All Saints' Church, Cressing.© Copyright Peter Stack contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
History of Cressing >> White's Directory 1848
CRESSING is a pleasant scattered village, in a high salubrious situation, 3 miles South East of Braintree, and 4 miles North West by North of Witham. Its parish contains 560 souls, and 2357.A.2R.13P. of land, including 68A. or wood, and 5lA. of waste.
More than 2000 acres are arable, and the soil is heavy, but good. Hops have been cultivated here; and the ditches and brooks are noted for water cresses, from which the parish is supposed to have had its name.
About 1150, King Stephen granted the manor and rectory to the Knights Templars, who had a preceptory here, called Cressing Temple, about a mile South of the church, on an acclivity overlooking the small river Brain.
On the suppression of this order, in 1311, their temple and possessions here were given to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, who were suppressed, in 1540, when the manor of Cressing was granted to Sir William House, from whom it passed to the Smyths, who long flourished at Cressing Temple, now a farm-house, still retaining some finely carved wainscoting, and part of a moat.
Capt. Stuart, who resides at Florence, is lord of the manor; but most of the soil belongs to the Executors of the late J. Grimwood, Esq., and several smaller owners.
The Church (All Saints,) is a plain but neat structure, with a wooden belfry, and a small spire. It has undergone many alterations, the windows being in various styles, from Henry III. to Edward IV. In the chancel is an ancient monument, belonging to the Neville family.
Cressing was originally a chapelry to Witham parish; and the church or chapelry said to have been founded by Elephelm att Gore, who gave 20A. of land for its maintenance.
King Stephen granted the rectory of Witham to the dean and canons of St. Martin Le Grand, London, who ordained a a vicar at Witham, and bound him to support the chapel of Cressing. The discharged vicarage of Cressing, valued in K.B. at £7.15s.5d., and in 1831 at £220, is in the patronage of the Vicar of Witham, and incumbency of the Rev. Sir John Page Wood, Bart., L.L.B., who is also rector of St. Peter's, Cornhill, London, and resides at Glazenwood, in Bradwell. G. and J. Joscelyn, Esqrs., are lessees of the rectory; and all the tithes have been commuted for rent-charges, the rectory for £343, and the vicarial for £287 per ann.
Here is a small vicarage house, with 2A.3R.3P. of glebe; and in the village is a small Independent Chapel, built in 1847, by Mr. James Joscelyne, of Braintree
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Cressing - Cary's New and Correct English Atlas, 1798
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