The Sokens in 1837
The Sokens, including Kirby le Soken, Thorpe le Soken, and Walton le Soken, are in Tendring hundred : these parishes are for ecclesiastical purposes consolidated, and form a benefice in the diocese of London (exempt from the archdeacons jurisdiction), of the annual value of £513, with a glebe-house. The word Soken is derived from the Saxon Soc, or Soca, signifying a peculiar power to administer justice within itself, and likewise the circuit within which such power was exercised. These villages possess some peculiar immunities, to which they owe their designation. They comprehend the promontory of the Naze, which formerly extended much farther to the west, but has been contracted by the encroachment of the sea.
Ruins of buildings have been discovered under the water, particularly on a shoal called the West Rocks, nearly five miles from the shore, which is left dry at great ebbs. The spot where the ruins are found is distinguished by the name of The Town. The wall thrown up to keep out the sea gave name to Walton parish. There is a church in each parish ; that at Thorpe is the largest. There is also a Baptist meeting at Thorpe, and a. customary market is held there on Wednesday evening. Walton having the recommendation of a firm and extensive beach, has been resorted to for bathing by invalids from the eastern parts of Essex. The population of the three parishes in 1831 was as follows:- Kirby 972, Thorpe 1,173, Walton 469 ; total 2,614.