Wow - found a location on VT that is virgin territory, despite the fact that hundred of thousands visit here and many more pass by it. Thurrock is the location for the 'Lakeside shopping centre'. I think it could reasonably called the first 'mega-mall' in the U.K with over 300 shops and various retail parks (including an IKEA store).
It therefore attracts shoppers from all over and causes terrible traffic congestion in the lead up to Christmas. It still looks smart these days and despite the fact it sounds as if it should be hosting a darts tournament it is upmarket enough to attract people who would only shop in House of Fraser. It seems to be unaffected by other large developments in more recent years - such as the upmarket 'Bluewater' centre on the other side of the river in Kent (note that Kent always is a bit snobby about its dodgy neighbour Essex) or the vast new centre in West London.
And for the joke :
Q: What is an Essex girl's favourite wine ?
A : "I wanna go lakeside.."
Stonehouse Lane, West Thurrock, RM19 1NS, gb
Good for: Solo
Fleming Road, Unicorn Estate, West Thurrock, RM16 6YJ, United Kingdom
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Couples
Moto Service Area Off A1306, West Thurrock, Englan
Good for: Solo
Weston Avenue, West Thurrock, RM20 3JQ, United Kingdom
Good for: Families
Weston Avenue, West Thurrock, Essex, England TN31
This small knapped flint church nestles in the shadow of the giant Proctor & Gamble industrial site, close to the Lakeside Shopping Centre. It featured as the setting for the sole funeral in the film 'Four Weddings and a Funeral', starring Hugh Grant, Kristin Scott Thomas, Andie MacDowell and others. The church dates from the early 12th century, although the original circular nave has a 15th century tower built on top of the remains. A church has apparently occupied this site since before the Domesday Book. Only 16 churches in Britain were built with such a nave, a characteristic of the churches built by the crusading orders such as the Knights Hospitallers and the Knights Templars. The church isn't really regularly used for worship now, but it is still consecrated.
The site is quiet, and there are some signposts, but I didn't find it easy to locate. I went there by car in May 2012 starting from near the IKEA shop in the Lakeside complex, then just followed the small brown tourist signs for 'St Clements Church', and then the 'Visitors' entrace into Proctor and Gamble (turn right from the road into the P&G site). Very limited car parking is available on the road, but then there seemed to be few visitors.
The church's grounds and small graveyard are given over to nature, and the grass is pock-marked with rabbit holes (so be careful not to trip!) and there are various wild flowers to be found growing in the vicinity.
There is also a moving communal grave and memorial by the entrance to the churchyard (just to the right insdie the gate) to 16 boys who were killed with their naval officer on the training ship 'Cornwall' when it collided with another ship in the River Thames at Purfleet on 30 August 1915.