Essex is home to Great Britain's first capital city (established by the Romans nearly 2,000 years ago) and Britain's oldest recorded town - Colchester. Long stretches of surviving Roman town wall and the largest Norman Castle Keep in Europe (now an excellent museum) are just two of many features that make Colchester unique.
Longest Coast - 350 miles of coastline - the longest in Britain, fact confirmed by the Essex Police Marine Unit.
In 2003 archaeologists have discovered the burial of a Saxon king in Southend. The excavations were undertaken by the Museum of London Archaeology Service for Southend Borough Council. This probably the most exciting and important archaeological discovery made in this country in the last fifty years!
St Andrew's in Greensted is said to be the oldest wooden church in the world dating from the 11th century. The wooden walls of this tiny church were already standing when William the Conqueror landed at Hastings in 1066. They are made from split tree trunks smoothed by the adze and one thousand years of prayer. Specialists call this structure ‘stave-built' and it even attracts visitors from Norway, where there are many wooden churches but none so old. Tradition has it that the body of martyred St Edmund, King of the East Angles, rested here on its final journey in 870 AD.
Built in the first half of Henry VIII's reign, Layer Marney Tower is in many ways the apotheosis of the Tudor Gatehouse and is the tallest one in Britain.
Tilbury was where Queen Elizabeth I was presented to the English army before being sent to fight the threat of Spanish Invasion.
The nursery rhyme "Humpty Dumpty" relates to an incident in Colchester. St Mary's Church came under siege in 1648 and a giant cannon perched on the top of the spire was shot to the ground shattering into several pieces. The Royalists (the King's men), could put it together again!.
The first ever radio broadcast was made from Chelmsford - the Birthplace of Radio.
In the 19th century, Chelmsford's modern importance was secured as it became established as a centre of industry and commerce, with the best-known example being the birthplace of broadcasting. Guglielmo Marconi, the pioneer of radio, built the world's first radio factory in Hall Street, Chelmsford in 1899, with a new factory opening in 1912 in New Street. On the 15th June 1920, the first entertainment radio broadcast was made from Chelmsford, featuring Dame Nellie Melba - a famous opera soprano of the time.
Tiptree in Essex is one of the few places in the world where the "Little Scarlet" strawberry is grown - the perfect variant for jam making. Little Scarlet strawberry is renowned for its intense flavour. The tiny berries are grown at the Wilkin & Sons farm and used fresh from the fields. Even James Bond, although a fictional spy, he is a quintessential British man who has a surprising love for jam - Tiptree jam.
Tiptree's Little Scarlet strawberry jam is not only 007's favourite in From Russia with Love, it scooped a bronze medal for Best Seasonal Food in the 2007 Taste of Britain Awards.
Saffron Walden, a beautiful market town with many medieval buildings, is home to the world's largest turf maze. Its date is uncertain but considered by some to be 800 years old, or more.
Cressing Temple, an ancient scheduled monument, has its origins in the 12th century, when it was the first grant land of land given to the Knights Templar in England. It is home to the two finest Templar barns in Europe.The site is made up of a group of remarkable farm buildings, the barns, a Templar well and a Tudor walled garden.
Cressing Temple is now owned by Essex County Council and is open to the public at selected times throughout the year.
In 1525 a survey of ‘all the ports, creeks and landing places in England and Wales' listed 29 for Sussex, 18 in Kent, 17 in Suffolk, 12 in Norfolk and 135 in Essex. There were more ports and landing places in Essex than in all the other counties from the Channel to the Wash put together. This shows the dominant role the Essex coast played in the economic life of the county, almost every coastal village or farm wanted access to a landing place, all the creeks and estuaries were a prime means of getting goods to and from London, Europe and the wider world.