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Chelmsford (population 100,000) is a town and an administrative district in
the county of Essex, in the United Kingdom. It lies 30 miles northeast of
London, approximately halfway between there and Colchester. It is almost
exactly in the centre of the county and it is the county town of Essex,
although it is neither the largest nor the oldest town in the county.
About 10,000 commuters travel to London daily, making Chelmsford the busiest
through railway station in England (the busiest overall being Clapham Junction).
Chelmsford is home to the Diocese of Chelmsford, and has the smallest
cathedral in England. John Dee, responsible for the English translation of
Euclid, was educated at the Cathedral school in the sixteenth century.
Chelmsford is also home to part of the Anglia Polytechnic University and
King Edward VI Grammar School.
The population of the area covered by the district council is 156,000
(2001), approximately one third of that number living within the area of the
Hylands House and Park just to the west of the town is a former country
house saved from dereliction and now owned by the local council. It is open
to the public and has in recent years been the site of popular annual music
festivals. It has been chosen as the site for the 21st International Scout
Jamboree in 2007. The former Palace of Beaulieu is also nearby.
Guglielmo Marconi, the "father of radio" opened the World's first "wireless"
factory in Hall Street, Chelmsford, in 1898, employing around 50 people. In
1920 the factory was also the location of the first officially publicised
sound broadcasts in the UK, one of them featuring Dame Nellie Melba. In 1922
the World's first regular wireless broadcasts for entertainment commenced
from the Marconi Research Centre at Writtle near Chelmsford.
Places of interest within the district include Writtle, one of the possible
birthplaces of Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, and Pleshey, where stand
the ruins of a once important castle mentioned in William Shakespeare's play
Chelmsford is twinned with the following towns:
* Annonay in France
* Backnang in Germany
* Great Baddow