The Cock and Bell, High Easter, c.1960Reproduced courtesy of The Francis Frith Collection.
History of High Easter >> White's Directory 1848
EASTER, (HIGH) a large and pleasant village, near the chief source of the river Can, 8 miles North West of Chelmsford, has in its parish 975 souls, and 4648 acres of land, including Lofty Green, Pentlow End, Staggin's Cross, Bishop's Green, and many scattered farmhouses, bearing different names.
Before the Conquest, High Estra belonged to Ely Abbey, but at the Conquest it was seized by Algor, the constable of the army, but he was dispossessed by the Conqueror, who gave the parish to Geoffrey de Magnaville.
J.J.Tufnell, Esq., is now lord of the principal manor, called High Easterbury, and formerly held by the Earls of Essex, and the Fitz-Piers, Bohun, and Stafford families. From the latter it reverted to the Crown, as part of the Duchy of Lancaster. It was sold by Charles I., in 1629. Lord Dacre, Fdk. J. Matthews, Guy's Hospital, and the Rev. Sir A. B. Henniker, have estates here. The latter is lord of the manor of Garnets and Merks, on the north side of the parish.
An old manor-house, called Hayrons, 1 mile South of the church, is still encompassed by a moat, and has belonged to the Hayron, Gedge, and Glascock families.
An estate, called Mannocks, was long the seat of a family of its own name, the last of whom, Sir Francis Mannock, sold it in the civil wars, to escape the ruinous effects of fines and sequestrations. It was afterwards the property of the Brands, of Hide Hall.
Berwicks, a manor partly in this parish, has been held by the Bohun Gate, and Capel families.
St Mary's Church, High Easter.© Copyright Martin Bridge contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
The Church, (Virgin Mary,) is a large and lofty fabric, consisting of a nave, north aisle, chancel, and a stately tower, containing five good bells, and crowned by a leaded spire.
The chancel is said to have been rebuilt, and the roof of the nave raised several feet, by Sir Geofrey Gate, about 1460. The roof is supported by curiously carved timbers, and among the other ornamental carvings are several gates, which are no doubt emblematical of the Gate family. The upper part of the chancel was the burial place of the Garnet family.
The church was appropriated by Geofrey de Mandeville to Walden Abbey, and after the dissolution it was given by Edward VI. to the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, who are still appropriators of the rectory, and patrons of the vicarage, which has been consolidated with that of Good Easter since 1770. The incumbent has here 32A. of glebe, and an old parsonage-house, but the latter is let to a surgeon. The tithe were commuted in 1847, the vicarial for £164, and the rectorial for £1020. The latter are leased to J. J. Tufnell, Esq.
A neat Congregational Chapel, in the Grecian style, was built here in 1847, at the cost of £630, including the cost of the land. It was opened Jan. 20th, 1848, and has a large Sunday School, attended by 140 children.
The old chapel, formerly used by the Congregationalists, was opened as a British School, in 1846, and has about 100 scholars, besides about 30 adults, who attend in the evenings.
A National School is about to be erected here, at the cost of £420; and here is a house, fitted up as an Independent Chapel, but it has not been used for some time.
A yearly rent of 10s., left by one Monk, out of Nightingale's Field, is given to poor widows.
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High Easter - Cary's New and Correct English Atlas, 1798
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