Essex (Map) (2) - Framed Picture - 12" x 16"
Essex is a county in England. The county town is Chelmsford, which is the only city in the county.
The name Essex originates in the Anglo-Saxon period and has its root in the Old English ?astseaxe (i.e. the "East Saxons"), the eastern kingdom of the Saxons during the Heptarchy.
Originally recorded in AD 527, Essex occupied territory to the north of the River Thames. Colchester in the north east of the county is Britain's oldest recorded town, dating back to before the Roman conquest, when it was known as Camulodunum and was sufficiently well-developed to have its own mint.
In AD 824, following the Battle of Ellandun, the kingdoms of the East Saxons, the South Saxons and the Kentish were absorbed into the kingdom of the West Saxons, uniting Saxland under King Alfred's grandfather Egberht.
During the medieval period, much of the area was designated a Royal forest, including the entire county in a period to 1204.
The county's coat of arms comprises three Saxon seax knives arranged on a red background. The emblem was attributed to Anglo-Saxon Essex
Essex is also home to the Dunmow Flitch Trials, a traditional ceremony that takes place every four years and consists of a test of a married couple's devotion to one another.