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Shoeburyness east-beach.jpg

Shoebury East Beach
Shoeburyness is located in Essex
Location within Essex
Population11,159 (2011 Census)[1]
OS grid referenceTQ941851
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townSouthend-on-Sea
Postcode districtSS3
Dialling code01702
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°31′54″N 0°47′52″E / 51.5316°N 0.7978°E / 51.5316; 0.7978Coordinates: 51°31′54″N 0°47′52″E / 51.5316°N 0.7978°E / 51.5316; 0.7978

Shoeburyness (/ˌʃbəriˈnɛs/; also called Shoebury) is a suburb of the city of Southend-on-Sea, in the City of Southend-on-Sea, in the ceremonial county of Essex, England. 3 miles (5 km) east of the city centre. It was an urban district of Essex from 1894 to 1933, when it became part of the county borough of Southend-on-Sea.[2] It is now in the unparished area of Southend-on-Sea, in the Southend-on-Sea district. It was once a garrison town and still acts as host to MoD Shoeburyness.

Shoeburyness is divided into halves; Shoeburyness refers to all of the town, but North Shoebury refers to the area that houses Shoeburyness High School and the nearby churches.


Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) personnel at the Royal Artillery Experimental Unit, at Shoeburyness, using the Window Position Finder to sight shell bursts in the air or water, 1943.
Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) personnel at the Royal Artillery Experimental Unit, at Shoeburyness, using the Window Position Finder to sight shell bursts in the air or water, 1943.

The eastern terminus of the London, Tilbury and Southend line (c2c line) is at Shoeburyness railway station, services run to London Fenchurch Street in the City of London. The eastern end of the A13 is at Shoeburyness. The MoD Shoeburyness site at Pig's Bay is situated nearby and the facility is run by the company QinetiQ.[3]

Shoeburyness has two beaches: East Beach and Shoebury Common Beach (also known as West Beach), both Blue Flag beaches.[4]

East Beach is a sandy/pebbly beach around a quarter of a mile long and is sandwiched between the Pig's Bay MoD site and the former Shoeburyness Artillery barracks. Access to the large gravel/grass pay-and-display car park is via Rampart Terrace. East Beach is the site of a defence boom, built in 1944, to prevent enemy shipping and submarines from accessing the River Thames.[5] This replaced an earlier, similar boom built 100 yards (91 m) east.

The majority of the boom was dismantled after the war, but around one mile still remains, stretching out into the Thames Estuary. East Beach benefits from a large grassy area immediately adjacent to the sands, which is suitable for informal sports and family fun.[citation needed] Nearby is the site of the Iron Age Danish Camp.

At the beginning of the Second World War, the depositing of a magnetic ground mine in the mud at the mouth of the Thames by the Luftwaffe was observed at Shoeburyness. Various sinkings of ships near the English coast in the preceding months were thought by many to be due to U-boat torpedoes, though the Admiralty suspected magnetic mines were being used.[6] The heroic recovery of an intact mine on 23 November 1939, by Lieutenant Commanders Ouvry and Lewis from HMS Vernon made it possible for the Navy to study it and devise countermeasures to neutralise it; among these were the degaussing cables installed in merchant ships in Allied and British fleets, and, of course, wooden minesweepers.[7]

Shoebury Common Beach is bounded to the east by the land formerly occupied by the Shoeburyness Artillery barracks and continues into Jubilee Beach. Shoebury Common Beach is the site of many beach huts located on both the promenade and the beach. A Coast Guard watch tower at the eastern end of the beach keeps watch over the sands and mudflats while listening out for distress calls over the radio. A cycle path skirts around the sea-front linking the East Beach to Shoebury Common Beach, and thence into Southend and a number of other towns, including Leigh-on-Sea.[citation needed]

In popular culture

Shoeburyness Fisherman Hailing a Whitstable Hoy by J. M. W. Turner, 1809
Shoeburyness Fisherman Hailing a Whitstable Hoy by J. M. W. Turner, 1809

The English painter J. M. W. Turner depicted the fishermen of Shoeburyness in his oil painting Shoeburyness Fishermen Hailing a Whitstable Hoy. The painting was exhibited in 1809, and was part of a series Turner made of the Thames estuary between 1808 and 1810. The painting has been in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada since 1939.[8][9]

In the fifth Temeraire novel Victory of Eagles (2008) by Naomi Novik, Shoeburyness is the setting of a fictitious climactic battle in which Wellesley and Nelson drive Napoleon out of England in early 1808.[10]

Shoeburyness is home to "the commuter", protagonist in the eponymous song and music video by Ceephax Acid Crew.[11]

Shoeburyness is mentioned in the Porridge episode "The Harder They Fall" (S2 E6), at approximately 6'10".[12]

Shoeburyness is one of the better-known entrants in Douglas Adams' and John Lloyd's 1990 spoof dictionary The Deeper Meaning of Liff. It is defined as "the vague feeling of uncomfortableness caused by sitting on a bus seat still warm from someone else's bottom".

Shoeburyness is referenced in the Billy Bragg song "A13 Trunk Road to the Sea"[13] and in the Ian Dury song "Billericay Dickie".[14]

Shoeburyness was featured in the Viral Marketing[15] for the Universal Pictures 2022 American science fiction action film sequel Jurassic World Dominion,[16] with a number of the featured videos on the DinoTracker website filmed in the area[17] doubling for locations around the world.


Climate data for Shoeburyness, Essex 1991-2020
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7.8
Average low °C (°F) 2.7
Average precipitation mm (inches) 43.0
Average rainy days 9.5 8.3 7.8 7.5 7.5 7.8 7.3 7.1 7.5 10.2 10.6 10.7 101.8
Mean monthly sunshine hours 70.5 88.9 136.8 200.4 241.2 243.3 257.0 212.2 162.4 130.0 84.7 56.9 1,884.3
Source: Met Office[18]

Notable people


  1. ^ "Southend Ward population 2011". Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  2. ^ Shoeburyness UD Essex through time: Administrative history of Local Government District Archived 1 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed 18 November 2017.
  3. ^ "MOD Shoeburyness". Qinetiq. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Blue flags awarded to a dozen sunny Anglia beaches". ITV News. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  5. ^ Gordon, Dee (3 February 2014). The Secret History of Southend-on-Sea. History Press. p. 84. ISBN 9780750955454.
  6. ^ Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War, vol. 1, The Gathering Storm (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1948), p. 505.
  7. ^ Simpson, James (23 November 2014). "How Britain Beat Germany's Magnetic Sea Mines". War Is Boring. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  8. ^ Shoeburyness Fishermen Hailing a Whitstable Hoy, before 1809, National Gallery of Canada website; retrieved 18 June 2013.
  9. ^ Shoeburyness Fisherman Hailing a Whitstable Hoy,; retrieved 18 June 2013.
  10. ^ "The Temeraire Reread: Victory of Eagles". 18 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  11. ^ "The Commuter" by Ceephax Acid Crew (2010) on YouTube; accessed 18 November 2017.
  12. ^ "Springfield! Springfield!". Archived from the original on 9 September 2014.
  13. ^ "Billy Bragg – A13 Trunk Road to the Sea".
  14. ^ "Ian Dury – Billericay Dickie".
  15. ^ "Jurassic World Dominion Dinotracker". Retrieved 15 June 2022.
  16. ^ Twitter Retrieved 15 June 2022. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. ^ England, Sophie (25 June 2022). "Jurassic World marketing campaigns filmed in Southend". Echo News. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  18. ^ "Shoeburyness Climatic Averages 1991–2020". Met Office. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  19. ^ Ace, Juliet (3 December 2007). "Tony Holland". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 25 May 2010.