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Purfleet is a place in the Thurrockmarker unitary authority in Essex, Englandmarker. It is situated south of the A13 road on the River Thames and within the easterly bounds of the M25 motorwaymarker but just outside the Greater Londonmarker boundary. It was within the traditional Church of England parish of West Thurrockmarker. There is some industry to the south and the area forms part of the Thames Gatewaymarker redevelopment area. Purfleet is one of seven conservation areas in Thurrock.It was listed by the Ministry of Food as an A-bomb target in the 1950s.

In the 18th century, Purfleet was the location for the storage of gunpowder together with a garrison to protect it. There was a constant danger of explosion as a result of lightning strikes. Benjamin Franklin was asked for advice on the design of a lightning conductor. When King George III heard what his political opponent had to say, he chose an alternative design. Magazine number 5 is now the Purfleet Garrison Heritage and Military Centre.

In March, 1916, anti-aircraft gunners based at Purfleet shot down the German Zeppelin LZ15 - a first. As a result the gunners received a prize from the Lord Mayor of London.

Purfleet has been the site of a Unilever (formerly Van den Berghs & Jurgens) works producing Stork, Flora, Bertolli, and ICBINB! margarine since 1917, reputed to be the largest in the world.

From 1921 to 1936, Purfleet formed an urban district of Essex including the parishes of Aveleymarker, West Thurrockmarker and South Ockendonmarker. It covered an area of and in 1931 had a population of 8,511. The parishes and urban district were abolished in 1936 and their former area was used to form part of Thurrock Urban Districtmarker.

Nearest places:



Nearest railway stations:



There are good transport links to towns such as Basildonmarker and Graysmarker, as well as Lakeside Shopping Centremarker.

Route Number Route Operation Operator
11 Purfleet Stationmarker to Basildon Bus Stationmarker
via South Ockendonmarker
Mon-Sat (hourly) Clintona Minicoaches
44 Lakeside Shopping Centremarker to Grays Bus Stationmarker
via Purfleet and West Thurrockmarker
Mon-Sat (every 30/60 mins)
Sunday (hourly)
Ensignbusmarker,
Arriva Southern Counties


One journey on Ensignbusmarker route 22 (Aveley to Grays via Lakesidemarker) operates through Purfleet in the late evening.

Railway services from Purfleet Stationmarker offer frequent services to London Fenchurch Streetmarker, Barkingmarker, Graysmarker, Tilburymarker and Southendmarker. The services are operated by c2c.

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