Pub history


Pigot's Essex 1832-3 Trade Directory

DANBURY (or Danesbury, from being founded by the Danes,) is a village and parish, in the hundred of Chelmsford, situate between that town and Maldon, about five miles distant from each place. It stands on one of the highest hills in this county, within an area of an ancient encampment, about 680 yards in circumference. 'Danbury Place' has been the residence of many noble families, but the building is now going fast to decay. The parish is more extensive than populous, and includes the hamlet of Russels, about half a mile distant. - The church, from its high and exposed situation, has often suffered through storms and lightning - particularly in May, 1402, when the body and part of the chancel was destroyed. In Feb. 1749, the spire was assailed by lightning, and consumed 20 feet downwards; since which it has been repaired, and has a very pretty effect. The living is a rectory, of which the Rev. Brook Henry Bridges is the present incumbent. The population of Danbury parish, by the census of 1831, was 1,060; being an increase of 292 inhabitants in thirty years.

LITTLE BADDOW is a village, in a small parish of its name, adjoining to Danbury, and in the same hundred. It is a place of but little note; and with the exception of a rich monument in the parish church, to the memory of Sir Henry Mildmay, Knight - and 'Tofts,' the handsome seat of General Strutt, presents no claims upon the attention of the stranger. The parish includes the hamlet of Middle Mead, and contained, by the late returns, 548 inhabitants.

POST OFFICE, DANBURY, Isaac Flory, Post Master. - Letters from CHELMSFORD arrive by mail-cart every morning at seven, and are despatched every evening at half-past eight.

Transcribed by CG


White's History, Gazetteer & Directory of Essex ~ 1848

Submitted and Transcribed by Essex Villages


DANBURY is a pleasant village commanding extensive prospects, and seated on the highest hill in Essex, about 4� miles E. by S. of Chelmsford, and 5 miles W. by S. of Maldon. 

It is admirably adapted to the purpose of a military station, and from the remains of ancient works of that nature, it is evident that its natural advantages have been improved by art. 

An alarm beacon, formerly stood on the site of the parsonage house; and upon the edge of the glacis, south-east of the church, was a watch-house.  The lines of the ancient encampment encompass an area of about 680 yards in circuit, and the glacis on the north-side, is nearly 30 feet deep.  The name plainly indicates that it has been a castle or town of the Danes, and the remains of the camp, at an elevation of more then 700 feet, shew that it was one of their strong holds. 

The parish contains about 3,670 acres, and 1,189 inhabitants, of whom 313 are in RUNSELL hamlet, which is a mile east of the church, in Dengie Hundred; and 180 are in Bicknacre hamlet, which is nearly 2 miles S. of the village, and is partly in Woodham Ferrers, as noticed, with its priory, in that parish. 

Danbury has two fairs on Shrove Tuesday, and May 29th, chiefly for pleasure. 

Sir B. W. Bridges. Bart., is lord of the manors of Danbury and Runsell, which comprise 2,964a. 2r. 4p. of land, of which 166a. is open common, and 56a. woodland.  A great part of the soil belongs to various owners, the largest of whom are, J. R. S. Philips, Esq., of Riffhams, a handsome mansion, with sylvan grounds, on the north side of the parish; and the Bishop of Rochester, for whose residence, Danbury Place, now called Danbury Palace, has recently been purchased by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, with a large estate surrounding it, at the cost of £24,700. 

The Bishop's residence was formerly at Bromley, in Kent, which is not now within his diocese.  The episcopal estate extends into Sandon parish, and the mansion is an extensive and elegant building, in the Tudor style, with turrets, pinnacles, and ornamental chimneys.  It is surrounded by a well-wooded lawn and pleasure grounds, and was built about twelve years ago, by the late owner, John Round, Esq., now of Brighton.  It occupies the site of a mansion which was built by Sir Walter Mildmay, Kt., who died in 1589.  During most of the last century, it was a seat of the Ffytche family. 

At the Domesday survey, Geofrey de Mandeville held most of the parish, and it afterwards passed to the St. Clere, Heyron, De Vere, De Grey, Darcy, Parr, Bohun, and other families. 

Danbury Church (St. John the Baptist,) stands on the summit of a hill, within the area of encampment.  At the west end it has a stone tower, containing five bells, and crowned by a lofty wooden spire, which is used as a sea mark.  Owing to its exposed situation, it has suffered much from storms and tempests.  In 1402, the nave and aisles, and part of the chancel were destroyed; and in 1750, about 20 feet of the spire was burnt by lightning.  The north aisle was rebuilt in 1776, and the whole fabric has recently been thoroughly repaired and beautified.  The chancel has been newly fitted up with richly carved benches and stalls, and one of the latter is appropriated to the Bishop.  A beautiful stone altar-screen has also been erected, in four compartments, with finely crocketted pinnacles.  The ancient piscina, and part of the sedilia remain.  The chancel is mostly in the decorated style of the 14th century, and formerly had four chantries,-three of them founded by the Darcy family.  Under arches, in the wall of the north aisle, are the effigies of two crossed legged Knights, curiously carved in wood, and supposed to represent two crusaders of the St, Clere family. 

In 1779, when digging a grave under one of these arches, a leaden coffin was found only 36 inches below the pavement, and within it was an elm coffin, in which was a body of a man preserved in a pickle or aromatic liquor, partaking of the flavour of catchup and Spanish olives.  The body was tolerably perfect, the flesh white and firm, and covered with a shirt of fine linen cloth, with some rude antique lace on the breast.  Feathers, herbs, and flowers floated on the liquor, quite perfect, but totally discoloured.  After satisfying the curious, the coffin was again soldered up, and replaced in the grave. 

The benefice is a rectory, valued in K.B. at £20, and in 1831, at £455.  It is in the patronage of Sir B. W. Bridges, Bart., and the incumbency of the Rev. B. H. Bridges, M.A., who has a good Rectory House, and 23a. 1r. 2p. of glebe. 

The tithes were commuted in 1844, for a yearly rent charge of £575.  Mr B. is also rector of Woodham Ferrers, and in 1839, his parishioners presented him with a service of plate, (value £135) as a testimony of their affection. 

A small Wesleyan chapel, built here in 1825, is now rented by Independents. 

National Schools for boys, girls, and infants, are supported by the rector and patron, and the small payments of the scholars. 

The Church and Poor's Land has been vested in trust from an early period, and comprises 35a. 2r. 14p., in Purleigh parish, let for £38; about 4a. at Woodham-Walter, let for £4.10s. and an acre in this parish, let for 25s.  Adjoining the latter, is a garden and two cottages, built by the trustees in 1831 at the cost of £100, and now occupied, rent free, by two poor families. 

One moiety of the clear income belongs to the poor parishioners, though the whole was, for many years, applied with the church rates. 

The poor have also the rent of 4a. of land, given by an unknown donor, and now let for £5.

In the following Directory of Danbury Parish, those marked 2, are at Eves Corner; 3,at Runsell; and + are land owners.

+Bishop of Rochester, the Right Rev. Geo. Murray, D. D., Danbury Palace.

Baker Daniel, salesman

+Blatch Mr. Jno.  ll  Crow Mr. Jas

+Bridges Rev. Brook Hy., M. A. rector

2Bridges Rev. Thomas Pim B., curate

Bygrave Mrs Sarah

Caborn Warren, bishop's secretary

Chipperfield Elijah, wheelwright

+Cooper Saml. jun. vict., Griffin

Crow Joseph, gardener

Ellis James, vict. Bell Inn

Hales Miss Harriet, Wood Hill

+Hilton Mr. Wm., Eves Corner

3Joyce Wm., vict. Saracens Head

Joslin Samuel, plumber, painter, &c.

Morell Rev. Thos. (Indpt.) boarding school

+Phillips John Robt. Spencer, Esq., Riffhams

Pullen Thomas, tailor

Simmons John, corn factor

2Snow Simon, corn miller, &c.

Wilson Anthony, bricklayer

National Schools, J. Marshall, My. Mason, and M. A. Vialou

Farmers ( + Owners)

+Ager Isaac, Horn Row

Belcher Isaac, St. Clere

Carter George, Gay-Bowers

+Chapman John, Slough House

Cooper John, Horn Row

+Cooper Saml., sen., Commons

Dyke James, Tyndall's

2+Ellis Wm.  ll  2+Hipsley Wm.

2+Mason Jermh., (and cattle dealer)

Middleditch Edw., Blue House

Pertwee William, Brettons

3Ratcliff Saml.  ll  Trussell James

Salmon Edw. and George, Jacklets

Simmons William,  Rumballs

3+Simpson Jno.  ll  Trussell Jno.


2Hollingsworth William

Jaggs Jno. brewer

3Wiggins Saml.


Harris George

2Harris Henry

Lewin Wm. Bicknacre


Dennis Thomas

2+Hipsley Wm.

Simmons Edward


Bright Edward

3Bright E., jun

Stevens John


Barwell Robert

2Brett John

Pickman Richard

Sayer Philip


Bailey Hy., & baker

Barker Sarah

Clark James

Flory Isaac, (and saddler)

2Hollingsworth W

Joyce Wm., baker


D'Aranda Geo.

Thorpe Jno. jun

Post Office at 1, Flory's, Letters via Chelmsford



The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales...., by John Marius Wilson. circa 1866

BADDOW (LITTLE), a village and a parish in Chelmsford district, Essex. The village stands on a tributary of the Chelmer river, 2 miles S of the Eastern Counties railway , and 4 miles E by N of Chelmsford; and has a post-office under Chelmsford. The parish also includes the hamlet of Middlemead. Acres, 2,779. Real property, £3,246. Pop., 605. Houses, 131. The property is subdivided. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Rochester. Value, £490. Patron, Lord Rayleigh. The church is good; and contains a costly and splendid monument to the memory of Henry Mildmay, Bart., who died in 1639. There is an Independent chapel. Free schools here and at Boreham, founded in 1817 by Edward Butler, Esq., have an income of £200.

DANBURY, a village and a parish in Chelmsford district, Essex. The village stands on high ground, 4½ miles E by S of Chelmsford r. station; and has a post-office under Chelmsford, and a fair on Shrove Tuesday. Its name is a contraction of Danesbury, signifying the "town or castle of the Danes." The parish also includes Runsell hamlet and part of Bicknacre. Acres, 2,590. Real property, with the rest of Bicknacre, £4,243. Pop., 1,113. Houses, 236. The manor was held, at Domesday, by Geoffrey de Mandeville; passed to the St. Cleres, the Veres, the Greys, the Darceys, and the Mildmays; and now belongs to Sir B.W. Bridges, Bart. Danbury Place, now called Danbury Palace, was the seat of the Rounds; and is now the residence of the bishop of Rochester, having been purchased by the ecclesiastical commissioners, in 1851, for £24,700. Danbury Hill, at the village, is 700 feet high; and has vestiges of an ancient camp, 680 yards in circuit. The parish is a meet for the Essex Union hounds. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Rochester. Value, £435. Patron, Sir B.W. Bridges, Bart. The church has a stone tower and a lofty wooden spire; and contains effigies of the St. Cleres. There is a Wesleyan chapel. Charities, £44.

MEAD (MIDDLE), a hamlet in Little Baddow parish, Essex; 3¼ miles E. of Chelmsford. Acres, 410. Pop., 188.

Transcribed by Noel Clark


LITTLE BADDOW is a parish and scattered village, near the confluence of the river Chelmer and Sandon Brook, principally on a hill commanding an extensive view over the whole valley of the Chelmer, 3 miles east from Chelmsford station and 33 from London, in the Chelmsford division of the county, hundred, petty sessional division, rural district and county court district of Chelmsford and in the rural deanery of Chelmsford, archdeaconry of Southend and Chelmsford diocese. The church of St. Mary the Virgin, is a building of Roman materials and rubble in the Norman and Decorated styles consisting of chancel, nave, south aisle, south porch and an embattled western tower containing 5 bells: in the south wall of the south aisle are two tombs with recumbent figures carved in wood, with hounds at their feet, under Decorated canopies of the time of King Edward III.; in the chancel is a stately marble monument to Sir Henry Mildmay, of Graces, who resided in this parish, was knighted 25th May, 1605, during the Irish wars, and died 9th October, 1639, aged 61; he is represented as clad in armour, reclining under a canopy, with a sword by his side and a truncheon in his hand, and at the foot of the monument are two female figures kneeling, one, a lady richly dressed, the other, an elderly lady with scarf and hood, representing his first and second wives: there is also a tablet to the memory of two members of the Fitzwalter family: a brass found in this church when being repaired bears the following inscription:--"Here lyeth the corpses of Mercymight Springham one of the davghters of Richard Springham Gent; whoe was wyfe to Richard Bristowe Esqvier xxvith years , and lyved in this world Fyve and Foftie yeares, Departinge Her Mortall Lyfe the xxth of Janvarie 1611:" there is also a brass in the floor of the nave to William Toft, dated 1482: on the north wall is a 14th century painting representing St. Christopher, which was discovered beneath the plaster in 1922: the church has 170 sittings. The register dates from the year 1558. The living is a rectory, net yearly value £560 and residence, in the gift of the Bishop of Chelmsford, and held since 1915 by the Rev. Jesse Berridge A.K.C.L. There is a Congregational chapel, erected in 1707, with 200 sittings, and a residence for the minister. The principal landowner is Lord Rayleigh, who is lord of the manor. The soil is light gravel, producing excellent crops of all descriptions of grain. The area, with the hamlet of Middle Mead, is 2,736 acres of land and 20 of water; the population in 1931 was 751.

Middle Mead hamlet is in the Dengie hundred, containing 410 acres.

Post, M. O., T. & T. E. D. Office. Letters through Chelmsford

Conveyance.---Omnibuses to & from Chelmsford, daily

Carriers to Chelmsford.--William Cook & Harold Stracey (excep wed.), daily, returning same day

The Danbury War Memorial

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