Descriptive gazetteer entries

In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Brentwood like this:

BRENTWOOD, a small town, a chapelry, and a subdistrict in Billericay district, Essex. The town stands adjacent to the Eastern Counties railway, near Watlingstreet, 5¾ miles NE by E of Romford. Its name is a corruption of Burnt-Wood; and was derived from the burning, long ago, of a circumjacent forest. Some Roman antiquities have been found in it. The town was, at one time, a seat of assizes; and has of late been extended and improved. The town hall was built in 1864, and is in the Italian style, with Corint...

hian portico. The county lunatic asylum is an edifice in the Tudor style. The grammar school was founded in 1557, by Sir Anthony Browne; and has an endowed income of £1,532. The old church is early English; was built in 1221; and is now used for a national school. The new church is a Gothic structure, with a handsome square tower; and was built in 1835. The Roman Catholic chapel was built in 1861; is formed of Kentish rag, with Bath stone facings; consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with a tower and spire 110 feet high; and was a gift of Lord Petre, whose seat near Ingrave is about 2 miles to the S. There are chapels for Independents and Wesleyans. The town has a head post office,† a railway-station with telegraph, a banking office, and two chief inns; and is a seat of petty sessions. The weekly market has ceased; but fairs are held on 18 July and 15 Oct. Pop., 2,811. Houses, 532.—The chapelry includes the town; and is in South Weald parish. Acres, 730. Real property, £9,610. Pop., 3,093. Houses, 533. The property is much subdivided. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Rochester. Value, £124.* Patron,T. Tower, Esq.-The subdistrict contains six parishes. Acres, 14,438. Pop., 8,167. Houses, 1,373.

This is the only descriptive gazetter entry we have found, but you may be able to find further references to Brentwood by doing a full-text search here.

Travel writing

This website includes the complete texts of books describing journeys around Britain, written between the twelfth and nineteenth centuries. Selecting one of the links below will take you to the first reference to Brentwood within the selected text. This will not always be a description of a visit: travellers often mention places other than where they are, for example as a basis for comparison.

Traveller Section No. of Refs.
William Camden Essex and Suffolk 3
William Cobbett Dec. 10th to 24th, 1821: Norfolk and Suffolk Journal 1
Daniel Defoe Letter 1, Part 2: Harwich and Suffolk 1

This website includes two large libraries, of historical travel writing and of entries from nineteenth century gazetteers describing places. We have text from these sources available for these places near your location:

Place Mentioned in Travel Writing Mentioned in Hist. Gazetteer
Warley Common 0 2
Ingrave 0 2
Shenfield 0 2
Herongate 0 2
Brook Street 0 2
Hutton 0 2
Little Warley 0 2
South Weald 0 4
West Horndon 2 2
East Horndon 1 2
Childerditch 0 2
Great Warley 0 3
Chafford 0 2
Mountnessing 0 2
Doddinghurst 0 2
Little Burstead 0 3
Dunton 0 2
Harold Wood 0 2
Noak Hill 0 2
Cranham 0 2