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History in the heart of Brentwood

By The Beresfords Marketing Team - 22 January 2010

Hundreds of people pass by the ruins in the centre of Brentwood but do they know their true meaning?

Brentwood began as a clearing made in the woods by burning trees (hence 'burnt wood' which became Brentwood) to provide a stop-off point about one day's journing from the Thames for pilgrims en route from East Anglia to the shrine of Thomas Becket at Canterbury. The first church building dedicated to St Thomas in Brentwood was a chapel built around 1221 to serve these pilgrims. The ruins of the original chapel are still to be seen in the High Street.