The Essex town of Brentwood has a long and interesting history. The earliest settlement was founded in a clearing in the dense forest that stretched from the edge of London through Essex. The town grew up around the crossroads of the road to Colchester and a pilgrim route to the shrine of St Thomas a Becket in Canterbury. The town became famous for its numerous inns that catered for the travellers and it was also the site of the first disturbances of the Peasants' Revolt in 1381.
The town grew in prosperity as a major stopping place for travellers by stagecoach to and from London and welcomed royal visitors to the large houses built by the wealthy in the area. The town has continued to grow, becoming the home for several industries, including trampolining manufacturing in the 1950s, as well housing and a major army barracks at Warley. Despite being heavily bombed during the Second World War, much of the town's historical buildings survived, many of which have featured in TV programmes over the years.
Secret Brentwood explores the lesser-known episodes and characters in the history of the town through the centuries. With tales of remarkable people, unusual events and tucked-away historical buildings, Secret Brentwood will appeal to all those with an interest in the history of this Essex town.
Michael Foley is a local author who has had a number of articles published in magazines such as Best of British, This England and The Great War. He has been writing for some time and has had many books published, mainly about the area where he lives and Essex and Military History. He lives in Romford.