History of Thorpe le Soken

Thorpe-le-Soken © Copyright The Francis Frith Collection 2005. http://www.frithphotos.com
War Memorial, Thorpe-le-Soken, c.1955
Reproduced courtesy of The Francis Frith Collection.

History of Thorpe le Soken >> White's Directory 1848

White's Directory of Essex 1848

THORPE-LE-SOKEN, a small town, 12 miles East by South of Colchester, and 5 miles West by North of Walton le Soken, is the head of a polling district for the Northern Division of the county, and has Petty Sessions every fourth Monday; a Police Station; a customary market, every Wednesday evening, for corn etc.; two annual fairs, on the Monday before Whit-Monday, and on Sept. 29th.

Its parish forms, with those of Walton and Kirby, a liberty and peculiar jurisdiction, called The Soken. It contains 1365 inhabitants, and 3194 acres of land, extending two miles eastward to Landemere Wharf, on the Hainford Water, where vessels of 100 tons burthen trade in corn, coal, etc., and where there are large malt-kilns, granaries, lime-kilns, etc.

The executors of the late B. Chapman, Esq., are lords of the liberty of the Soken, for which a coroner may be appointed, as well as the other officers.

The principal landowners in this parish are J.M. Leake, H. Burnley, S. Dennis, W. Grant, W.F. Hobbs, P.Bennett, Col. Onslow, Mr. Bailey, C. Hicks, A. Duncan, and Mrs. Rolph. There are several smaller proprietors, and many of the farm-houses are good substantial buildings.

Thorpe Hall, the seat of John Martin Leake, Esq., was rebuilt in 1825, and is a handsome mansion, in a small well-wooded park. It was anciently held by the Darcy, and afterwards by the Wharton family, and was left, with the manor, in 1720, by Admiral Sir John Leake, Kt., to a Mr. Martin, who, to transmit his benefactor's name to prosterity, assumed the name of Leake. Landemere estate, where Robt. Shearcroft built a quay, is now the property of the Hope Life Insurance Company.

church - exterior
St Michael's Church, Thorpe le Soken.
© Copyright John Salmon contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The Church, dedicated to St. Michael or St. Mary, is a lofty and handsome building, with a nave, chancel, side aisles, and a square tower containing 5 bells. The number of sittings was increased to about 700, by the entire repewing in 1827.

In the interior is an ancient screen, and an ornamented arch, supposed to have been the tomb of a knight Templar, whose stone effigy is now lying in the vestry, with a cushion under his head, and a lion couchant at his feet. This cross-legged knight is supposed to have been owner of Landemere Hall in the reign of Henry III. or Edward I.

In the chancel are several neat mural monuments, belonging to the Wharton and other families. As noticed, the vicarage is consolidated with those of Kirby-le-Soken and Walton-le-Soken, in the incumbency of the Rev. Wm. Burgess, B.D., who has here a commodious Vicarage House, built in 1823, and six acres of glebe.

The tithes of this parish were commuted in 1841, the vicarial for £227, and the rectorial for £890 per annum. The latter belong to J.M. Leake, Esq.

Adjoining the churchyard is a school, and in the parish is a Baptist Chapel. An Agricultural Meeting is held here annually, and a committee of the Essex Provident Society meets monthly. A house, which was for many years used as a school-house, was sold about 1828, for £85, the interest of which is carried to the poor-rates.

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Thorpe le Soken - Cary's New and Correct English Atlas, 1798

Thorpe le Soken - 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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