History of Great Oakley
All Saints' Church, Great Oakley, c.1960
Reproduced courtesy of The Francis Frith Collection.
History of Great Oakley >> White's Directory 1848
White's Directory of Essex 1848
OAKLEY, (GREAT) is a large village, 7 miles East South East of Manningtree, and West South West of Harwich, and its parish contains 1145 souls, and 2996 acres of land, including Stone Green, 1½ mile further to the west, and extending to the bay opposite Horsey and Pewit Islands, the latter of which belongs to J. A. Bull, Esq., and has a surface of about 500 acres, but is nearly covered at high water.
A fair is held in the village on the 25th. of April.
James Allen Bull Esq., owns a great part of the parish, and resides at, and is lord of the manor of Great Oakley Hall, which belonged to the Montfitchets, from the Conquest till 1258, and afterwards to Balbec, Plaiz, Vere, Darcy, Leathes, and other families.
The Hall is a large brick mansion, with pleasant grounds, and commands a fine view of the ocean and adjacent country. The farms called Skigghawes, Stone Hall, and Dengwell Hall, belong to Guy's Hospital, London; and other parts of the parish belong to Mrs. Bailey, and several smaller owners.
The Church (All Saints,) is an ancient structure, and had a tower of flint and stone; but it fell down about 20 years ago, and was replaced by a smaller wooden tower, containing only one bell, the other four being sold after the old steeple had fallen. The interior is neat, and has a small organ, purchased in 1847.
The rectory, valued in K.B. at £23, and in 1831, at £751, is in the patronage of St. John's College, Cambridge, and incumbency of Rev. J. H. Marsden, B.D., who has a neat and commodious brick residence, in the Elizabethan style, erected in 1836, and about 60 acres of glebe. The tithes were commuted in 1841, for the gross sum of £900 per annum.
The Parish School was built in 1837; and here is a Wesleyan Chapel, built in 1814, and a small Baptist Chapel now disused.
The poor have two adjoining almshouses, one left by Richard Drake, in 1718, on condition that the parish built the other. They are occupied by eight poor parishioners.
Great Oakley Farmers' Club holds its annual and monthly meetings at the Three Cups; and belonging to it are more that 60 farmers and gentlemen of this and neighbouring parishes. Mr. H. Spurling is secretary.
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