History of Aldham
St. Margaret's Church, Aldham
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History of Aldham >> White's Directory 1848
White's Directory of Essex 1848
ALDHAM, a small pleasant village, from five to six miles West of Colchester, and 4½ mile East North East of Coggeshall, has in its parish 382 souls, and about 1790 acres of fertile land, crossed by the Colchester and Stour Valley Railway, and including the village of Ford Street, where there is a mill and a bridge on the river Colne, 5 miles West by North of Colchester, and where a fair is held on Easter Tuesday.
Ford Street is sometimes called Little Fordham, being now connected with Fordham, on the opposite side of the Colne, by a good bridge, on the site of an ancient ford.
Alham parish has its name from the Saxon, Old-ham, or Old village, and was held by the Bishop of Bayeaux, bother of he Conquerer, at the time of the Norman survey. It was afterwards held of the Earls of Oxford, as part of their barony of Castle Hedingham.
It is now in two manors, viz., Aldham Hall and Bourchier's Hall, and T.B. Western, Esq., of Felix Hall, Kelvedon, is lord of both; but Mrs. Bygrave, of Danbury, Messrs. W. Austin, J. Lay, R. Blackcock, and A.N. Mayhew, and several smaller owners, have estates here. The soil is mostly freehold.
Aldham Hall, now a farm-house, is nearly a mile east of the church, and belonged successively to to the Wiggeton, Goldington, Cornwallis, Glascock, and other families.
Bourchier's Hall, near Ford Street, was anciently a seat of the Bourchier family, and afterwards of the Sayers, Marshams, etc. A great part of it was pulled down many years ago, when the reminder was converted into a farm-house.
The Church is an ancient structure, which has undergone many repairs. It has a nave, south aisle, and chancel, with a wooden turret, rough cast, containing two bells. It anciently had a chapel on the north side, but being ruinous, it was taken down many years ago.This chapel was founded by the Atteye or Tey family, and dedicated to St. Ann. Morant, the historian of Essex, was rector here, and there us a marble tablet to his memory in the chancel.
The rectory, valued in K.B. at £12, and in 1831 at £357, is in the patronage of the Bishop of London, and incumbency of the Rev. Charles Bannatyne, M.A. who has about 23 acres of glebe, and a neat residence in the Elizabethan style, with pleasant grounds. The tithes have been commuted for £410 per annum.
Loves Charity:- In 1565, Thomas Love left £120 to be laid out in land, and the yearly proceeds thereof to be divided equally among the 12 parishes of Aldham, Great and Little Horkesley, Boxted, Langham, Wormingford, Fordham, Lexden, West Bergholt, Nayland, Mount Bures, and Ardleigh; for distribution among the poor.
This legacy laid out in the purchase of about 26A. of land in Lexden, close to the town of Colchester, let for £30 a year from 1828 to 1842; but now greatly increased in value, being in great demand for building purposes. A trustee is chosen by each of the 12 parishes interested in the charity. The share belonging to Aldham is distributed among the poor parishioners in bread and blankets.
The poor of Aldham have al,os a farm of 16A. 0R. 16P. given at an early period by an unknown donor, and now let for £22 a-year. After deducting £2 for repairs, the rest is divided in shares of 25s. each to 16 poor parishioners who have been married upwards of five years, and do not receive parochial relief. T.B. Western, R. Lay, and others are the trustees.
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