Mid iron-age pottery found at Shot Farm shows that the area was inhabited in 300 BC. In Roman times, a road ran from Ilford to Latchingdon through here. In the Saxon period, common hold land was often sliced into parallel strips known as `Sceats’. This is the origin of our name, which has nothing to do with shooting or hunting. The Domesday Book of 1086 lists four farmsteads in Wickford, one of which was probably on the site of Shotgate. By 1300, this was listed as Ames or Ames Farm. By 1540, the Rede family owned the farm and one of its members, Elizabeth, emigrated to America to marry the son of the governor of Massachusetts and is an ancestor of both former US President George Bush and Presidential contender John Kerry. In 1663, Turnpike (Toll) roads appeared in England and, until 1866, one ran from Shenfield to Rayleigh along the Old Southend Road, after which it was turned over to the Rochford Highway Board. During this period (1747), the Sharpe family renamed Ames Farm as Shotgate Farm. Perhaps this indicated the existence of a tollgate at the Wickford/Rawreth boundary. During this period, an inn, the King’s Head, stood near present day Oak Avenue. In 1907, houses were built in Enfield Road and Oak Avenue as part of the `Plotlands` initiative. In 1921, the Archer family bought Shotgate Farm, and in 1927, sold land for development. This led to the foundation of present-day Shotgate, consisting of Bruce Grove, First to Fifth avenues and the shopping parades. In 1989, the village was greatly expanded by the Hodgson Way Industrial Estate, so named after the W.W.2 RAF airman, Pilot Officer William Henry Hodgson, a New Zealander, who, on 31st May 1940, was engaged with hostile bombers and fighters over the River Thames in his Hawker Hurricane, which was hit and caught fire. In attempting to return to his base at RAF Debden, he resisted bailing out, which would have left the aircraft to crash on a populated area, and instead crash landed in fields just outside Shotgate, to avoid damage and injury to local people. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his bravery. There is a memorial to him located in Hodgson Way, opposite the junction with Blake Hall Drive.