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Historical Tour



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Historical Tour of Canvey

Crossing from the mainland
The Dutch Cottage
St Katherine's Church and the Village School
Lobster Smack Inn and Hole Haven creek
Dutch sea wall
Monico and casino
Winter Gardens

Starting at Benfleet railway station we cross the road bridge that was once the Colvin Bridge - a swing bridge that gave preference to river traffic.

If we go straight across Waterside roundabout and follow the road almost to the next roundabout the Dutch Cottage can be seen on the right hand side. This is now a museum open to the public.

Turning left at the roundabout into Long Road we then come across St Katherine's church on the left hand side. Although now a heritage centre, there are many islanders buried in the adjoining graveyard.

Opposite the church, where there are now houses, was the old site of the Village School - the first to be built on Canvey.

If we continue along Long Road to the junction with Haven Road, we can see the King Canute pub on our left. This pub has been here for many years and was previously known as the Red Cow.

If we turn down Haven Road and follow it right to the bottom we will see the Lobster Smack pub, the oldest pub on the island. Here the annual fair used to be held as well as regular bare-knuckle prize fights.

Following the sea wall round to the east we can look out over the sea wall and see Hole Haven creek, a very deep waterway, where shipping to and from London was a common sight in past times. There is still plenty of river traffic and you may see container ships, barges and occasionally sailing barges passing.

Coming past Thorney Bay and round the next corner we come to the beach, where parts of the old dutch sea wall can still be seen. Further on, past the Labworth Cafe we can see the Monico. A hundred years ago Canvey was a popular holiday destination and the Monico was a hotel with a casino next door.

Going north up Furtherwick Road we go through the town and if we turn up Waarden road, follow the road to the end and turn right we come to the lake. Crossing over the lake is Winter Gardens. Now a housing estate, it was once a series of greenhouses housing exotic birds and plants.

Want to try the tour? If you follow our suggested route you can travel by foot or bicycle. And if that sounds too energetic you can turn it into a pub crawl with a spot of history on the way! Pubs passed on our route are The King Canute, Lobster Smack, The Monico, The Haystack and The Silver Jubilee.

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