St Andrew's Church, Great Yeldham, c.1960Reproduced courtesy of The Francis Frith Collection.
History of Great Yeldham >> Kelly's Directory 1895
GREAT (or LOWER) YELDHAM is an ancient parish on the river Colne, and on the high road from Colchester to Cambridge, with a station on the Colne Valley railway, 7 miles north-west from Ralstead, 5 south-west from Clare, 8 south~east from Haverhill and 60 miles, by rail from London, in the Northern division of the county, Hinckford hundred, North Hinckford petty sessional division, Halstead union and roounty court district, Yeldham rural deanery, Colchester archdeaconry and St. Albans diocese.
The church of St. Andrew is an ancient building of rubble, in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel with south chapel, nave, south transept, south porch and an embattled western tower with four pinnacles containing a clock and 6 bells: the chancel, which retains a piscina and sedilia, is divided from the nave by a carved oak screen.
There are memorial windows to Francis E. Merewether, 1870; to Caroline Way, of Spencer Grange, and to her granddaughter, Mary E. H. Way: in the south chancel, or chapel, is a monument of black marble and alabaster to John Symonds, of Great Yeldham, esq. ob. 29 Feb. 1692, and a mural monument to Richard Fitz-Symonds, nb. 1680: there are brasses to Richard Symonds, ob. 1611 and Elizabeth (Plume), his wife, with six children; Mary, wife of Samuel Weel, ob. 1692; Elizabeth, wife of John Symonds esq. ob. 1666, and Orlando Fitz-Symonds esq. 1691 and some effigies supposed also to belong to the Symonds family: an elegant memorial commemorates the Dowager Wiscountess Bateman, d. 19 Feb. 1769.
The church was restored in 1884 at a cost of £1,500, from plans prepared by Mr. Frederic Chancellor, of Chelmsford: there are 3oo sittings.
The register dates from the year 1653, The living is a rectory, average tithe rent-charge £386, net yearly value £316, with 31 acres of glebe and residence, in the gift of trustees and held since 1887 by the Rev. William James Earle M.A. of St. John's College, Cambridge, and surrogate.
The Baptist chapel here, built in 1867, will seat 100. The building now used as an endowed school was originally employed for dressing a dinner when any of the poorer inhabitants were married. There is an almshouse, comprising six tenements, founded in 1694 by John Symonds esq of this parish.
The Yeldham great oak, standing in the centre of the village and supposed to be over 1,000 years old, is 30 feet in girth. Spencer Grange, the residence of Lewis John Way esq. M.A., D.L., J.P. who is lord of the manor of Great Yeldham, is a fine mansion standing in well-wooded grounds of about 75 acres. Spaynes Hall, the seat of Charles Martin Wade esq. is a manor house pleasantly seated on the east bank of the river Colne and takes its name from the family of Spain, or de Hispania, who held the manor in the reigns of Henry III. and Edward I. The principal landowners are Thomas Goodchild esq. Earl Amherst, Charles Martin Wade esq. and Lewis John Way esq. The soil is rich loam and clay, and gravelly sand in places; subsoil, various. The chief crops are wheat, barley, oats and roots; a large proportion is meadow land. The area is 1,838 acres; rateable value, £2,179; the population in 1891 was 619. Sexton, Thomas Rice.
Post, M.O. & T.O., S.B., Express Delivery & Annuity & Insurance Office.- Arthur Westwood, sub-postmaster. Letters from Halstead, arrive at 6.30 a.m. & 2.30 p.m. ; dispatched at 12.15 & 6.5 p.m. Wall Letter Box, Pool street, cleared 5.30 p.m. week days only.
Endowed, founded in 1694, by John Symonds esq. of Great Yeldham, with an endowment of about £30 yearly, derived from about 25 acres of land & house called "Kettles," in Halstead: the school is managed by a body of 8 trustees; treasurer, Lewis John Way esq.; Charles Applegate, master.
National (mixed), built in 1874, for 117 children; average attendance, 95; Miss Jessie Nice, mistress.
Railway Station, Joseph Pittock, station master Carrier to Braintree.-N. Wm. Turner, mon. wed. & sat
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Great Yeldham - Cary's New and Correct English Atlas, 1798
Great Yeldham - First Series Ordnance Survey Map 1805
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