West Thurrock is a traditional Church of England parish and town in Thurrock, Essex, England, located 17.5 miles (28.1 km) east south-east of Charing Cross, London (a point for measuring distances from the centre of London).
The parish was part of the Orsett Rural District from 1894 until 1921, the Purfleet urban district from 1921 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). It had a population of 7,795 in the 2001 UK Census.
Industry and Commercial Provision
The large coal-burning West Thurrock Power Station closed in 1993, and was replaced by a plant making industrial chemicals, particularly the raw materials for detergent manufacture. The 190-metre tall electricity pylons of 400 kV Thames Crossing, the tallest electricity pylons in the UK, remain. Just upstream of the pylons the tunnel of High Speed 1 passes under the Thames.
West Thurrock was formerly the site of a large chalk quarrying and cement making industry, today represented only by the works of Lafarge below the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. A new plant for the production of aluminous cement was completed in 2003.
West Thurrock is the location of the Lakeside Shopping Centre, a very large group of retail outlets.
A nineteenth century description
A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of West Thurrock from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72: