St Leonard's Church, Lexden, 1892Reproduced courtesy of The Francis Frith Collection.
History of Lexden >> White's Directory 1848
LEXDEN PARISH, is in the Borough of Colchester. It is a large parish, mostly on the south side of the river Colne, and includes the neat and pleasant village of Lexden, on the London road, about 1 mile West of the town, and many scattered houses on Lexden Heath (now enclosed,) and near Bergholt road, London road, and the Railway Station.
It also comprises part of Middleborough, and other suburbs near the north-west angle of the town wall. It has 1454 inhabitants, and 40 borough voters.
On the heath are vestiges of several entrenchments, supposed to be of Roman origin. There were formerly three remarkab1e crosses in the parish viz., Stone Cross, Pedder's Cross, and Lamb's Cross.
In Domesday-Book, it is called Lessendena, and described as a berewick in Stanway manor; but it was soon after made a distinct manor, in the possession of Hubert, or Hamo de St. Clare. It afterwards passed to the families of Burgh, Fitzwalter, Ratcliffe, Lucas, and Rawstorne.
It was the property of the late Rev. J.R. Papillon; but Mrs. Elizabeth Papillon, of Lexden Hall, is now lady of the manor and patroness of the rectory, valued in K.B. at £12, and in 1831 at £566, and now enjoyed by the Rev. John Papillon, B.A.
The Church (St. Leonard) was rebuilt in 1821, at the cost of about £2000, of which £500 was given by the Society for building and enlarging churches, and £900 was raised by subscription.
It is a neat Gothic structure, with a tower and leaded spire. Near it is the commodious Rectory House, in the Gothic style, finely embowered in trees, and having tasteful pleasure grounds.
Besides it and the Hall, here are several other handsome residences. Lexden Park, the beautiful seat of Mrs. Mills, was greaty improved by the late J. F. Mills, Esq., who rebuilt the house in 1824-'5. The surrounding grounds contain some noble trees, a great diversity of surface, and a fine sheet of water. They are only a remnant of the ancient Park, which extended to the opposite side of the river.
The Lodge, now a farm-house, is encompassed by an ancient moat. It is supposed to have been the residence of the Fitzwalters, and in it the manor courts are held.
On the river is a flour, and also an oil mill. Mott's Farm was a subordinate manor, which was held by the Mott family in 1406 but afterwards passed to the Sayer, Lemyng, and Rebow families.
In the parish are Rampart, Braiswick, Sheepen, Magazine, West House, Malting, New Bridge, and Cooper's Farms.
In the village is a National School for boys and girls, liberally supported by the worthy rectory and other benefactors.
The District Church of All Saints, at Bottle End, in Stanway parish, was erected in 1845 for a district comprising adjacent parts of Lexden and Stanway. The Rev. J.S. Dolby, M.A., is the incumbent.
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Lexden - Cary's New and Correct English Atlas, 1798
Lexden - First Series Ordnance Survey Map 1805
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