History of Hockley

Bull Inn, Hockley © Copyright Footstepsphotos 2006. http://www.footstepsphotos.co.uk/index.html
Bull Inn, Hockley, c.1905
Low resolution copy courtesy of Footsteps' Shop on Ebay. Quality postcards of Essex.

History of Hockley >> White's Directory 1848

White's Directory of Essex 1848

HOCKLEY, a pleasant scattered village and fertile parish, is sometimes called Hockley-super-Montem, from the situation of its church on a commanding eminence, 4 miles North West of Rochford, and 2½ miles North East of Rayleigh, nearly midway between the most populated parts of the parish, viz., Hockley Common on the south, and Hull Bridge on the north, where there is now only a ferry across the navigable river Crouch, and a village in this parish, 4 miles North of Rayleigh.

The parish contains 850 inhabitants, and 4302 acres of land, rising in bold undulations, extending southward from the river Crouch to the woodlands near Rayleigh. The common is now mostly enclosed, and near it is Hockley Spa, which has recently risen to much celebrity for the great medicinal virtues of its water. and has an elegant Pump Room, in the Grecian style, and a spacious Hotel for the accommodation of its visitors.

The water has been tested and highly recommended by Dr. Granville, author of "The Spas of England, Germany, etc.," and other eminent medical gentlemen. It is a pleasant, mild and alternative aperient, highly beneficial in cases of asthma, indigestion, gout, and all inflammatory diseases. Much of it is lent to London and other places in an aerated form, and is said to be far superior to soda water.

Robert Bristow, Esq., owns a great part of the parish, and is lord of the manor of Hockley Hall, which was held by Barking Abbey. J.R.S. Phillips, Esq., is lord of the manor of Lower Hockley Hall, and A.H. White, Esq., is lord of Bawdewyns manor.

Mrs. Elizabeth Watson owns Brandings and Shepherd's farms. Hockley House, in the manor of Blounts, is the seat of John Baker, Esq.; and Plumberow Mount a pleasant mansion, in the manor of Plumberow, is the residence of C.T. Barnard, Esq.

The Pigot, Western, Hayles, Fawcett, Dowsett, Ottee, and other families have small freeholds in the parish.

church - exterior
St Peter and St Paul's Church, Hockley.
© Copyright Terry Joyce contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The Church (St. Peter,) standing on a lofty hill, commands extensive and pleasing views. It is an ancient structure with an octagon tower and shingled spire, and has a nave, north aisle, and chancel, separated by massive pillars. After being long in a dilapidated state, it was thoroughly repaired and beautified about five years ago, at a considerable expense.

It appears to be the same fabric mentioned by Simeon Dunelmensis, as having been founded by Canute and Turtill, the Danes, in memory of the victory over Edmund Ironside, in a great battle fought in the adjoining parish of Ashingdon. Its situation accords with the description given by the above writer, who says "Canute erected his Church in monte quo Assandune dicitur," and the style of the more ancient part of the building corresponds with the age of that sovereign.

Some antiquaries have erroneously fixed the site of this battle at Ashdon, near Saffron Walden; but there are evident traces of its being fought in this neighbourhood, in the numerous borrows near Hull Bridge, on both sides of the Crouch; in the name of Battle Bridge, on the same river; and in the remains of the camp at Canewdon, where Canute held his court, and gave his name to the parish.

Hockley Church was appropriated to Barking Abbey till the dissolution. The rectory is now appropriated to Wadham College, together with the advowson of the discharged vicarage, valued in K.B. at £16.3s.9d., and in 1831 at £163. The Rev. Edward Cockey is the incumbent, and has a neat Vicarage House. The rectorial glebe, belonging to Wadham College, comprises about 60A.

A handsome School was built near the church in 1840.

The Poor's Land, belonging to Hockley and Rayleigh parishes, is 5A.2R.32P., given in exchange in 1794, and now let for £12 a year. The moiety belonging to Hockley is distributed in coals, bread, etc., among the poor, who also 20s. yearly from Sudbury's Charity.

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Hockley - Cary's New and Correct English Atlas, 1798

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Hockley - 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

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