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WICKEN BONHUNT

KELLY'S DIRECTORY OF ESSEX 1933

WICKEN BONHUNT (or Wicken Bonant) is a small village and parish on the banks of a winter brook which rises in the adjoining parish of Arkesden and passing through this parish falls into the Cam, at Newport; it is 2 miles west from Newport station on the main line of the London and North Eastern railway, 5 south-west from Saffron Walden, 10 north from Bishop’s Stortford and 38 from London, in the Northern division of the county, Uttlesford hundred, Saffron Walden petty sessional division, rural district and county court district, and in Newport and Stansted rural deanery, arch deaconry of Colchester and Chelmsford diocese. The church of St. Margaret originally dated from the middle of the 11th century and was in part rebuilt at the latter end of the 12th century: a portion of the nave and chancel arch was again rebuilt at the end of the 13th century; but excepting the addition of a porch in the 16th century, nothing appears to have been done to the church till the early part of the 18th century, when the tower either fell or was taken down and the bells were then placed in a wooden cote over the west gable of the nave: the present structure was restored and in part rebuilt in 1858-9, by John Hanson Sperling esq. of Kensington, and consists of the original Early English chancel restored, to which a nave, south porch and a western tower with broach spire have been added in the Decorated style: the belfry stage of the tower has eight large traceried windows and contains 3 bells: the whole of the windows are stained: the chancel is stalled and divided from the nave by a caned oak screen: there are 200 sittings. The registers date from the year 1588. The living is a rectory, united with the vicarage of Arkesden, joint net yearly value £490, in the gift of Keble College, Oxford, and held since 1927 by the Rev. Horace Joseph Stares A.K.C. who resides at Arkesden. The rectory house, formerly on the north side of the churchyard, was burnt down in 1590: the present house, erected with a domestic chapel about 1856, on another site, at a cost of £5,000, is in the Gothic style; there was formerly a private chapel attached, fitted with stalls and a stained window. The rectory house was sold with the globe in 1919, and is the residence of Mrs. Jackson. The Old School buildings are the property of the rector for the time being, and are now used for social work. The Brick House, the residence of Miss Pollitt, was built by William Bradbury esq. who died in 1622, and is a small house with ornamental gables and the arms of the Bradbury family over the door. The Bonhunt farm is about half a mile east from the church, and adjoining it is the desecrated chapel of St. Helen, which existed as far back as the 10th century: it consists of a small chancel and nave of Saxon and Early Norman work and is now used as a barn; this was formerly a chapel of ease, but the pariah becoming consolidated with Wicken it fell to decay: two stone coffins and some human bones were dug up in a close adjoining. The Hall, which adjoins the church and is now a farm honse, was formerly surrounded by a moat. Joseph Charles Thomas Heriz-Smith esq. M.A., J.P. is lord of the manor and the principal landowner. The soil is heavy on the hills and mixed; subsoil, chalk, with some gravel in the low lands; in the valley the crops are principally on the four-course shift. The area is 850 acres; the population in 1931 was 161.

Letters through Newport. The nearest M. 0. & T. office is at Newport

 

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