St Mary's Church, Great Dunmow.© Copyright John Salmon contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
History of Great Dunmow >> White's Directory 1848
Part 2 Part 1
The church of Great Dunmow parish is a large and handsome structure, in the decorated English and perpendicular styles, and is situated at Church-end, on the well-wooded banks of the Chelmer. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and consists of a nave with side aisles, a chancel with a south aisle; and a lofty embattled tower containing six bells.
The large east window is a fine specimen of the decorated style, and it and some of the other windows were formerly richly embellished with stained glass, of which some fragments still remain. About the western door are thirteen shields of arms, belonging to families who contributed to the building and repairs of this large church, which is the head of the Deanery of Dunmow.
About 15 years ago, 230 additional sittings were provided, and 200 of them are free. The interior is neatly pewed, and has many monumental inscriptions.
In 1479, the Rectory, was appropriated to Stoke College near Clare; but in 1590, it was granted to the See of London, for ever. It is a manor, and is now held on lease by Sir G. H. Beaumont, Bart. The Vicarage, valued in K.B. at £18.13s.4d., and in 1831 at £429, is in the patronage of the Bishop of London, and incumbency of the Rev. H. L. Magendie, M.A., who has a good residence, near the church. The tithes, were commuted in 1843, the rectorial for £625, and the vicarial for £580 per annum. Mr. George Cheek is the clerk, and Mr A. Barfield, jun., organist.
There are in the town three chapels, viz., a Friends Meeting house, erected in 1833, at the cost of £500; an Independent Chapel, built in 1705, and repaired and enlarged in 1822; and a Baptist Chapel, erected in 1823, at the cost of £900.
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The TOWN HALL, near the centre of the town, was built in 1578, and repaired in 1760 and subsequent years. The County Court, for Dunmow District is held monthly, in the large upper room, which is also used for public meetings, lectures, etc.
The POLICE STATION is a neat and substantial building, erected in 1842, by the County Magistrates, at the cost of £1200; and has a court room, in which Petty Sessions, are held for Dunmow Hundred, on the first Monday of every month.
The Gas Works, are rented by Messrs. Suckling and Carter. DUNMOW SAVINGS BANK was established January 1st, 1818, and is open on the first and third Tuesday in every month, at the Town Hall. On Nov. 20th, 1846, it had deposits amounting to £20,178, belonging to 686 individuals, and 42 Charitable and 11 Friendly Societies. Mr. W. I. Clayton is the treasurer; the Rev. H. L. Magendie, secretary; and Mr. A. Barfield, clerk.
A numerous and well-conducted Friendly Society, holds its meetings at the Town Hall; and in the large upper room are delivered the lectures given to Dunmow Literary Society, which has a good library and reading room. Here is also a Building and Investment Society.
Dunmow Agricultural Society was established in 1835, and holds an annual ploughing match, and a show of fruit, vegetables, and flowers. It is under the presidency of Viscount Maynard, and one of its annual prizes is a gammon of bacon, given to the married couple (labourer and wife) who have brought up the largest number of children without parochial relief, and placed them in respectable service. This prize is in memory of the ancient jocular custom at Dunmow Priory.
The NATIONAL SCHOOLS occupy a commodious building, erected in 1836, and are attended by about 120 boys and 100 girls. The dividends of £191.2s.2d. three per cent. Consols, derived from the legacy of the Rev. John Mangey, in 1782, are paid towards the support of the girls' school.
Here is also a large British School, erected in 1844,at the cost of £650, on land given by E. B. Jones, Esq., and now attended by about 90 of either sex.
Dunmow Diocesan Commercial School, was established in 1845, for boarders and day scholars, in connexion with the Essex Board of Education, and under the patronage of the Bishop of Rochester, and the superintendence of the clergy. The terms are 20 to 22 guineas per annum for boarders, and one guinea per quarter for day scholars; but extra charges are made for Latin, French, and Mathematics, of two guineas each per annum.
Dunmow Church Sunday School Union, embraces many schools in the neighbouring parishes.
Church and Poor's Land, etc.:- Lands and tenements for the use of the Church and Poor of Great Dunmow parish, have been vested in trustees from an early period, but the precise nature of the trusts and the names of the donors are unknown. Most of this property lying in Dunmow has evidently been vested in trust since the reign of Richard II., and its proceeds were at an early period applied to the repairs of the parish church, and now amount to about £35 per annum, exclusive of the Almshouses, on Parsonage Down, occupied by 12 poor people; the School-house, near the King's Head; and the Church House, which is let by the parish clerk for his own benefit.
The other portions of what may be called the Dunmow Estate, consist of the Church Mead, (1A.,) let for £4; the Mill Pasture, 2A.1R.32P., let for £12.5s.; a cottage in Church street, worth £5 a year; a cottage and 3 roods of land, near Slutt's Green, worth £4 a year; and Crane's Farm, which comprises 12A. 3R. 22P., let for £14.5s. per annum.
The Thaxted Estate, was purchased in 1652, with £230 bequeathed to the poor by the Glasscock and other families, and now consists of a farm of 31A. 36P., near Cutler's Green, let for £30 per annum. Before the new appointment of trustees, in 1833, the whole of the above rents had been for many years applied to the support of a school.
End Part 2 Part 1
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