High Street, Roydon, c.1955Reproduced courtesy of The Francis Frith Collection.
History of Roydon >> White's Directory 1848
ROYDON, a pleasant village, is picturesquely seated in the beautiful
vale or the river Stort, 5 miles West South West of Harlow, and has a Station on the North Eastern Railway.
Its parish contains 976 inhabitants, and 2,994 acres of land, of which 313 souls and 1,303 acres are in Roydon Hamlet which forms the south side of the parish, and is in Waltham Hundred, near the confluence of the rivers Lea and Stort.
The Earl of Mornington is lord of the manor of Roydon Hall; and J.A. Houblon, Esq., is lord of the manors of Nether Hall and Doune Hall, but a great part of the parish belongs to St. Thomas's Hospital, London; Charles Phelips, Esq., and several
smaller owners. The copyholds are subject to certain fines.
In Edward the Confessors reign the parish belonged to Inguar and five other freemen; and at Domesday Survey it was held by Ranulph, brother of Ilger.
Roydon Hall manor was granted by Henry I., in 1285, to Robert Fitzwalter, who obtained a charter for a market here every Thursday, and a fair on August 1st and 2nd, but both have long been obsolete. He afterwards gave the estate to the Knights Templars, from whom it passed to the Knight's Hospitallers.
After the Dissolution, it was given by Queen Elizabeth to Lord Norreys and others. It was afterwards held by the Cecil and Child families, and passed from the latter to the family of its present owner.
Near the confluence of the two rivers are the ruins of Nether Hall, which was long the seat of the Colt family. The ancient mansion, which had been converted into a farm house, was demolished in 1773, except the elegant gateway tower, which is of highly ornamented brick work, with a lofty half hexagonal turret on each side of the entrance, above which there were two stories, each forming a room measuring 27 feet by 23½, and lighted by large windows; but the upper one has fallen in.
The ceiling of the first story is sustained on wainscot arches, resting on bold trusses, representing griffins, a bear and ragged staff, a spread eagle, a lion and unicorn, etc. On the summit of the gateway are some remains of the curiously twisted chimneys; and above the entrance is a machicolation, and a trefoil ornament, with shield and fleur-de-lis.
The manor of Nether Hall was anciently held by Waltham Abbey, but it became the residence and property of the Colt family in the reign of Edward IV. It was held by them till 1635, after which it passed to the Archers, and from them to the Houblons.
St Peter's Church, Roydon, c.1955Reproduced courtesy of The Francis Frith Collection.
The Church (St. Peter,) is a neat structure consisting of a nave, north aisle and chancel, with a square embattled tower, containing six bells.
The vicarage, valued in K.B. at £12, and in 1831 at £100, is in the patronage of the Earl of Mornington, and incumbency of the Rev. Alfred Pyne, B.A., who has a small residence, but no glebe. The patron is impropriator of the great tithes, which are commuted for £479, and the small tithes for £140 per annum. In 1729, the vicarage was augmented with £200 of Queen Anne's Bounty, and £200 given by the Duchess Dowager of Marlborough.
Here is an Independent Chapel, built about 40 years ago.
The Free School was founded by John Manning, in 1767, and has a house and garden, occupied by the master, and an endowment of £17 per annum, derived from two cottages, a barn, and about 3A of land. There are 15 free scholars, (boys and girls,) appointed by the vicar.
The poor have a yearly rent charge of 6s.8d. out of Newman's Land, left by Robert Adams. A house and 3A.3R. of land, called the Church Estate, are let for £1O.17s. per annum, which is carried to the churchwarden's accounts.
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