Chelmsford is the county town of Essex, England and the principal settlement of the borough of Chelmsford. It is located in the London commuter belt, approximately 32 miles (51 km) northeast of Charing Cross, London, and approximately the same distance from the once provincial Roman capital at Colchester. The town currently has a population of approximately 157,072 however this is thought to be rapidly increasing on a year by year basis with many people from Essex and the London borders re-locating to the county town.
The main conurbation incorporates all or part of the former parishes of Broomfield, Great Baddow, Moulsham, Widford and Springfield, including Springfield Barnes, now more commonly known as Chelmer Village.
The town is surrounded by many small villages: Galleywood, Danbury, Writtle, Good and High Easter, Roxwell, Mashbury, ChignalSmealy, Little Baddow, Great and Little Waltham, Howe Street, Pleshey and Bicknacre.
The communities of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, Chelmsford, Ontario and Chelmsford, New Brunswick are named after the town.
There are many places of interest within Chelmsford, including the 18-arch Victorian railway viaduct that spans the River Can in Central Park. One of three railway viaducts in the town that carry the Great Eastern Main Line. The Viaduct was constructed during 1842 by the Eastern Counties Railway Company and opened for passenger traffic on 29 March 1843. Chelmsford Cathedral which is located directly behind The Shire Hall. Originally called St Mary’s Church, it became a Cathedral when the Diocese of Chelmsford was created in 1914. It is officially the second smallest in England behind Derby Cathedral.