St Margaret's Church, Toppesfield.© Copyright Peter Stack contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
History of Toppesfield >> White's Directory 1848
TOPPESFIELD, a pleasant retired village on a commanding eminence, 8 miles North West by North of Halstead, has in its parish 1073 inhabitants, many scattered houses, and 3246 acres of land, rising boldly from a tributary stream of the river Colne, and generally having a deep tenacious marly soil, and requiring draining, though the lands here are said to be the highest in Essex.
The principal manors and their lords and owners are Berwick and Scoteneys, Saml. Sampson, Esq.; Camoys, John Jas. Unwins Clark, Esq., of Bristol; and Cust Hall and Husees, John Sperling, Esq.; but J. Hardy and several smaller owners have estates in the parish, partly free and partly copyhold. Some of the latter are subject to fines equal to two years rent.
Estates here called Gobins, Hawkes Hall, Bradfield and Olivers had their names from their ancient owners. Some curious Roman remains were found here in 1800, consisting of a skeleton, a broken sword blade, a metal vase and patera, and a coin.
The Church (St. Margaret,) is a plain ancient fabric of flint and rubble stone, except the tower, which fell down, and was rebuilt of brick in 1699, and contains five bells. On the floor and walls are many monumental inscriptions.
The rectory, valued in K.B. at £26, and now at £900, is in the patronage of the Crown, and incumbency of the Rev. C. J. Gooch, who has about 20A. of glebe and a good residence, enlarged about three years ago.
A fair for pleasure and pedlery, is held in the village on the 20th of July.
Here is a National School, and ten of the children are taught entirely free, in consideration of a yearly rent charge of £10 left in 1730, by Robert Edwards, out of Newhouse Farm, in Stambourne, which is also charged, by the same donor, with £3 a year for the poor of Toppesfield; who have also 20s. a year out of Oliver's farm, supposed to have been left by one Durnford.
Two other small rent charges, left to them by William and John Edwards in 1616 and 1730, are lost. In 1712, John and William Edwards granted 11A. 2R. of land, upon trust, to apply the rents towards the repairs of the church and the relief of the poor. It is let for £25 a year.
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Toppesfield - Cary's New and Correct English Atlas, 1798
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