History of Steeple
St Lawrence and All Saints Church, Steeple.
© Copyright Peter Stack contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
History of Steeple >> White's Directory 1848
White's Directory of Essex 1848
STEEPLE, 8 miles East South East of Maldon, is a long village, on the Bradwell road, at the foot of a gentle acclivity, overlooking the marshes on the south side of the estuary of the river Stour.
Its Parish, sometimes called Steeple-with-Stansgate, has 584 inhabitants, and 2804a.2R.12P. of land, including the hamlet of Stansgate and Ramsey Island, the latter of which is from 2 to 3 miles North East of the village, and is encompassed by the Blackwater and a small creek.
Two fairs are held in the village, on Whit-Wednesday and the Wednesday after Sept. 29th.
In Domesday Book, the parish is called Uluuneschurch. The manor of Steeple Hall belongs to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, and was held by Hugh Fitz-Otto, in 1282, and afterwards by the Peche, Field, Willoughby, Montague, and other families. The hall, now a farm-house, is an old wood and plaster building, near the church.
Steeple Grange, (428A.,) is a manor and estate, which belongs to J.J. Tufnell, Esq., and was formerly held by the Ferrers, Brandon, Stonard, Boulter, and other families. Richard Solly, Esq., owns part of Stansgate, and several smaller owners have estates in the parish, partly free and partly copyhold.
Stansgate hamlet is nearly encompassed by the Blackwater and a creek, and at the Norman Survey it was held of Ralph Peverell, by Ralph Fitzbrien; who, about 1110, founded a priory at Great Brisete, in Suffolk, and endowed it with Stansgate Church and a third of the tithes; but, about 1175, a Priory was founded here for Cluniac monks, as a cell to Lewes Priory, and endowed with the manor of Stansgate and the tithes of the whole parish.
After the dissolution, in 1525, it was granted to Cardinal Wolsey; and on his fall, in 1529, it reverted to the Crown. It afterwards passed to the Cocke, Mordaunt, Rich, Kenrick, and other families, but there are now no traces of it or its church, except some remains of the latter in the walls of a barn.
Steeple Church (St. Lawrence,) is a small brick building, without a tower. The vicarage, valued in K.B. at £15.18s., and in 1831, at £195, is in the alternate patronage of Sir B. Bridges, Bart., and H. Hunt, Esq., and in the incumbency of the Rev. T.T. Cresswell, B.A., who has 30A. of glebe, and a neat residence, built in 1845, at the cost of £1240, one-third of which was obtained from Queen Anne's Bounty, and the rest from the patrons and impropriators.
The tithes were commuted in 1839, the vicarial for £160.11s.3d., and the rectorial for £369.19s.5d. The Grange is tithe free.
Here is a National School, attended by about 70 children; and a small Methodist Chapel. Like some others in the county, this parish suffers much from many of its farms being now held by non-resident tenants. The poor have £2.1s. yearly from Aylett's Charity.
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