury is part of the Port of London with a major deep-water port which contributes to the local economy. Situated 24 miles east of central London and 23 miles southwest of Southend-on-Sea, it is also the southernmost point in Essex.

Borough of Basildon Place in England

The Borough of Basildon is a local government district in south Essex in the East of England, centred on the large town of Basildon. It was formed as the Basildon District on 1 April 1974 from the former area of Basildon Urban District and the part of Thurrock Urban District that was within the Basildon New Town. The population of the district as of 2010 is about 172,000. The local authority is Basildon Borough Council. The council made an application for borough status in February 2010 and this was given approval that year, with Mo Larkin becoming the first mayor in October.

Minster, Swale Town on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, England

Minster is a town on the north coast of the Isle of Sheppey in the Minster-on-Sea civil parish and the Swale district of Kent, south-east England. In 2019 it had an estimated population of 21,319.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pig's Bay</span>

Pig's Bay is a coastal area in East Shoebury, a small beachland area in the suburb of Shoeburyness in the City of Southend-on-Sea, in the ceremonial county of Essex, England. The main entrance to the site is at Blackgate Road, Shoeburyness. This is also the gateway to the island of Foulness, the fourth largest island off the coast of England.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thorpe Bay</span> Human settlement in England

Thorpe Bay is an inner city area of the city of Southend-on-Sea, in the City of Southend-on-Sea, in the ceremonial county of Essex, England. located on the Thames Estuary. Thorpe Bay is situated within the Thorpe ward of Southend-on-Sea. It is around 4 miles to the east of Southend. Originally the area was called Thorpe, but it was renamed Thorpe Bay, after the railway station. The station had been given the name to indicate that it was a seaside settlement. The majority of Thorpe Bay consists of residential properties, mainly built in the 1920s, arranged in a grid pattern.

Nore Sandbank at the mouth of the Thames Estuary

The Nore is a long bank of sand and silt running along the south-centre of the final narrowing of the Thames Estuary, England. Its south-west is the very narrow Nore Sand. Just short of the Nore's easternmost point where it fades into the channels it has a notable point once marked by a lightship on the line where the estuary of the Thames nominally becomes the North Sea. A lit buoy today stands on this often map-marked divisor: between Havengore Creek in east Essex and Warden Point on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent.

Prittle Brook Stream in south Essex, England

The Prittle Brook is a 7.2 mile (11.59 km) watercourse in south Essex, England. A tributary of the River Roach, the brook rises in Thundersley and passes through Hadleigh, Leigh-on-Sea, Westcliff, Prittlewell, Rochford and discharges into the Roach and then into the North Sea via the Roach and Crouch estuaries.

Chalkwell railway station Railway station in Essex, England

Chalkwell railway station is on the London, Tilbury and Southend line, serving the locality of Chalkwell in Southend-on-Sea, Essex. It is 33 miles 69 chains (54.5 km) down the main line from London Fenchurch Street via Basildon and it is situated between Leigh-on-Sea to the west and Westcliff to the east. Its three-letter station code is CHW.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">County Borough of Southend on Sea</span>

Southend-on-Sea was a local government district from 1866 to 1974 around the seaside resort of Southend-on-Sea in Essex, England. Its origin was a local board formed for the parish of St John the Baptist, which had been split off from Prittlewell for ecclesiastical purposes in 1842. It was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1892. In 1889, when Essex County Council was formed, Southend-on-Sea was within the administrative county of Essex. However, through expansion in area and population by 1914 it was split off from the administrative county as a county borough. The local authority was Southend Local Board from 1886 and Southend Corporation from 1892. The corporation changed the name of the town from Southend to Southend-on-Sea in 1893. In 1974 the county borough was reconstituted as a non-metropolitan district with the same boundaries and some powers were transferred to Essex County Council.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">South Benfleet</span> Human settlement in England

South Benfleet is a town and former civil parish, now in the unparished area of Benfleet, in the Castle Point district of Essex, England, 30 miles east of London. It is adjacent to the village of North Benfleet. The Benfleet SS7 post town includes South Benfleet, Thundersley, New Thundersley and Hadleigh. The Battle of Benfleet took place here between the Vikings and Saxons in 894. In 1951 the parish had a population of 8191.

South East Essex (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1955–1983

South East Essex was a parliamentary constituency in Essex in the East of England. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">North Shoebury</span> Village in Essex, England, UK

North Shoebury is a suburb of the city of Southend-on-Sea, in the City of Southend-on-Sea, in the ceremonial county of Essex, England.

Foulness SSSI

Foulness SSSI is a 10,702 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest covering the shoreline between Southend-on-Sea and the Crouch estuary in Essex.

MoD Shoeburyness Military installation

MoD Shoeburyness is a military installation at Pig's Bay near Shoeburyness in Essex.

Shoeburyness Depot Railway maintenance depot in Shoeburyness, Essex

Shoeburyness Carriage Servicing Depot is an Electric Traction Depot located in Shoeburyness, Essex, England. The depot is situated on the London, Tilbury and Southend line and is near Shoeburyness station. To the east of the depot is MoD Shoeburyness and there used to be a rail connection into that site from the depot.

Shoeburyness Boom

The Shoeburyness Boom refers to two successive defensive barriers across most of the Thames Estuary in the mid-20th century. As to the part perpendicular to the north shore most of the latter incarnation remains, and its nearest concrete mooring/patrol point 600 metres south. A 2 km stretch, this is designated a scheduled monument and marks the western edge of MoD Shoeburyness firing range, a restricted area. The rest was taken up in the 1960s.


  1. "Southend Ward population 2011" . Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  2. Shoeburyness UD Essex through time: Administrative history of Local Government District Archived 1 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine ,; accessed 18 November 2017.
  3. "MOD Shoeburyness". Qinetiq. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  4. "Blue flags awarded to a dozen sunny Anglia beaches". ITV News. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  5. Gordon, Dee (3 February 2014). The Secret History of Southend-on-Sea. History Press. p. 84. ISBN   9780750955454.
  6. Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War, vol. 1, The Gathering Storm (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1948), p. 505.
  7. Simpson, James (23 November 2014). "How Britain Beat Germany's Magnetic Sea Mines". War Is Boring. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  8. Shoeburyness Fishermen Hailing a Whitstable Hoy, before 1809, National Gallery of Canada website; retrieved 18 June 2013.
  9. Shoeburyness Fisherman Hailing a Whitstable Hoy,; retrieved 18 June 2013.
  10. "The Temeraire Reread: Victory of Eagles". 18 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  11. "The Commuter" by Ceephax Acid Crew (2010) on YouTube; accessed 18 November 2017.
  12. "Springfield! Springfield!". Archived from the original on 9 September 2014.
  13. "Billy Bragg – A13 Trunk Road to the Sea".
  14. "Ian Dury – Billericay Dickie".
  15. "Jurassic World Dominion Dinotracker". Retrieved 15 June 2022.
  16. Twitter . Retrieved 15 June 2022.{{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. England, Sophie (25 June 2022). "Jurassic World marketing campaigns filmed in Southend". Echo News. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  18. "Shoeburyness Climatic Averages 1991–2020". Met Office. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  19. Ace, Juliet (3 December 2007). "Tony Holland". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 25 May 2010.