History of Little Bardfield
St. Katharine's Church, Little Bardfield
© Copyright Julian Osley contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
History of Little Bardfield >> White's Directory 1848
White's Directory of Essex 1848
BARDFIELD, (LITTLE) a small scattered village, in a picturesque and well-wooded country, on the south-west side of the vale of the river Pant, 1½ miles North West of Great Bardfield, and 3½ miles East of Thaxted, has in its parish 375 souls, and 1710 acres of land.
John Cutts, Esq.. is lord of the manor, and resides at the Hall, a handsome mansion, with pleasant grounds. He is also lord of the manor called Fitzralphs, which extends into Thaxted parish.
The manor of Little Bardfield Hall was held at Domesday Survey of the Earl of Boulogne, by Adelolf de Merk. In 1351, it was given to St. John's Abbey, Colchester; and at the dissolution, it was granted to Robert Foster. It afterwards passed to the Chishul, Wale, and Walford families, the latter of whom made great improvements in the hall and gardens.
Mr. Hezekiah Smith and several smaller owners have estates in the parish, and the copyholds are subject to arbitrary fines.
A large ancient house, called Mood Hall, which had been a seat of the Chishul, Owen, and Bernard families, was destroyed some years ago.
The Church, St. Catherine (sic), [Katharine] is a small ancient tiled building, with a tower and two bells.
The rectory, valued in K.B. at £11 and in 1831 at £472, is in the patronage and incumbency of the Rev. M. Barnard, M.A., who has 67A. of glebe, and a handsome residence, recently much improved. Though he spells his name Barnard, he is the representative of the ancient family of Bernard, who have long been patrons, and five of them incumbents, of the rectory. The tithes were commuted in 1838, for £480 per anuum.
In 1774, Mrs. Sarah Bernard, widow of the Rev. Thomas Bernard, by will, directed her executors to cut down all the timber in Halsted Grove, and with the proceeds thereof to erect a School and Almshouses, containing five tenements for five poor widows or single women, and one for the residence of a schoolmistress.
She also left 120A. of land (now let for £86 a year,) in trust to apply the rents yearly as follows, viz. :-£4 each to Great Bardfield and Wimbish parishes, for schooling poor children, and the remainder for the support of the above named School and Almshouses.
This charity is almost entirely under the control of the Rector, who has increased the number of almswomen, allowing two to reside in some of the tenements.
The schoolmistress teaches 24 free scholars (boys and girls,) and is allowed about £20 a year. The poor parishioners have a yearly rent-charge of 30s., left by Jeffrey Wale, in 1730. out of a farm now belonging to Mr. H. Smith; and also 20s. a year out of the Rectory, given by an unknown donor.
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