Rayleigh is an attractive market town and civil parish in the District of Rochford in Essex. It is located between Chelmsford and Southend-on-Sea some 32 miles (51 km) to the east of central London.
It had a population of 30,196 in 2001, increasing to 32,150 at the census 2011.
The name "Rayleigh" is Saxon in origin and derives from "raege", and "leah", meaning "Female roe-deer stream".
The connection with deer continued through the centuries as lands around Rayleigh were used as royal hunting forests for many hundreds of years and a deer was included in the coat of arms of Rayleigh Urban District Council.
The town has grown considerably in the last 25 years including a number of new housing developments and local amenities providing a well served ,popular residential area.