History of Rivenhall

Rivenhall Place
Rivenhall Place
print published 1834

History of Rivenhall >> White's Directory 1848

White's Directory of Essex 1848

RIVENHALL parish includes the small village of Rivenhall End, on the London road, about 2 miles North East of Witham and South West of Kelvedon; but the church and most of its houses are scattered on the other side of the Eastern Counties Railway, from 2 to 4 miles North of Witham.

It contains 722 inhabitants, and 3557A.3R.3P. of fertile land, including 166 acres of wood, and intersected by a rivu1et which falls into the Blackwater, near Rivenhall End.

It is noted for the longevity of its inhabitants. Out of 17 who died in 1833, the ages of 15 averaged 81 years!

Editha, queen of Edward the Confessor, held the parish, and at the Domesday Survey, it was held by the Earl of Boulogne, Robert Gernon, and others.

It is now in five manors, namely, Rivenhall, Hoo Hall, Bourchier's Hall, and Lanhams, of which T.B. Western, Esq., is lord and owner; and Doreward's Hall, which is partly in Kelvedon parish, and is the seat and property of Henry Dixon, Esq.

The other manor houses are occupied by farmers.

Lanhams, at the North West end of the parish, was formerly a much larger house, and is still surrounded by a moat, enclosing two acres. It was anciently a seat of the Lenham and Smyth famille.. The latter also held Hoo Hall, which belonged to the Hoo and Martell families in the 13th and 14th centuries.

Rivenhall Place, 2 miles West of Kelvedon, is a large and handsome mansion, in a beautiful park of 100A., belonging T.B. Western. Esq., of Felix Hall, and occupied by P.K. Smith. Esq. The park is well wooded. and has a lake of 9A. crossed by a handsome bridge.

From the 13th to the 15th century this estate was held by the noble family of Scales, and it was afterwards held by the Gate, Englefield, White, and Wyseman families. One of the latter was created a baronet in 1660, but his widow and brother sold the estate to Thomas Western, Esq., of London, an ancestor of the late Lord Western, who resided at the neighbouring seat of Felix Hall.

The Westerns greatly improved and enlarged Rivenhall Place, which they occupied till a few years ago. The mansion is a large square pile of brick, stuccoed, and standing on an eminence, commanding fine view of the park and adjacent country.

Messrs. John and Jonathan Hutley occupy about 4000 acres in this and adjoining parishes and are considered two of the most skilful, spirited, and successful farmers in the county; being among the first to introduce those improvements which chemistry is now applying to agriculture. They are the sons of a blacksmith, and commenced business with £40.

Thomas Turner, who wrote the celebrated poetical treatise on husbandry, entitled " Five Hundred Points of good Husbandry," was born in this parish, in 1523, and died in London, in 1588.

The remains of a Roman Villa were recently discovered, near church: and among the relics, now preserved at the Rectory, are numerous encaustic tiles, supposed to have formed a drain; a vase containing the bones of an infant; and two coins of the emperors Adrian and Probus.

Church - exterior
St. Mary and All Saints Church, Rivenhall
© Copyright Robin Webster contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The Church (St. Mary and All Saints,) is a neat and commodious stuccoed structure, consisting of a nave, chancel, and square tower. It was modernized and completely renovated by the late Lord Western, to whose memory three is a beautiful mural monument in the chancel, of Caen stone.

On an alabaster tomb are recumbent effigies of Ralph Wyseman (ob. 1594,) and his lady. The east window is enriched with ancient stained glass, purchased by the Rev. B.D. Hawkins, during a continental tour in 1840.

The rectory, valued in K.B. at £21.5s.5d., and in 1831 at £750, is in the patronage of T.B. Western, Esq., and incumbency of the Rev. John Lewis of Ingatestone. The glebe is 9A., and the tithes were commuted in 1841 for £950 per annum.

The Rectory House, occupied by the curate (and future rector,) is a large and handsome mansion, with extensive pleasure grounds, on an eminence, a mile South West of the church.

The poor parishioners have £4 a year out of Broadoak estate, at Wimbush, given by Sir Ralph Wyseman, in 1654. They have also the the rent of two cottages, let for £6, and the interest of £50, which arose from a legacy of £170, left by William Bollan, in 1780.

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

Rivenhall - 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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