The ancient Kingdom of Essex takes its name from
the East Saxons who once ruled here. It is the
eleventh largest county in England, covering around
1400 square miles (c.3500 sq.km) and with a population
of approximately 1.5 million. The landscape of
the county is diverse, ranging from wide flat marshland
on the indented coastline, to rolling farmland
intersected by a number of major rivers.
The county’s proximity to London has led to a
density of population similar to that of it neighbours,
but Essex remains essentially rural with small villages
retaining much of their charm and character. The
so-called New Towns of Basildon and Harlow are
typical of their type, whilst at the heart of towns
such as Chelmsford and Colchester there is a great
deal of historic interest to attract visitors.
the south-east of the county, already containing the
major population centres of Southend and Thurrock,
is within the Thames Gateway and designated for
further development. To the north of the Green
Belt, with the exception of major towns such as
Colchester and Chelmsford, the county is rural, with
many small towns, villages and hamlets largely built
in the traditional materials of timber and brick, with
clay tile or thatched roofs.
The fascinating aerial photographs in this book are
selected to provide the reader with an overview of
a variety of landscapes and settlements, with historic
sites included. The principal attraction of aerial
photographs is that they are literally a bird’s-eye
view, allowing us to look down on the landscape
from a perspective that we never normally see.
Such pictures reveal to us things that are normally
hidden from view, and often surprise us when we
find that what we had imagined the layout of the
land to be is in reality quite different. The best practitioners
of this genre of photography also strive to
capture an aesthetic in the images they take, and
these pictures, sometimes quite abstract in appearance,
are often strikingly beautiful in their own right.
Jason Hawkes is one of the country’s
best-known photographers specialising in
aerial photography. From his base near
London he travels worldwide to produce
images for books, advertising and design.
Since 1991 he has provided photographs
for major international companies including
Nike, HSBC, Ford, Rolex,Toyota and BP.
Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 1 84114 942 4, hardback, 214x230mm, 144 pages. Published April 2010.