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WRITTLE AND ROXWELL

Pigot's Essex 1832-3 Trade Directory

WRITTLE is a village and parish in the hundred of Chelmsford, about 2½ miles from that town, and 30 from London. It was formerly a market town, but has long been divested of that consequence and its trade by the importance of Chelmsford. It still, however, maintains its rank amongst the most respectable villages in this district, and is the residence of many opulent families. The remains of a palace, built by King John in 1211, are a short distance from the green. A remarkable custom in the manor of Writtle, is denominated "Leppe and Lasse," viz. that every cart coming over a part of it called Greenbury, except it belong to a nobleman, must pay fourpence to the lord of the manor. The present possessor of the manor is Lord Petre, of Thorndon hall. The parish is very extensive, and computed to be sixty-one miles in circumference.

The church, dedicated to All-Saints, is an ancient building, consisting of a nave, chancel, and side aisles, with an embattled tower at the west end; in 1802 the tower fell with a tremendous crash, since which it has been rebuilt, and contains eight excellent bells and a handsome clock. There are besides a methodist chapel, a neat workhouse; a charity school for thirty boys and twenty girls, and six almshouses for poor widows. The living here is a vicarage, and the peculiar jurisdiction extends to both parishes of Writtle and Roxwell : it is in the gift of the warden and fellows of New College, Oxford, the Rev. Thomas Penrose is the vicar of Writtle cum Roxwell. The latter place was formerly considered but as an hamlet to Writtle, but it is now a distinct parish, except as to the peculiar jurisdiction. A pleasure fair is held in Writtle on Whit-Monday. By the late government returns Writtle parish contained 2,348, and that of Roxwell, 847 inhabitants.

POST. - Letters from CHELMSFORD arrive (by foot post) every morning at nine.

COACH To LONDON, John West's coach, from the Star, Writtle, every morning (Sunday excepted) at six.

CARRIER To LONDON, James Smith, from his house, twice a week, days uncertain.

Transcribed by CG

KELLY'S DIRECTORY OF ESSEX 1878

WRITTLE, formerly a market town, is a parish near the river Can, a feeder of the Chelmer, on the road from Chelmsford to Ongar, in the Western division of the county, hundred, county court district and union of Chelmsford, Chelmsford rural deanery, Essex archdeaconry, and St. Albans diocese, 2½ miles west from Chelmsford station and Chelmer navigation.  The church of all Saints is a spacious building in the Early English and Perpendicular styles, and consists of chancel, nave with clerestory, aisles, and large square tower containing 8 bells; the tower was rebuilt principally of brick in 1802: it contains several good brasses, some of which date prior to the reformation, also a monument to the Baron Comyns, who resided at Hylands in the adjoining parish of Widford, and one to the Weston family: there is a Norman font.  The register dates from the year 1634.  The living is a vicarage, yearly value £600, paid by stipend from New College, Oxford, with residence, and held by the rev. Andrew D. Stacpoole, M.A. of that college, who is non-resident: the Rev. Henry Samuel Brooks, M.A. of Worcester College, Oxford, is curate in charge.  Here are almshouses for six people.  On Writtle Green there is a Congregational chapel.  Here is an extensive brewery with maltings carried on by Messrs. Pattisson & Co.  Within this manor a curious custom in early times prevailed, called Leppe and Lasse, under which every cart coming to a part called Greenbury, except the carts of peers, paid 1d to the lord of the manor.  Lord Petre, who is the lord of the manor, and A. Pryor, esq. are chief landowners.  The soil is various, clay and loam; subsoil, chiefly clay.  The chief crops are wheat, barley, clover, beans and roots.  The area is 8,672 acres; rateable value, £15,835 10s; and the population in 1871, including Highwood, was 2,425.

Transcribed by Esther Mott

 

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