History of Great Braxted

mansion - exterior
Braxted Park, Great Braxted.
© Copyright Peter Stack contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

History of Great Braxted >> White's Directory 1848

White's Directory of Essex 1848

BRAXTED (GREAT) is a small scattered village, pleasantly situated on the east side of the vale of the river Blackwater, 2 miles East by North of Witham.

Its parish contains 410 inhabitants, and 2631 acres of land, including the small village of Bung Row, and part of Tiptree Heath, about a mile South East of the church. More than 220 acres are woodland, and in the parish are many scattered farm-houses, one of which is Kelvedon Hall, about a mile North East of the church.

At the Domesday Survey, Eudo Dapifer held the manor, and it afterwards passed to the Anesty, Montchensy, Valence, Hastings, Grey, Montgomery, Ayloff, Maynard, Darcy, and other families. It was sold to the late Peter du Cane, Esq., of Coggeshall, who settled at Braxted in 1751, and was sheriff of the county and M.P. for Colchester in 1745.

His grandson, Capt. Charles du Cane, R.N., the present lord of manor, and owner of most of the parish, resides at BRAXTED PARK, which now comprises about 500 acres, richly clothed with wood, and having a one lake of 20 acres, and 10 acres of ornamental gardens and pleasure grounds, in which are seen a great variety of rare and valuable trees. shrubs, flowers., etc.

The mansion, formerly called Braxted Lodge, was built by the Darcy family, in lieu of the ancient manor house; but it was greatly altered, enlarged, and improved by the late Peter du Cane, Esq., who embellished it with an interesting collection of antique marble statues, vases, etc., which he collected in Italy; together with many fine paintings by old masters, one of which is Paulo Panini's splendid picture of the interior of St. Peter's, at Rome.

The house is large and commodious, and from its elevated situation commands a fine view of the lake, and of the sylvan pleasure grounds in its vicinity. It is approached from the south by a noble avenue of trees; and at the west end of the lake is an ornamental building, called the Hermitage, secluded in a woody dell, but commanding a view of the water.

The park has some fine specimens of Italian cattle and was greatly enlarged by the addition of an estate called Fabians, and has three entrance lodges. The du Cane, or du Quane family, emigrated from Flanders in the reign of Elizabeth, to avoid the cruel persecution of the Duke of Alva, and settled first at Canterbury, and afterwards in London, where they become wealthy merchants, and fostered the woollen manufacture introduced by their countrymen into this part of the kingdom.

church - exterior
All Saints' Church, Great Braxted.
© Copyright John Salmon contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The CHURCH (All Saints) stands on an eminence within the park wall and has recently undergone a thorough renovation, at tbe expense of Capt. du Cane and the Rector. It is a small, neat, stuccoed building, with a wooden belfry and spire, and a porch of flint, with stone dressings. The pulpit, reading desk, etc., are richly carved, and some of the windows are enriched with stained glass.

The rectory, valued in K.B. at £19, aud in 1831 at £552, is in the gift of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and incumbency of the Rev. Henry Calthrop, B.D., who has 66A.31P. of glebe, and a handsome new Rectory House, with an extensive lawn and pleasure grounds. The tithes were commuted, in 1839, for £618 per annum.

A neat School, in the Tudor style, with a dwelling for the teachers, was built by Capt. do Cane, in 1844.

John Frese, in 1663, left a yearly rent-charge of £3 out of an estate here called Pundicts, to be applied as follows : 20s. for a sermon; £1.6s.8d. for a coat or gown for an aged poor person; and 13s.4d. for distribution in bread.

The Poor's Allotment (lOA.,) awarded at the enclosures in 1806, was exchanged, in 1834, for 13A., now let for £14.10s. a year, which is distributed in coals.

The poor widows of the parish have a yearly rent charge of £1.6s.8d., left by an unknown donor, out an estate called Fabian's, now enclosed in Braxted park.

TIPTREE PRIORY stood on that part of Tiptree Heath which is in this parish. It was for black canons of the Augustine order, and was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St. Nicholas; but the date of its erection, and the name of the founder, are unknown. The Montchensy family were its principal benefactors, and in 1280 the prior had license to impark 60A. of land. It was one of the forty smaller monasteries granted to Cardinal Wolsey for the endowment of his proposed colleges; but on his attainder, it was given to Edward Huddlestone, Esq.

In 1547, it became the property of Thomas Darcy, Esq., and it afterwards passed to the Forster, Brassey, and various other families. At the dissolution, its revenues were valued at £22.16s.4d. per annum. No traces of the Priory are now extant.

TIPTREE HEATH, now enclosed and cultivated, extends into several adjacent parishes, and was anciently part of the great forest of Essex which occupied about one half of the county.

From an inquisition taken in 1401, we find that Tiptree Heath comprised several thousand acres, in which the free-holders and tenants of the parishes of Inworth, Messing, Layer Marney, Great and Little Braxted, Totham, Tollesbury, Tolleshunt, Wigborough, Maldon, Salcott, Goldhanger, Wickham Bishops, and Langford had commonright for their cattle, and estovers of the trees and underwood, for repairing their buildings, hedges, etc., as well as for fuel.

In Messing parish, on a small unenclosed patch of this once extensive waste, but now fertile tract, Tiptree fair and races are held on the 25th of July.

Braxted Lodge
Braxted Lodge later Braxted Park
print published 1834

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Great Braxted - Cary's New and Correct English Atlas, 1798

Great Braxted - 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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