The hamlet of Milton has historically been part of the parish of Prittlewell, and subsequently Southend-on-Sea, and extended from what is now London Road, to the shore. It is said to have had a Church in the estuary, the remains of which could still be seen up until the 1880's. The Church however seems only to be connected to old sea tales of sounds carried on the wind, as local records show there would have only been a tidal mill in, or on, the estuary itself.
This old tale, which is connected to many watery or sunken locations, such as Hanningfield Reservoir or Dunwich on the Suffolk coast, says that the wind or waves bring the feint, almost indistinguishable sound of bells from an unknown origin to the listener. For many centuries bells were the loudest man made sound which would travel for many miles, carrying their reverence with them. On a foggy or stormy day, on a boat in a position of danger, its not hard for the mind to wander or the senses to become heightened. There are probably considerable connections between this tale and those of the mythological Sirens.
We have had several verbal contributions to the story of bells heard at sea, but none speifically connected to Milton or the Thames Estuary.