Situated on the Dengie Peninsula, Southminster is a town in Maldon District. It lies just south of the Blackwater River, an important port dating back to Roman times.
The oldest traces of settlement go back to ancient earthworks in Pandole Wood which were estimated to date back to the Iron Age. Southminster was famous for its horse market which was held annually in the village and was a major fair in the area, with the earliest recordings of the market dating back to 1218.
St Leonard’s Church was built in the 15th century on the foundations of an earlier building. More than likely it was this church that gave rise to the village being called Southminster, being the main church, or minster, south of Colchester.