Throughout the 19th century, Shenfield was a popular coaching town with inns and stalls catering for the travelling masses trundling along the Colchester-to-London road, which now connects to the M25. When rail arrived in 1843, it was Shenfield's proximity to the capital that bolstered the town's prospects when people came to realise they could have the best of both worlds - a job in the city and a life in the countryside, facilitated by 18-miles of train track. Today, commuters still colour the town's fortunes, with the station functioning as the eastern terminus of the Liverpool Street-Shenfield service and Crossrail's imminent arrival in 2019.
The station building itself has undergone a series of improvements and enlargements since WW2, and the local shops and services nearby have bloomed, giving the immediate area around the station a unique village feel. If it's art that you're after, head to The Sherwin Gallery, with watercolours and oils from the 18th to the 20th centuries, just a short walk down Hutton Road, outside the station.