For centuries Rochford was the most important centre of population in the south-eastern corner of Essex. It gave its name to the Rochford Hundred which in many ways is still in use today.
The town was granted its first market charter by Henry III in 1264. For the next 500 years the town grew around the Market square which in its turn has witnessed celebrations, noisy demonstrations, fires and even riots and martyrdom.
When the railways arrived in the middle of the 19th century, Rochford was displaced by its near neighbour, the popular and brash seaside resort of Southend-on-Sea.
Nevertheless Rochford still retains many of its ancient buildings, picturesque cottages and historic inns. Not far from Market Square to the west is Rochford Hall which has been home to the Boleyn family and later Lord Rich. It is now home of the Rochford Hundred Golf Club.