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The River Pant (or Blackwater) runs roughly parallel to it, through the north of Bocking and away to the east of the town.
Notable road names in Braintree now coincide with names of people who fought for the town, and locals living there, such as Aetheric Road (a notable Saxon nobleman that died in the Battle of Maldon in 991, and subsequently left most of the land of Braintree to the Bishop of London, as well as the land of Bocking going to the Prior and monks of Canterbury), Trinovantian Way (at one point, the townsfolk were called Trinovantes, who were around during the Iron Age, and could till the light sandy soil and hunted animals in the surrounding woodland).As early as the 14th Century, Braintree was processing and manufacturing woollen cloth, a trade it was involved with until the late 19th century.The town prospered from the 17th century when Flemish immigrants made the town famous for its wool cloth trade.Local shops have come and gone, with larger outlet-style shops opening in the nearby Freeport Designer Village, and plans have been made for a complete overhaul of the area that is currently the bus station, with plans including a Doctor's surgery, and shops that could possibly improve the footfall of the town.Braintree lies in north Essex, about 46 miles (74 km) from London, with factories and housing to the south and rural areas to the north, where arable crops are grown.It’s really easy to find your nearest babyballet school.
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Another theory is that the name is derived from that of Rayne, which was actually the more important settlement in Norman times.
A third theory is that the name means "settlement by the river Bran or Braint".
Since the end of the Second World War, Braintree has seen many changes.
The town centre itself is more pedestrianised than it used to be, with a one-way system moving around the town.
Essex is rather flat on the whole, and the Braintree area is no exception; however, there is a general downward trend in the height of the ground from the northwest towards the coast to the southeast.