History of Wivenhoe

Wivenhoe © Copyright The Francis Frith Collection 2005. http://www.frithphotos.com
Anchor Hill, Wivenhoe, c.1955
Reproduced courtesy of The Francis Frith Collection.

History of Wivenhoe >> White's Directory 1848

White's Directory of Essex 1848

WIVENHOE, a large and respectable village, 3½ miles South South East of Colchester, is seated on a picturesque acclivity, on the north-east side of the Colne, at the point where that navigable river begins to expand into a broad estuary, of which the higher parts of the village command a fine prospect, down to Mersea Island.

With Rowhedge, on the opposite of the river, and Brightlingsea, a few miles below, it forms, in matters of pilotage, etc., a member of the Cinque Port of Sandwich, in Kent. It is within the jurisdiction of the Custom House establishment at Colchester, and may be called the shipping port of that town, as 'colliers' and other large vessels here receive and discharge their cargo's by means of lighters.

A constant and extensive fishing trade is carried on here, especially in oysters and soles, which are considered the best in the kingdom. Great numbers of dredging boats employed in the oyster trade are built here. A fair is held here on the 4th of September and four following days, for pedlery, toys, ect.; and on the river is a good quay.

The parish of Wivenhoe is at the south-east angle of Lexden Hundred, and contains 1599 inhabitants, and about 1500 acres of land, rising boldly from the low marshes near the river, and having in the higher parts a sandy soil, but fertile and well cultivated.

It has been variously called Wyneho, Wyfenho, and Wyvenhoo, and was held by Robert Gernon at the Domesday Survey, as part of his barony of Stanstead Mountfichet. In the 15th and 16th centuries, it was held by the de Vere family, Earls of Oxford, one of whom made the commodious road from the heath into the village.

The manor of Wivenhoe was sold by the 17th Earl in 1585, to Roger Townshend, Esq., and it was sold by his family, in 1657, to Nicholas Corsellis, an ancestor of Nicholas Ceasar Corsellis, Esq., the present owner, whose family was long seated at Wivenhoe Hall, which is now occupied by Stephen Brown, Esq. The Corsellis family came from Roussilier, in Flanders, and one of them, Frederic Corsellis, is said to have been the first person who introduced the art of printing into this country.

The lord has exclusive right of a ferry to Fingringhoe, and derives £14.6s.2d. yearly in quit rents from the manor; as well as a common fine of 11s. 8d., paid at the court leet.

The Hall is a fine old mansion, with pleasant grounds, on the north-west side of the village. When held by the Earls of Oxford, it had a fine tower gateway, of considerable height, which served as a sea mark.

The parish is mostly freehold, and a great portion of the soil belongs to Henry J. Corsellis, J. G. Rebow, Esq., Philip Havens, Esq., and several smaller proprietors. The latter has a neat residence in the village, near which is Wivenhoe House, the handsome modern residence of William Brummell, Esq.

Wivenhoe Park, the delightful seat of John Gurdon Rebow, Esq., is partly in this and partly in Greenstead parish, but the mansion, which is large and handsome, stands within the bounds of Wivenhoe, about two miles South West of Colchester, where the Rebow family were formerly settled as merchants and woollen manufacturers. The park is extensive, richly clothed with wood, and embellished with a fine sheet of water, and a stock of deer.

It occupies an estate anciently belonging to the Beriff family, and was converted into an elegant seat by Isaac Martin Rebow, Esq., about 1740. Both it and the mansion were much improved by the late Lieut. General Fras. Slater Rebow, who, like his successor, was an active magistrate of the county. A large house in the village was the seat of Matthew Martin, Esq., a celebrated captain in the East India Company's servica, who was one of the representatives of Colchester in the second parliaments of George I. and II., and died in 1749.

church - exterior
St Mary's Church, Wivenhoe.
© Copyright Dr. Neil Clifton contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The Church (Virgin Mary,) is a large Gothic structure, with a nave and aisles, a chancel, and a square embattled tower, containing five bells. The interior is neatly fitted up, and had formerly a chantry, founded in 1413, in a small chapel, dedicated to St. John the Baptist. On the walls are several neat marble tablets, and on the floor is a fine antique brass, on which are portrayed effigies of Lord William Beaumont and his lady.

The rectory valued in K.B. at £10, and in 1831 at £380, is in the patronage of N. C. Corsellis, Esq., and incumbency of the Rev. Edw. Thos. Waters, M.A., who has a good residence, and a yearly rent-charge of £413, in lieu of tithes.

In the village is an independent Chapel, belonging to a congregation formed in 1790, and now under the ministry of the Rev. S. Hubbard, of Colchester. Day and Sunday Schools are attached to the church and the chapel, and are liberally supported by subscription. The National School was built by Mr John Sanford.

Wivenhoe
Wivenhoe
print published 1834

Jonathan Feedham left £50 to be invested, and the yearly proceeds to be distributed amongst poor sailors, or sailors widows, belonging to this parish. In 1803, this £50 was given to the lord of the manor, in exchange for 3A, of waste land, now let for £6 per ann. The poor widows of the parish have a yearly rent-charge of £2, left by one Cox, out of a garden of four acres. Ten poor parishioners, attending the church, have a yearly rent-charge of 50s., left by William Sanford, in 1829, out of a farm at Fingringhoe, now belonging to Mr. T. Sanford.

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Wivenhoe - Cary's New and Correct English Atlas, 1798

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Wivenhoe - 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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