1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Brentwood
BRENTWOOD, a market town in the mid or Chelmsford parliamentary division of Essex, England; 18 m. E.N.E. of London by the Great Eastern railway (Brentwood and Worley station). Pop. of urban district (1901) 4932. The neighbouring country is pleasantly undulating and well wooded. The church of St Thomas the Martyr, with several chapels, is modern. The old assize house, an Elizabethan structure, remains. A free grammar school was founded in 1557. The county asylum is in the vicinity. There are breweries and brick works. To the south lies the fine upland of Worley Common, with large barracks. Adjoining Brentwood to the north-east is Shenfield, with the church of St Mary the Virgin, Early English and later. Brentwood was formerly an important posting station on the main road to the eastern counties, which follows the line of the railway to Colchester. The name (Burntwood) is supposed to record an original settlement made in a clearing of the forest. The district is largely residential.