History of Stanway

building - exterior
Part of the former Lexdon and Winstree Union Workhouse.
© Copyright Glyn Baker contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

History of Stanway >> White's Directory 1848

White's Directory of Essex 1848

STANWAY, is a pleasant village on the north-eastern bank of the river Roman, and on the London road, 4 miles West of Colchester, and about a mile east of Marks Tey Station, on the Eastern Counties Railway.

Its parish is traversed by the railway, and contains many scattered houses, 807 inhabitants, and 3368 acres of land, extending eastward to Bottle End, which is partly in Lexden parish.

The large Workhouse of Lexden and Winstree Union is here. Stanway has a fair on the 23rd of April, and had its name from its situation on the Stone way, or Roman military road, leading from Bishop Stortford, through Dunmow and Braintree, to Colchester, and from which the London road diverges at Marks Tey.

It was held by Earl Harold, in the Confessor's reign, and then in two parishes, called Stanway Magna and Parva, but they were consolidated some centuries ago. In Saxon times Stanway was a very extensive lordship, but it is now all freehold, belonging to various families, except the Rectory Manor, which has a court baron and several copyhold tenants, subject to quit rents, amounting to 11s.6d. per annum, and to customary fines at the will of the lord.

Stanway Hall, the seat of George De Horne, Esq., is a neat mansion, with pleasant grounds, on the banks of the Roman river, near Heckford Bridge, more than 1½ mile South of the village, and 3½ miles South West of Colchester.

Sir John Swinnerton built a stately mansion on the site of the old hall, about 1610, but it was considerably reduced in size by Captain Thomson. It was lately a seat of the Greens, and has been held, with Bellhouse estate, by the Belhous, Bonham, Swinnerton, Hopwood, Bellamy, and Johnson families.

Olivers, another pleasant seat, is about a mile below the hall, on the same side of the river, and is the residence of the Rev. G. Harrison; and near it is New Olivers, the seat of T. J. Turner, Esq. This estate is long held by the Olivers, whose heiress carried it in marriage to William Dorewood, in the reign of Henry III. It afterwards passed to the Nauntons, and from them to the Eldreds.

The other principal estates in the parish are Gosbecks, Shrebb, Permonters, and Abbots. The latter is a manor, lying partly in Lexden, Fyske Harrison, C. G. Round, G. H. Errington, and T. B. Western, Esqrs., and the Rev. T. B. Harrison, have freehold estates in the parish; and among the other proprietors are Messrs. W. Woodward, J. Lithgow, J. Brown, and several smaller owners.

Mr. John Brown, F.G.S., is an indefatigable geologist, and possesses the best private collection of fossil mammalia, etc., in the county, which he is at all times ready to shew to the learned or the curious. To this gentleman we are indebted for much valuable information relating to the geological features of the Essex coast, as noticed in the early part of this volume.

In 1764, there were found in Stanway parish, on the south side of the London road, a number of large bones, vertebrae, and tubiae, with their joints, lying in a stratum of sea sand and small shells. This bed is about a yard thick, and above it, is another of ooze, or river mud, three inches thick, over which are several veins of yellow sand, gravel, and mould. The tibiae were much corroded, but the other bones were well polished.

As already noticed, Stanway was formerly divided into two parishes, and had two churches. The old church, dedicated to All Saints, was dilapidated before or during Cromwell's usurpation, and some remains of it may still be seen, near the hall, about 1½ miles South by East of the village.

St Albright's Church - exterior
St Albright's Church, Stanway
© Copyright Peter Stack contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The present parish Church is a smaller structure, dedicated to St. Ethelbyrth, or Albright, a Saxon saint, from whom it was commonly called the "Chapel of St. Albright." It is a Norman fabric, with a wooden turret and three bells, and, a small addition was made at the east end, in 1826-7, when 80 fresh seats were provided.

The rectory, valued in K.B. at £10.17s.6d.,and in 1831 at £738, is in the patronage of the President and Fellows of Magdalen College, Oxford, who purchased the advowson at the beginning of the 18th century. The Rev. Henry Jenkins, B.D., is the present incumbent and has 79A. of glebe, a small manor, and a large Rectory House, irregularly built at different periods. The tithes have been commuted for a yearly rent charge of £795.

At Bottle End, about 1½ miles South East of the village, is All Saints District Church, erected in 1845, for the accommodation of the inhabitants of the southern parts of the parishes of Stanway and Lexden (see page 84), who had long experienced much inconvenience, as well from the great distance at which they are removed, as from the want of room in their respective parish churches.

It cost about £2200 raised by subscription, and is a handsome structure in the early decorated style, built of dark brick, with dressings of Caen stone. It has 286 sittings, of which 202 are free, and on the north side is a low tower, containing three bells, and crowned by a spire.

A neat parsonage house was built in 1847, and a school is about to be erected. Admiral Tomlinson gave three roods of land for the site of the buildings and the churchyard. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Bishop of Rochester, and the Rev. J. S. Dolby, M.A., is the first and present incumbent. It is endowed with £100 per annum, of which £40 is paid out of the rent-charge of Stanway Rectory; and £60 is paid yearly out of freehold lands, pursuant to the gift of Mrs. Eliz. Papillon, of Lexden Hall, who also gave £300 towards building the church.

Among the other principal contributors to the building fund, were the Essex and the National Church Building Societies, £310; Magdalen College, £100; Rev. T. B. Harrison, £105; Rev. H. Jenkins, £105; and the Rev. J. Papillon, £105.

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

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Stanway - 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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