St Mary the Virgin's Church, Tilty.© Copyright John Salmon contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
History of Tilty >> White's Directory 1848
TILTY, or Tiltey parish, on the west side of the river Chelmer, 3 miles North North West of Dunmow, has only 96 inhabitants, and 1004 acres of land, all the property of Viscount Maynard.
At the Domesday Survey it belonged to Henry de Ferrers, under whose descendants (earls of Nottingham,) it was long held by the Geofrey family. In 1133, Maurice Fitz-Geofrey founded an ABBEY here for Cistercian monks and endowed it with the whole parish. The abbey church was consecrated in 1221, when large grants of lands, etc., were made to the monks in Thaxted, Dunmow, and other parishes.
After the suppression, in 1542, Henry VIII. granted the abbey, the church, the founder's lodging, the guest hall, the grange, and the manor of Tilty to Lord Audley, of Walden, with whose daughter they passed in marriage to the Duke of Norfolk. Her son, the Earl of Surrey, sold them to Henry Maynard, ancestor of the present lord of the manor.
The remains of the abbey, which are in the open field between the church and the mill, consist of traces of foundations, and considerable remains of a wall, said to have been part of the cloisters. On this wall may be seen the semi-circular arches from which the groins sprung.
The situation is pleasing, being a valley surrounded by verdant hills, and watered by the Chelmer, the banks of which are skirted by what is termed Tilty wood.
The parish Church (Virgin Mary,) formed only the east end of the abbey church, and presents a fine specimen of the decorative style. It has bold buttresses at the eastern angles, with two rich niches, which are in a curious situation, being partly on the buttress and partly on the wall.
The east window is of five lights, with peculiarly elegant tracery. There is also a fine window of three lights on the north side, and the chancel contains some richly ornamented stalls. The roof is tiled, and a cupola rising above it contains one bell.
On the floor of the church are several fine brasses and ancient inscriptions. The benefice is a donative, certified at £30, in the gift of Viscount Maynard, and incumbency of the Rev. J.P.H. Chesshyre, M.A., of Little Easton.
The FARMERS are Samuel Fitch and Mrs. Elizabeth Barnard, Cold Arbour; Joseph Lawrence, Tilty Grange; and John Randall, Tilty Hill. James Barker is the parish clerk, and the mill is occupied by Mr. J. Webb, of Thaxted.
Tilty Abbey18th century print
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Tilty - Cary's New and Correct English Atlas, 1798
Tilty - First Series Ordnance Survey Map 1805
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