THE 185-year-old Crowstone which stands proudly on Chalkwell Beach has been granted Grade II listed status.

The large structure, which can be seen on the beach when the tide is out but almost completely disappears as the tide comes in, has been listed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The eight-metre tall obelisk was built between 1836 and 1837 to mark the eastern boundary of the City of London’s control over the River Thames.

The city purchased the rights of control from King Richard I in 1197 and took charge of the fisheries and tolls along both the Thames and part of the River Medway.

The City of London’s territory was marked by London Stones, which the Lord Mayor of London and other officials would visit on their septennial river trips.

Tina Bean, from Southend Beach Care, was delighted to hear the news and is pleased to see the town’s rich history celebrated.

The beach care leader for Chalkwell, said: “The Crowstone is something I see every time I’m down at the beach, with it in part of the area we look after.

“Everyone knows its there, and it’s such an identifiable landmark for Chalkwell.

“It’s definitely something people stop and look at, particularly with the art installation from Estuary 2021 right by it.

“It just really does stand out and is pretty huge once the tide is out, it becomes really noticeable.

“We’re lucky to have such a piece of history right on our shoreline.”


The obelisk replaced a previous stone from 1755 and was designed to be sturdier and more visible than previous versions.

Still standing nearly 200 years later despite tidal waters, it has certainly proved to have met its target.

Councillor John Lamb, former Mayor of Southend, was over the moon to hear the noise and insisted more of Southend’s historical buildings should be honoured.

He added: “This is absolutely brilliant for the town.

“I’m so pleased to hear that The Crowstone has been listed, for the people of Chalkwell and the rest of Southend it is a very important structure, particularly as maritime people.

“We should be celebrating all these fantastic pieces of infrastructure and buildings we have. The town also has places like Southchurch Hall, which is one of the largest moated houses in England, the Priory, Porters, there’s so much to boast about.

“St Clements Church also has so much history around it. We really are lucky to have so much history in the place we call home.”