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Essex is a county in the East of England. The county town is Chelmsford, and the highest point of the county is Chrishall Common near the village of Langley, close to the Hertfordshire border, which reaches 482 feet (147 metres).

The name Essex derives from the East Seaxe or East Saxons. The Kingdom of Essex was traditionally founded by Aescwine in 527 AD, occupying territory to the north of the River Thames, incorporating much of what would later become Middlesex and Hertfordshire, though its territory was later restricted to lands east of the River Lee. It is through this origin as one of the ‘Saxon’ kingdoms that Essex is specifically not part of the region known as East Anglia (the latter comprising Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire), settled by tribes calling themselves ‘Anglian’. 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 Camulodunon, and was sufficiently well-developed to have its own mint.

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