Brentwood is an old market town and coach staging post in the historic county of Essex.
It is situated on what was known simply as the Great Road, the highway leading from London to Colchester, and was also on a number of pilgrimage routes, between Canterbury in Kent and Bury St. Edmunds and Walsingham in East Anglia.
The name is derived from "burnt wood", it being one of the first settlements when the old Essex Forest began to be cleared by fire.
The mediaeval St. Thomas of Canterbury chapel is now in ruins, and stands beside the High Street.
Brentwood Cathedral (Catholic) was built in the 1860s, but a new building by Quinlan Terry was dedicated in 1991.
Brentwood School is a famous public school dating back to the 16th century. One of its pupils was Douglas Adams, author of "The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy".
Brentwood was the first town to be involved in the Peasants' Revolt, which had begun in the nearby village of Fobbing, beside the River Thames.
Blue Badge Guide Colin Crosby is available to lead Guided Walks around Brentwood for groups.