History of Great Waltham

mansion - exterior
Langley's, Great Waltham.
© Copyright Stephen Richards contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

History of Great Waltham >> White's Directory 1848

White's Directory of Essex 1848

WALTHAM, (GREAT) a pleasant village on the west side of the river Chelmer, and on the Dunmow road, from 4 to 5 miles North of Chelmsford, has in its populous and extensive parish, many scattered houses, and the small villages, hamlets, etc., of How Street, Chatham Green, Walthambury, Little Lee Green, Ford End, Black Chapel and North End, Church End and South End.

It is one of the largest parishes in Essex, and contains 2154 inhabitants, and 7,054 acres of land, well watered by the Chelmer and some of its tributary streams; and having a variety of soils, but generally a wet loam, much improved by draining, and judicious management.

There are in the parish several old manor houses, occupied by farmers. The principal manor, and a great part of the soil, belongs to John Jolliffe Tufnell, Esq., who holds a court leet and baron, and resides at Langleys, a large and handsome mansion, seated on a pleasant eminence, between the church and the river Chelmer, in an extensive park, well stocked with deer.

The Marshall or Mariskill family, held the manor of Langleys from the reign of John to that of Edward III., and it afterwards passed to the Everards, one of whom, (Sir Hugh,) was created a baronet, and died in 1705, leaving his estates so much in debt, that his son was obliged to sell Langleys and other estates, to Samuel Tufnell, Esq., who represented Colchester, Maldon, etc., in parliament.

He pulled down most of the old mansion, and rebuilt it on a larger and more elegant plan. He also made an extensive park round it.

His successors have considerably improved the house and grounds, and the present worthy proprietor is highly esteemed, both as landlord and a magistrate. His son resides at Waltham House.

At the time of Domesday Survey, Geofrey de Maudeville held the parish, but it afterwards divided into seven manors, viz., Whathambury, Chatham Hall, Warners, or Little Lee Park; Hyde Hall, South House, Langleys, and the Rectory.

The latter was given by Geofrey de Mandeville, to Walden Abbey, and at the Dissolution, it was given to Sir Richard Rich, who sold it to Sir Thomas Pope,. Kt., and he settled it as part of the endowment of Trinity College, Oxford, founded by him.

The Bird, Skill, Dowsett. Livermore, Tozer, Randall, Young, and other families, have estates here.

church - exterior
St Mary and St Lawrence's Church, Great Waltham.
© Copyright Tiger contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The Church (St. Mary and St. Lawrence,) is a large and ancient structure, consisting of a leaded nave, south aisle, and chancel, with a massive octagon tower at the west end, containing fine peal of eight bells and chimes; and crowned by a clumsey spire, covered with lead.

It is in the Norman style of the 12th century; but the windows are insertions of a later dated, in the perpendicular style. Two of them are remarkable for beautiful tracery.

The interior was thoroughly cleansed and beautified, in 1847, when some fine distemper paintings were discovered on the walls, with figures as large as life. One of these antique frescoes, over the chancel arch, has been preserved, and is supposed to represent the Redeemer, after his resurrection, seated triumphantly in heaven, surrounded by angels.

Part of the rood loft, and the staircase leading to it, remain; and in the porch, the ancient stoup has recently been been discovered. Under an arch, in the north wall is a costly marble monument, with recumbent effigies of Sir Anthony Everard and his Lady.

The vicarage, valued in K.B. at £18,13s.4d., and in 1831, at £299, is in the patronage of the President and Fellows of Trinity College, Oxford; and incumbency of the Rev. J.H. Dyer, B.D., who has a good residence near the church. The tithes were commuted in 1839, for the yearly rent charges of £1754.17s.2d. to Trinity College, and £400 to the vicar.

church - exterior
St John the Evangelist's Church, Ford End, Great Waltham. Built in 1870.
© Copyright Robin Webster contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Commodious National School, with a house for the master and mistress, were built here in 1847, in the Elizabethan style, at the cost of £1,045.

There is a small Independent Chapel at Fourth End.

Back to History of Great Waltham

my ancestors logo

My Ancestors.

Are your ancestors from Great Waltham? Why not tell us their story: My Great Waltham Ancestors.

Find your Ancestors in the Newspapers

Essex Standard Newspaper

Newspaper archives are now a very important source of information for researching your family tree.

Try our example search to help you discover if your ancestors are in the British Newspaper Archive.

Help me find my ancestors

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

Great Waltham - 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

Looking for an unusual Christmas Present?

Why not buy a DNA kit for a family member?

Let them discover the story of their ancestors.

The kit is delivered to their door. Now discounted to £63 on Ancestry

Learn more at Ancestry DNA.

Looking for pictures to add to your family tree album?


Ebay is a good source of old images of Essex towns and villages. If you're looking for pictures to add to your family tree album, then try one of the auctions, or there are several 'Buy It Now' shops offering postcards which have been touched up and improved - so if you're unsure about bidding, try these. Link already formatted for Essex Postcards. Browse through or type the name of the location in the Ebay search box.