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Epping Today

Epping is a market town and civil parish of the Epping Forest District in the county of Essex.

It is located approximately 22 miles from the centre of London and 4.6 miles from the town of Harlow.

The town retains a rural appearance being surrounded by the ancient Epping Forest and working farmland. The town is the terminus of the central line so has excellent transport links into London.; Consequently today Epping is a favoured town of residence for those who work in London.

Its market  dating back to 1253 still brings shoppers from surrounding villages and towns every Monday.

Perhaps the most prominent building in Epping today is the District Council’s office with it’s prominent clock tower at the northern end, designed to bring balance to the High Street with the old gothic water tower at the southern end , built in 1872 and St John’s church tower in the centre.  The centre of Epping on and around the High Street is a designated conservation area.

Epping has been twinned with the German town of Eppingen in north west Baden -Würtemberg since 1981 and many of the artefacts of the association are displayed in a cabinet in the town council’s offices.

Epping - a small community of scattered farms  and a chapel on the edge of a forest was first mentioned in the Domesday book of 1086. However the settlement referred to is known today as Epping Upland. It is not known for certain when the present day Epping was first settled. By the mid 12th century a settlement known as Epping Heath(later to be known as Epping Street) had developed south of Epping Upland as a result of forest clearing for cultivation. In 1253 King Henry 111 conveyed the right to hold a weekly market which helped to establish the town as a centre of trade and has continued to the present day. By the early 19th century the village evolved into a small main road town with considerable development along what is now the High Street and Hemnall Street. Up to 25 stage coaches and mail coaches a day passed through the town from London en route to Norwich, Cambridge and Bury St. Edmunds.

By the end of the 19th century there were 26 coaching inns lining the high Street. Sadly only two survive today the George and Dragon and The Black Lion. With the advent of railways this traffic declined and the town declined, but it revived again when the branch line connected Epping to London in 1865 and with the coming of the motor car.



Epping History