Stifford is a place in the unitary authority of Thurrock, Essex. The traditional parish of Stifford is divided by the A13 trunk road into two communities known respectively as North and South Stifford. The ford was across the Mardyke which flows through North Stifford before joining the Thames at West Thurrock.
The parish was part of the Orsett Rural District from 1894 until 1936 and the Thurrock Urban District from 1936 until 1974. Since 1974 it has been located in the Thurrock District in Essex (a unitary authority since 1998).
The original parish church (St Mary's) is located within North Stifford. The church contains several interesting medieval monumental brasses. William Palin who was rector between 1834 and 1882 wrote the earliest local histories devoted solely to the Thurrock area - Stifford and its Neighbourhood (1871) and More about Stifford and its Neighbourhood (1872). In 1980 Doreen Dean and Pamela Studd published The Stifford Saga, and in 2012 Cliff and Jan Cowin published The Idyll in the Middyl.
South Stifford is a small residential area within the town of Grays. South Stifford separates Grays' town centre from West Thurrock. It acts as a residential area for people working in many of the towns factories and surrounding retail areas.