South Woodham Ferrers is better known as a modern new town rather than a settlement in history. Never a traditional Essex village, its origins lie firmly in the railway age. Nevertheless, though its life spans little more than a century, it does have a history. After the railway station opened the unproductive fields of two adjoining farms in the Crouch valley were divided by estate roads and parcelled into hundreds of individual building plots which were offered for sale to Londoners. The 1920s and '30s saw the growth of a thriving community, housing estates and new businesses.