Tilbury, town and port in Thurrock Borough, Essex, eastern England. It is situated about 35 km (22 mi) east of London on the north bank of the River Thames. A monastery was established at Tilbury by the Northumbrian bishop St Cedd (Cedda) in the middle of the 7th century. The settlement is mentioned in the Domesday book as Tilaburg, which means «Tila's fortified place». Since the 15th century Tilbury has been a ferry point for passengers crossing the Thames to Gravesend in Kent. In the 16th century Henry VIII built a fort at Tilbury to guard the Thames estuary. In 1588, when the Spanish Armada was threatening England, Elizabeth I famously addressed the royal troops assembled at Tilbury. The docks for which Tilbury is famous were built between 1884 and 1886. In the 1960s Tilbury docks became a containerized port and the Port of London's principal container centre, causing a decline in the Docklands of London.