History of Wickford
St Catherine's Church, Wixkford.
© Copyright John Salmon contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
History of Wickford >> White's Directory 1848
White's Directory of Essex 1848
WICKFORD is a compact and well built village, 5½ miles East by South of Billericay, in a low situation, encompassed on three sides by a winding reach of the river Crouch, crossed by two bridges on the Brentwood and Rochford road, where there was formerly an ancient ford. Its parish contains 445 inhabitants, and 1787 acres of land, generally in high cultivation, and having a rich loamy soil, from one to two feet deep.
At the Domesday Survey, it was held by Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, Suene of Essex, and two other proprietors. The manor of Wickford Hall afterwards passed to the Urry, Plantaganet. Harrys, Vaughan, Partridge, and Luther families, and now belongs to John Fane, Esq; but a great part of the soil belongs to W. Cockerton, Esq., and a few smaller owners. An estate here, called Stileman's, has been held by the Chester, Moore, Hall, and De Beauvoir families, and had a capital mansion, about half a mile east of the churoh, near Runwell, but it was destroyed many years ago.
The Church stands on rising ground, and is an ancient structure, consisting of a nave and chancel of one pace. On an antique stone, in the chancel, are engraved the figures of three full-grown persons and eight children, but the inscription is gone. The church was given to Prittlewell Priory, by Robert de Essex. The rectory, valued in K.B. at £14., and in 1831 at £401, is in the patronage of R.B. Berens, Esq., and incumbency of the Rev. Edward Rion Bereus, M.A., of Downham, for whom the Rev. T.C. Griffith officiates. The glebe is 48 acres, and the tithes were commuted in 1839.
Here is an Independent Chapel, built in 1815, and enlarged a few years afterwards. It is now under the ministry of the Rev. John Isaacs, of Stock.
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