History of Foulness

Postcard of the Windmill on Foulness Island.

History of Foulness >> White's Directory 1848

White's Directory of Essex 1848

FOULNESS ISLAND, from 6 to 11 miles East North East of Rochford, forms a parish of 674 souls, and about 6000 acres of land, jutting to a point in the ocean, on the south side of the estuary of the river Crouch, and cut off from the main land by the river Broomhill, and the creeks encompassing the small islands of Potton, New England, etc., on the south.

It averages about 4 miles in length and breadth, and contains the scattered houses and farms called Cotes-end, North and East Wick, East and West Shelverd, Prestwold, etc. On the east, it is bounded by the sea, and on the west, by the river Broomhill, which separates it from Wallasea Island. It has still some large tracts of salt-ings, which are not embanked from the sea.

The village is near the Broomhill river or creek, and has a fair, for toys, etc., on July 10th.

The manor belonged to Suene, the Saxon, and afterwards to the Burgh, Rochford, Bohun, Bullen, Rich, and other families. It passed from the late Ear1 of Winchelsea to his son, George Finch, Eaq., of Rutlandshire, the present owner.

St Mary the Virgin Church - exterior
St Mary the Virgin Church, Foulness.
© Copyright Julieanne Savage contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

A small chapel was founded near the centre of the island, in the twelfth century; but it had no resident priest till a chantry was founded by Joane, Countess of Hereford, about 138O, for a priest to perform all offices for the inhabitants, who, on account of the overflowing of the tides, were frequently presented from attending divine services.

The glebe was then settled, and the priest was to have all the tithes, oblations, etc., formerly paid to adjacent parishes.

On the dissolution of chantries, the chapel was made a rectory, which is valued in K.B. at £15, and is now worth about £300 per annum. George Finch, Esq., is patron, and the Rev. Samuel Neale Dalton, M.A., is the rector.

The present Church (Virgin Mary, etc.,) stands on the site of the old chapel, and is a small plain structure.

The poor have the dividends of £105, new 3 per cent. Annuities, purchased with £100 left by the Rev. Thomas Elwood, in 18l5.

Fuller says, that in 1648, an army of mice, nesting in ant-hills, shaved off the grass of the island to the bare roots, "which withering to dung, was infectious to cattle; but in March following, numbers of owls flew hither, and destroyed them."

Daniel, Earl of Nottingham improved the rectory, by annexing to it the great tithes of Braintree.

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Foulness - Cary's New and Correct English Atlas, 1798

Foulness - First Series Ordnance Survey Map 1805

This work is based on data provided through www.VisionofBritain.org.uk and uses historical material which is copyright of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence BY-SA-4.0

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