History of Berden
St. Nicholas' Church, Berden
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History of Berden >> White's Directory 1848
White's Directory of Essex 1848
BERDEN, or Berdon, a small village, 9 miles South West by South of Saffron Walden and 5 miles South West of Newport Station, has in its parish 391 souls, and 1771A.3R.37P. of land.
General Felix Calvert owns a great part of the soil, and is lord of the manor of Berden Hall, which was purchased by one of his ancestors about 1600. Here are several small free and copyhold estates, the latter subject to certain fines.
There is a small Priory of Augustine canons here, supposed to have been founded by one of the Rochfords, in the 13th century. In 1266, the Prior had license to hold a fair. After the dissolution, the priory and the rectory were granted to Henry Parker, and in 1583 they were given by Thomas Ramsey to St. Thomas's, Bridewell, and Christ's Hospitals, London.
The Governors of the latter are now impropriators of the tithes (commuted in 1838 for £360 per annum) and patrons of the perpetual curacy, now valued at £150, and in the incumbency of the Rev. C.F. Cook. B.A. It was annexed to Ugley Vicarage till 1846.
The Church (St. Nicholas,) is a small ancient structure of early English architecture, consisting of a tiled nave and chancel, two transepts, and a tower, built of pebbles, and containing four bells. The north transept is called the Priory end.
Upon a brass-plate, fixed, in a raised tomb, are graved the effigies of William Turnor and his two wives, who died in the 15th century; and upon another brass-plate are the effigies of Thomas Thompson and his wife and children, who died in the 17th century.
The Parsonage House is a neat building, erected in 1847, at the cost of £1000, by the Ecclesiastica1 Commissioners.
Here is a small Wesleyan Chapel.
The poor parishioners have 13s. a year from Martin's Charity and a rent charge of 30s. out of Lambert's Farm, left by Catherine Rich and Elizabeth Mead.
The sum of £62, left by Mr. Thompson, was laid out, with other benefaction money, in the purchase of 9A. of land, now let for £14, which is distributed among the poor, together with the rent of two old tenements. Adjoining the latter is a house built by the parish about 20 years ago, and now occupied by paupers.
Joseph Mede. M.A., a learned theologian, was born here in 1586, and died in 1838.
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