If you had to name ten facts about Essex what would you choose?

The county boasts a host of interesting things from having the world's longest pleasure pier at Southend to Dedham Vale being the home of artist John Constable.

Then there is the market towns, villages and hamlets used to film the Lovejoy TV series in the 1980s and Danbury Common being home to the country's largest adder population.

The Mayflower shop which took the Pilgrim Fathers to America was built in Harwich. Its captain Christopher Jones was also from the town.

Mersea Island and nearby Maldon, are home to Essex’s famous native oysters.

Some of the most powerful men and women in Western Europe during the Middle Ages once owned Hadleigh Castle. During the reign of Henry VIII, Hadleigh was gifted to Catherine of Aragon, Anne of Cleves and Catherine Parr.

Stow Maries Aerodrome is the last surviving First World War airfield and was originally created to combat German Zeppelin raids and bombing attacks from its Gotha aircraft.

But these are just a few highlights.

Here are the top ten facts about Essex, according to tourism website VisitEssex.

1. According to Essexherald.com Essex is not only the UK’s wealthiest county but would qualify as the world’s 53rd largest economy. Forbes Magazine has also stated that the county’s tax revenue alone would be sufficient to pay off the national debts of several emerging economies.

2. Manningtree is Britain’s smallest town.

3. Whilst Tiptree is the UK’s largest village

4. In January 1905 it was so cold that the Thames froze over at Southend

5. Waltham Abbey is the burial place of King Harold who died in the Battle of Hastings. Ironically, his final resting place is one of the finest examples of Norman church architecture in Britain.

6. The largest village green in England is at Great Bentley. It covers an area of roughly 43 acres – big enough to have been used as a golf course a century or so ago.

7. Great Dunmow is home to the oldest recorded competition in the world still running, the Flitch Trials. Mentioned in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and believed to have begun in the 13th century, the Trials aimed to find a married couple who had not quarrelled or repented their marriage during the preceding year and a day. A mock court of locals would test the veracity of stories of marital bliss, with a flitch of bacon the prize for success.

8. Between 1560 and 1680 in Essex, 545 people were accused of witchcraft and at least 74 are known to have been executed at the Essex Assizes. Matthew Hopkins, known as the 'Witchfinder General', was a lawyer from Manningtree.

9. Iconic Scottish king, Robert the Bruce might have been an Essex boy. Historians have claimed that he was

born at Montpelier’s Farm in Writtle, near Chelmsford, in 1274.

10. Brentwood, home of the wildly popular TV show The Only Way Is Essex, or TOWIE as it is known, is also where the Peasant's Revolt began in May 1381.