St Giles's Church, Mountnessing.© Copyright John Salmon contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
History of Mountnessing >> White's Directory 1848
MOUNTNESSING parish has a small village, or "street," on the London road, 2 miles South West of Ingatestone, and 4 miles West North West of Billericay; but it has many scattered houses, and its church is 1½ mile to the east, near the small river Wid, which receives here several tributary brooks.
The parish is crossed by the Eastern Counties Railwsy, and contains 925 inhabitants, and 4,131A.3R.38P. of land, of which 240A. is wood, 2,629A. arable, and 1,064A. pasture land, generally fertile, and skirting both sides of the river Wid.
Lord Petre is lord of the manors of Cowbridge, Bacons, and Mountneys; the latter of which belonged to the ancient family of Mountney, from whom the parish was called Mountney's-ing.
Part of the soil belongs to other proprietors. H.P. Blencowe, Esq., is lord of the manor of Arnolds, and owner of THOBY Priory, a pleasant seat, 2 miles West South West of Ingatestone, occupied by Thomas Helme, Esq.
This sylvan seat is the site of a priory, founded about 1150, by Michael de Capra, for Augustine canons. It took its name from Tabias, or Thoby, its first prior. Its annual revenues were valued at £75.6s.10½d. in 1525, when it was suppressed and granted to Cardinal Wolsey. After the fall of Wolsey, the manor of Thoby was granted to Sir Rd. Page. It afterwards passed to the Prescot family, whose heiress, about 1750, carried it in marriage to the Blencowes.
The Church, dedicated to St. Leonard, or St. Giles, consists of a nave and aisles, a chancel, and a south aisle, or chapel; with a wooden framed belfry and shaft at the west end, containing one bell.
It was appropriated to Thoby Priory, and contains many neat mural tablets, inscribed to the memory of the Prescots, who were long seated at Thoby. Lord Petre is impropriator of the rectory, and patron of the vicarage, valued in K.B. at £11, and in 1831, at £117, and now enjoyed by the Rev. T.M. Ready. The vicarial tithes were commuted in 184O, for £2l4 per annum; and the glebe is 32A.2R.31P.
A legacy of £50, left for the poor, by Endymiom Canning, in 1681, after accumulating to £75, was laid out in 1705, in the purchase of 6A., of land called Ryer's Field, now let for about £18 a year, which is distributed in bread by the churchwardens. This field is in Thoby manor.
An unknown donor gave 5R. of land the poor, and it is now let for 24s. a year. In 1787, John and Amy English, agreeable to the intentions of Richard Bailey (father of the latter,) bequeathed, for the support of a free school, for poor children of this parish, a farm of 17A.3R.16P. called Pinchion's, and now let for £30 a year.
H.P. Blencowe, J. Agnis, and others, are the trustees, and after paying for repairs, etc., they pay the surplus to two schoolmistresses, for teaching poor children, at the rate of 1d. per week , per head.
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Mountnessing - Cary's New and Correct English Atlas, 1798
Mountnessing - First Series Ordnance Survey Map 1805
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