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Markets & Maritime
1181-1265: Markets & fairs
Granted by the King to Lords of the Manor: Rayleigh market (1181); Rayleigh Trinity Fair (1227); Rochford market and fair (1247); Great Wakering market (1265) & fair (1200); Shopland market (c.1257) but no fair.
1210: Sea Defences law
The 1210 'sea defences' law created distinct named islands, e.g. Wallasea Island (1229), Havengore Island (1230), Foulness Island (1235), Potton Island (1244). A sea wall was built as part of land reclamation.
Towns grew around marketplaces
Ale houses were commonplace to support market day numbers, with ale being safer to drink than water. Blacksmiths were an essential part of the scene, as were animals, corn, etc traded at markets, with jesters, musicians & dancing bears at the fairs. Towns grew around marketplaces with initial stalls developing into static shacks; the forerunner to today's shops.
Birdlife was prevalent
Wading birds were prevalent on the coast, including avocets at Foulness and Herons which became a symbol of Rawreth village.
Maritime activities
Boat building was a growing trade, with sheep farming increasing using the marshy reclaimed islands. Fishing and oyster catching were also an essential part of the economy.
Mills were also common
Windmills and watermills were very common, e.g. at Battlesbridge (on Rawreth side), Rochford, Hockley and Barling
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