History of Rettendon
All Saints Church, Rettendon.
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History of Rettendon >> White's Directory 1848
White's Directory of Essex 1848
For Battlesbridge, also see Rawreth.
RETTENDON or Rettenden parish contains many scattered houses, and most of the village of BATTLE BRIDGE, on the river Crouch, 4 miles North West of Rayleigh, and 9½ miles South East by South of Chelmsford.
The mill and houses on the north side of Battle Bridge, are in Rawreth parish. The bridge is of wood, and up to it the river is navigable for barges of 50 tons. Much business is done in coal and corn, and at high tide the water is locked in and made to turn the machinery of a large corn mill, in its way back to the sea.
Rettendon parish contains 807 souls, and about 4,000 acres of land, or which 508 acres are in pasturage, 32A. wood, and 461A. in two open commons. Grants are made of the waste to copyholders, subject to annual quit rents, and fines upon death or alienation. These grants have the sanction of the Rev. Abraham William Bullen, A.M., son of Mrs. L. Bullen, of Great Baddow, the lady of the manor.
Called Retendune, in Domesday Book, and was held by Ely Nunnery, from 673, till the suppression of that monastery. In 1601,it was granted to Richard Barrell, to be held in free socage of the manor of East Greenwich. It afterwards passed to the Cannon, Humphrey and Ffytche families.
The hall, now a farm house, is 1½ mile north of the bridge, and was formerly enclosed in a park, well stocked with deer.
The manor of Little Hayes, below Battle Bridge, has a royalty in the river, and was given by Sir Henry Saville, Kt, as part of the endowment of two professorships of geometry and astronomy, founded by him at Oxford.
Rettendon Place farm belongs to Thomas S. Carter, Esq.; and several other proprietors have free and oopyholder estates here.
The soil is generally a heavy cold clay.
The Church (All Saints,) stands on a bold eminence about a mile north of Battle Bridge, and commands a fine view of the estuary and vale of the Crouch. It has undergone many repairs, and consists of a nave and chancel, with a north aisle, and a fine stone tower at the west end, containing five bells, and having a tiled conical roof rising above its battlements.
It is in the perpendicular style, and in the interior are some highly carved old benches, the lower part of an antique screen, and a beautiful piscina.
In the north aisle is a sumptuous marble monument, erected by order of Edward Humphrey, Esq., who died in 1727, "in memory of himself and family." It was executed in Italy, and is composed of white and grey marble, 30 feet high, and 16 wide.
A full-length male figure reclines on the table, above which are four other effigies - two standing on a pedestal, and two in niches on each side of the Corinthian pillars, which support a canopy, under which are displayed the family arms, military trophies, and various ornaments.
Cherubic forms, emblems of mortality and the resurrection, and weeping infants, are profusely displayed in this fine piece of sculpture. On the floors are effigies, in brass, of Richard Cannon and Richard Humfrey, who died in 1605 and 1607.
The rectory, valued in K.B. at £32.6s.3d., and in 1831, at £800, is in the gift of the Bishop of Ely, and incumbency of the Rev. Samuel Wilks Waud, M.A., who has a good residence, and 84A. of glebe. The tithes were commuted in 1841, for £854 per annum.
In the parish are two Infant Schools, chiefly by the rector's lady. Edward Humphrey,Esq., in 1723, left a yearly rent charge, of £20 out of Rettendon Place Farm, to be paid to a schoolmaster, appointed by the lord of the manor, for teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic to about ten poor boys, attending the church, and sons of parishioners not receiving parochial alms.
The present school room was built in 184O.
For weekly distributions of bread, among poor parishioners, the churchwardens receive about £11 yealy from Cannon's Charity, where the poor widows of Rettendon have a yearly rent charge of 40s., out of Helman's farm, left by Ann Humfrey.
The poor parishioners, not receiving parish relief, have the rent of 10A. of land, given by an unknown Lady, and now let for £15 per annum.
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