Wat Tyler Country Park in Pitsea Hall Lane, Pitsea opened in April 1984.
Set in 125 acres the
park is named after Walter 'Wat' Tyler' who lead the Peasants' Revolt in 1381. Len Murray, General Secretary of the Trades
Union Congress (TUC) was the special guest to perform the opening ceremony.
The park offers many attractions for all the family including an adventure playground, marina,
art and craft shops, a sculpture trail, tudor houses, visitor centre and a 10.25" miniature
narrow gauge railway.
Miniture gauge railway
The miniture gauge railway runs for a length of approximately 1 mile (1.2 km) having recently been
extended in 2012 almost to the park's entrance. The train is called The Goyle and numbered 31327.
Standing on a plinth at the entrance to the Green Centre is a sculpture called Progression. It
was commissioned by Basildon District Community Arts Project who invited local artists to design
a piece of art to mark 50 years of the new town. It was the work of the Rochford born artist
Michael Condron and had previously stood in Town Square at Basildon town centre from 2001 to July
2004 when it was removed to the park and eventually sited in front of the then Motorboat Museum. A
special unveiling ceremony with commemorative plaque was conducted by the chairman of Basildon Council,
Cllr. Sandra Hillier on 25th February, 2005.
An enclosed Adventure Playzone for children
aged 12+ opened in August 2001 adjacent to another small children's park completed a month earlier.
events are held in the park including from 1996 to 2000 the Basildon Festival.
In 2009 the Motorboat Museum closed and the building underwent an extensive refurbishment costing
£1.2 million. This was completed in October 2011 and the building, now called the Green Centre,
was given an official opening on 29th February, 2012. The tape cutting ceremony was performed by
the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Homes and Communities, Bob Neill, MP. Among others
in attendance were Basildon Council Leader Tony Ball, Cllr Kevin Blake, cabinet member for leisure
and Arts and Stephen Metcalfe, MP for Basildon South and Thurrock East.
Lionel Murray, OBE, later Baron Murray of Epping Forest. (02/08/1922 - 20/05/2004), trade unionist leader (TUC).