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WIDFORD (the name of which is supposed to be derived from a Ford over the Wid, a feeder of the Chelmer) is a parish on the ancient Roman and modern road from London to Colchester, in the Chelmsford division of the county, Chelmsford hundred, rural district, petty sessional division and county court district, rural deanery of Chelmsford, archdeaconry of Southend and Chelmsford diocese. A part of the village is in the parish of Chelmsford, and distant 2 miles south-west from Chelmsford station on the London and North Eastern railway. The church of St. Mary, erected in 1862 on the site of the older edifice, at the sole cost of the late Arthur Prior esq. J.P. (d. 1904), is a building of stone in the Gothic style, consisting of chancel, nave of four bays, north aisle and a western tower with pinnacles and an octagonal spire rising to the height of 145 feet, and containing 8 bells: there are 180 sittings: in the churchyard is the tomb of Sarah, widow of Henry, 10th Earl of Suffolk and Berkshire, and wife of Lucius, 7th Viscount Falkland, ob. 1776, which formerly stood on the site of the present church, but was altered and removed to its present position in 1862. The register dates from the year 1619. The living is a rectory, net yearly value £352 with 7 acres of glebe and residence, in the gift of the Church Pastoral Aid Society, and held since 1903 by the Rev Francis Ralph Thurlow M.A. of Hatfield Hall, Durham, and chaplain of Chelmsford Institution. The charities are of the yearly value of £18, derived from Consols and stock left by Lady Falkland, the Rev. Dr. Saunders and Messrs. Benjamin Sargeant and Labouchere, and given partly in bread once weekly, and in clothes and coal at Christmas. There are golf links of 18 holes. Hylands, a spacious mansion in the midst of a large and well-wooded park of 596 acres, commanding extensive views of the surrounding country, is the residence of Mrs. J. M. Hanbury. The soil is mixed; subsoil, gravel and sand. The chief crops are wheat, beans, oats, barley, turnips, mangolds and clover. The area is 671 acres of land and 9 of water; the population in 1931 was 457.

Post & Tel. Call Office. Letters through Chelmsford. Moulsham nearest M. O. office & Chelmsford nearest T. office

Conveyance.—There is a frequent service of motor omnibuses running through from Chelmsford to Brentwood daily, for London, Ipswich & other centres


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