Southend-on-Sea is a comparatively modern town. Its origins date to only the eighteenth century, but its geographical spread encompasses six historic parishes: Prittlewell, Southchurch, Leigh, Eastwood, South Shoebury and North Shoebury, whose existence goes back a further 1,100 years to at least the seventh century.
Hidden within Southend's modern sprawl of predominantly nineteenth and twentieth-century streets, and often overlooked by visitors and residents alike, are a number of historic buildings that have survived from those former days and predate the modern town.
In Southend In 50 Buildings Ian Yearsley delves into the town's past to locate, record and discuss Southend's most interesting buildings from the seventh century to the twenty-first century. Parish churches, manor houses, pubs, homes, agricultural structures, entertainment venues and office blocks all feature in this fully illustrated book which, for the first time ever, attempts a full list, in chronological order, of Southend's oldest buildings.
The author of eight books about the history of Essex and six other books (three fiction, three poetry) that draw on Essex for inspiration. History books include 'A History of Southend' (hardback 2001, paperback 2010) and two histories of neighbouring towns ('Rayleigh: A History', 2005 and 'Hadleigh Past', 1998). His first book, 'Islands of Essex, which includes nearby Canvey Island, was published in 1994. Throughout the 1990s, Ian wrote history articles for a number of county magazines, including 'Essex Countryside' (as was) and 'This Month in Essex'. He has an MA in History (with distinction) from the University of Essex (2011) for which he won a prize for his dissertation on population migration in the Rochford Hundred in the late 19th-century. Ian is on the organising committee of an event to mark the 1,000th anniversary of the local Battle of `Assandun' in 2016 (one of my poetry books is an epic poem about the battle, based on historic accounts).