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DUNMOW (GREAT) WITH THE VILLAGES OF FELSTEAD AND STEBBING
Pigot's Essex 1832-3 Trade Directory
DUNMOW, though scarcely ranking in size, population or trade beyond a village, is a corporate town, and entitled to hold a market on Saturdays; the latter distinction it has from some time ceased to enjoy. It is situated on the Chelmer, in the hundred of its name; 40 miles from London, 13 from Chelmsford, nine from Braintree, and the like distance from Bishops Stortford, in Hertfordshire. The town was incorporated in the 2nd and 3rd of Philip and Mary; the corporation consists of a bailiff and 11 burgesses. The Right Hon. Henry Viscount Maynard is lord of the manor, and holds a court leet and baron annually. About two miles from this place is a priory, remarkable for an ancient tenure, instituted in the reign of Henry III, whereby the lord of the manor is bound to give a flitch of bacon to any couple who, being married a year and a day, shall swear they have not once quarrelled, nor repented of their marriage. The flitch, it is said, has been claimed by six couples since the reign of Henry VI.! The last couple who were successful was a weaver and his wife, of Coggeshall, in this county, in the year 1750; it has been demanded once subsequently, - but the reward was then, and has continued since to be, evaded.
The parish church, which is dedicated to St. Mary, is a large building of ancient date, with an embattled tower; the living is a vicarage, in the gift of the Bishop of London; the Rev. John Smith is the present incumbent. Here are also two chapels for dissenters, and a friends' meeting-house. The principal Inns at Dunmow are the 'Star,' & the 'Saracen's Head,' both well conducted and comfortable houses. There are several handsome seats in the immediate neighbourhood of Dunmow, and the country around it affords some pleasing prospects; the land is fertile, and more diversified by hill and dale than in many other parts of Essex. Fairs, 6th and 7th May, and 8th and 9th October. - Great Dunmow parish contained, by the returns for 1831, 2,462 inhabitants; being an increase, since the year 1801, of 634 persons.
FELSTEAD, or Feelstead, is a village and parish, in the hundred of Hinckford, about four miles from Dunmow. It was once noted for its free grammar-school, founded by Richard Lord Rich, for 80 poor boys, born in the county: from some cause, however, not well understood, there has been but one upon the establishment for some years. There are also almshouses for six poor persons, founded by the same person. The living of Felstead is a vicarage, in the gift of the T.L. Wellesley, the lord of the manor; the incumbent is the Rev. Jeremiah Awdry, and his curate the Rev. G.L. Hanson. The river Chelmer divides this parish from that of Great Waltham; upon the river are some corn-mills. The parish contained, by the last census, 1,788, being an increase of 302 inhabitants in the last 30 years.
STEBBING is a village and parish, in the same hundred as Felstead, about 3½ miles from Dunmow. An annual fair is held here in July, for cattle and fat lambs. The parish contained, in 1831, 1,434 inhabitants.
POST OFFICE, DUNMOW, Isaac Malster, Post Master. - Letters from LONDON arrive every morning at half-past seven, and are desptached every evening at half-past six. - Letters from BISHOPS STORTFORD arrive (by cross-post) every afternoon at five, and are despatched every morning at eight.
POST. FELSTEAD, Robert Rutland, Post Master, - Letters from London arrive every morning at seven, and are despatched every evening at seven.
COACHES To LONDON, a coach, from the Star every Monday morning at five, & every other morning at six, and the Times (from Clare), every morning (Sundays excepted) at half-past eleven: both go through the Roothings, Chipping Ongar, Abridge, Chigwell & Stratford.
To CLARE, the Times (from London), calls at the Star, every afternoon (Sunday excepted) at half-past two; goes thro' Bardfield & Steeple Bumpstead.
To WALTHAM, the Braintree branch coach, from the Swan, Felstead, every Monday morning at five, & every other morning (Sunday excepted) at seven.
CARRIERS. To LONDON, Garrett's Waggon, from the White Lion, every Fri. and Theobald's, every Thurs. - Yeulett's Waggon, calls at the Three Tuns, every Mon. & Fri. Watson's Waggon, from the Chequers, - and Lowe's Waggon, from the Swan, Felstead, every Fri. and Campen's every Monday.
To BRAINTREE, Wakefield's Cart, from the White Lion, every Monday.
Transcribed by CG
WHITE'S DIRECTORY OF ESSEX 1848
DUNMOW, (GREAT) a small ancient
which gives name to this Hundred, and to a
and a large
Union and Police Division,
is pleasantly situated on a gravelly hill, of considerable height, in a
salubrious and fertile part of the county, on the western side of the river
Chelmer, and on the Braintree and Bishop Stortford road, about 9 miles W. of the
former, and the same distance E. of the latter town. It is 12½ miles N.N.W. of
Chelmsford, and 37 miles N.E. by N. of London. It consists principally of two
streets, and is well lighted and paved, and supplied with good spring water.
Its parish had 1828 in 1801, and 2792 in 1841; and contains 6746 acres of land,
including many farms extending three miles N. and N.E. of the town; and the
sylvan suburb of
on the banks of the river, near
the ancient seat of the Rev. Sir A. B. Henniker, Bart. Near the river are some
of the finest meadows in the county, and the higher parts of the parish form a
large extent of excellent corn land. Dunmow is supposed by some antiquaries to
have been the site of a Roman station. Bishop Gibson considered it to be the
of Antoninus; and Drake, in a letter published in the 5th vol. of the
Archæologia, strengthened its claim to this appellation; not only by referring
to the situation of the town on a Roman road, but also by mentioning Roman coins
that had been found here; particularly a gold coin of Honorius, and some large
brass ones of the Emperor Commodus, found in a field at Church-end. In Viscount
Maynard's park at Easton Lodge, near Dunmow, Roman
have been fo und of Gallienus,, Tiberius, Victorinus, and others of the "thirty
tyrants." At Merks Hill, in this parish, several small
and some pieces of brass and copper coins of Trajan and Antoninus, were
discovered in a gravel pit, in 1760. Henry III. granted to John de Berners, in
1253, a charter for a
to be held at Dunmow every Saturday, but after been long in a declining state,
it was discontinued some years ago, but was revived in 1838, and is now held on
Tuesday, for corn, cattle, &c. Here are also two annual
for cattle &c. on May 6th and Nov. 8th. The town was
granted in the 2nd of William and Mary, and confirmed by letters patent of Queen
Elizabeth, in the 32nd year of her reign. Its government was vested by the
charter in a recorder, bailiff, and 11 burgesses. Twelve of the latter are
still elected yearly, and one of them is chosen as bailiff; but their municipal
regulations and authority have long been obsolete, and they now merely appoint a
constable, fix the assize of bread, examine weights and measures, and regulate
the markets and fairs. Formerly the
trade flourished here, but it has been extinct many years. The parish is in the
liberty of the Duchy of Lancaster, and is divided into quarters, one of which is
and confined to the town and the immediate suburbs; and the others are in
the largest of which is Great Dunmow, which belongs to Viscount Maynard, and was
held at the Domesday Survey by Richard Fitzgislebert, and Hamo Dapifer. The
latter became sole owner of the manor, which afterwards passed to the Clare and
Mortimer families. The heiress of the latter was grandmother of Edward IV., and
this manor continued in the Crown, till it was sold to William, the first Lord
Maynard, as parcel of the Duchy of Lancaster. It had anciently an extensive
park with a large mansion called Dunmow Lodge. The manor of NEWTON HALL, near
Church-End, was held by Geofrey de Magnaville at the Domesday Survey, and
afterwards passed to the Goldington, Gosnold, and Dyer families. It was
purchased about a century ago by an ancestor of its present owner, the
Rev. Sir Augustus Brydges Henniker, Bart.,
who is rector of Thornham-M agna, Suffolk, where he resides. His father was
created a baronet in 1813. The Hall is an old decayed mansion, occupied only by
a servant, but it is said a new one is intended to be built, on a better site.
An estate called
belongs to the almshouses at Mile-end, near London, vested in trust with the
Drapers' Company. The other manors and estates in this extensive parish are
Merks, Mynchons, Shingle Hall, Martels, Bigods, &c.;
belonging to Sir G. H. Beaumont, Bart., Lady Fitzgerald, and several smaller
owners, mostly free, and partly copyholders. The manorial custom of the
flitch of bacon,
belongs to the adjoining parish of Little Dunmow, as afterwards noticed.
The church of Great Dunmow parish is a large and handsome structure, in the decorated English and perpendicular styles, and is situated at Church-end, on the well-wooded banks of the Chelmer. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and consists of a nave with side aisles, a chancel with a south aisle; and a lofty embattled tower. containing six bells. The large east window is a fine specimen of the decorated style, and it and some of the other windows were formerly richly embellished with stained glass, of which some fragments still remain. About the western door are thirteen shields of arms, belonging to families who contributed to the building and repairs of this large church, which is the head of the Deanery of Dunmow. About 15 years ago, 230 additional sittings were provided, and 200 of them are free. The interior is neatly pewed, and has many monumental inscriptions. In 1479, the Rectory, was appropriated to Stoke College near Clare; but in 1590, it was granted to the See of London, for ever. It is a manor, and is now held on lease by Sir G. H. Beaumont, Bart. The Vicarage, valued in K.B. at £18. 13s. 4d., and i n 1831 at £429, is in the patronage of the Bishop of London, and incumbency of the Rev. H. L. Magendie, M.A., who has a good residence, near the church. The tithes, wer e commuted in 1843, the rectorial for £625, and the vicarial for £580 per annum. Mr. Geo. Cheek is the clerk, an d Mr A. Barfield, jun., organist. There are in the tow n three chapels, viz., a Friends Meeting house, erected in 1833, at the cost of £500; an Independent Chapel, built in 1705, and repaired and enlarged in 1822; and a Baptist Chapel, erected in 1823, at the cost of £900.
The TOWN HALL, near the centre of the town, was built in 1578, and repaired in 1760 and subsequent years. The County Court , for Dunmow District is held monthly, in the large upper room, which is also used for public meetings, lectures, &c. The POLICE STATION is a neat and substantial building, erected in 1842, by the County Magistrates, at the cost of £1200; and has a court room, in which Petty Sessions, are held for Dunmow Hundred, on the first Monday of every month. The Gas Works, are rented by Messrs. Suckling and Carter. DUNMOW SAVINGS BANK was established January 1st, 1818, and is open on the first and third Tuesday in every month, at the Town Hall. On Nov. 20th, 1846, it had deposits amounting to £20,178, belonging to 686 individuals, and 42 Charitable and 11 Friendly Societies. Mr. W. I. Clayton is the treasurer; the Rev. H. L. Magendie, secretary; and Mr. A. Barfield, clerk. A numerous and well-conducted Friendly Society, holds its meetings at the Town Hall; and in the large upper room are delivered the lectures given to Dunmow Literary Society, which has a good library and reading room. Here is also a Building and Investment Society. .
DUNMOW AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY was established in 1835, and holds an annual ploughing match, and a show of fruit, vegetables, and flowers. It is under the presidency of Viscount Maynard, and one of its annual prizes is a gammon of bacon, given to the married couple (labourer and wife) who have brought up the largest number of children without parochial relief, and placed them in respectable service. This prize is in memory of the ancient jocular custom at Dunmow Priory, afterwards noticed. The NATIONAL SCHOOLS occupy a commodious building, erected in 1836, and are attended by about 120 boys and 100 girls. The dividends of £191. 2s. 2d. three per cent. Consols, derived from the legacy of the Rev. John Mangey, in 1782, are paid towards the support of the girls' school. Here is also a large British School, erected in 1844,at the cost of £650, on land given by E. B. Jones, Esq., and now attended by about 90 of either sex. Dunmow Diocesan Commercial School, was established in 1845, for boarders and day scholars, in connexion with the Essex Board of Education, and under the patronage of the Bishop of Rochester, and the superintendence of the clergy. The terms are 20 to 22 guineas per annum for boarders, and one guinea per quarter for day scholars; but extra charges are made for Latin, French, and Mathematics, of two guineas each per annum. Dunmow Church Sunday School Union, embraces many schools in the neighbouring parishes.
Church and Poor's Land, &c.: - Lands and tenements for the use of the Church and Poor of Great Dunmow parish, have been vested in trustees from an early period, but the precise nature of the trusts and the names of the donors are unknown. Most of this property lying in Dunmow has evidently been vested in trust since the reign of Richard II., and its proceeds were at an early period applied to the repairs of the parish church, and now amount to about £35 per annum, exclusive of the Almshouses, on Parsonage Down, occupied by 12 poor people; the School-house, near the King's Head; and the Church House, which is let by the parish clerk for his own benefit. The other portions of what may be called the Dunmow Estate, consist of the Church Mead, (1A .,) let for £4; the Mill Pasture, 2A. 1R. 32P., let for £12. 5s.; a cottage in Church street, worth £5 a year; a cottage and 3 roods of land, near Slutt's Green, worth £4 a year; and Crane's Farm, which comprises 12A. 3R. 22P., let for £14. 5s. per annum. The Thaxted Estate, was purchased in 1652, with £230 bequeathed to the poor by the Glasscock and other families, and now consists of a farm of 31A. 36P., near Cutler's Green, let for £30 per annum. Before the new appointment of trustees, in 1833, the whole of the above rents had been for many years applied to the support of a school.
DUNMOW, (LITTLE) a small scattered village, pleasantly situated in the vale of the river Chelmer, 2 miles E.S.E. of Great Dunmow, has in its parish 385 souls, and 1683 acres of fertile land. At Domesday Survey, it belonged to Ralph Baynard, but being forfeited by his son, it was given to Robert Fitz-Gislebert, progenitor of the ancient Earls of Clare, from whom the noble family of Fitzwalter descended. Robert's posterity held this lordship as part of the barony of Fitzwalter, through ten generations. One of their co-heiresses carried this and other estates in marriage to Thomas Ratcliffe, whose son was summoned to parliament as Lord Fitzwalter. The manor of Little Dunmow afterwards passed to the Mildmay and Hallet families. A PRIORY for canons of the Augustine order was founded here in the year 1104, by Lady Juga, sister of Ralph Baynard; and there was a manor belonging to it, which was granted at the dissolution, with the site of the priory, to Robert, Earl of Essex. On its suppression, the revenues of the priory were valued at £173. 2s. 4d. per ann. The monastic buildings stood on rising ground, south-west of the church, but were razed to the ground many years ago, and some part of the site is occupied by the manor house. The Priory Church (St. Mary,) was a large and stately fabric, but only the east end of the choir now remains, and forms the Parish Church in which the massive columns, the capitals covered with the foliage of oak, elegantly carved, and the beautiful Gothic windows, give a sufficient evidence of the magnificence of the fabric when entire in its pristine grandeur. A tomb under an arch in the south wall is believed to contain the remains of the foundress. It is of a chest like form, and of great antiquity. Near this is a tomb, on which lays the mutilated effigy of Walter Fitzwalter, who died in 1198. An alabaster figure, of superior workmanship, lying between two pillars on the north side of the choir, represents Matilda, the beautiful daughter of the second Walter Fitzwalter, said to have been destroyed by poison, for refusing to gratify the illicit passion of King John. Many of the Fitzwalters were interred here; and in the church are inscriptions in memory of various members of the Hallet family. The manor, commonly called Priory Place, was held by the Wyldes in the 17th century, and afterwards passed to the Toke family. Originally, the induction to this church was by the prior and canons selecting one of their own body; but since the dissolution, the benefice has been a donative, or curacy, in the gift of the lord of the manor. The Rev. Wm. Toke, of Dover, is now the patron, and the Rev. R. R. Toke, M.A., of Barnston, is the incumbent. Though the living is now only valued at £72 per annum, it has been augmented with £600 of Queen Anne' Bounty, and with £400, in two benefactions. The impropriate tithes, now held by Edward Knight, Esq., were commuted in 1839 for £515. 18s. 9d. per annum. The ancient and well known jocular custom of the manor of Little Dunmow Priory, of giving a Gammon or Flitch of Bacon to any married couple who took the prescribed oath, is similar to that of Wichnour, in Staffordshire, and to one which existed for 600 years in Bretagne, at the Abbey of St. Meleine, near Rennes. It is supposed to have been instituted here by one of the Fitzwalters. In the Chartulary of the Priory, now in the British Museum, three copies are recorded to have received the bacon previous to the suppression of the religious houses. Since then, the bacon has been but four times claimed and delivered. The last time the ceremony was performed was at the court-baron, held by the manor steward in 1763. The ceremony consisted in the claimants' kneeling on two sharp-pointed stones in the churchyard and there, after solemn chanting and other rites,taking the following oath:-
You shall swear by custom of confession,
That you ne'er made nuptial transgression;
Nor since you were married man and wife,
By household brawls or contentious strife,
Or otherwise at bed or at board,
Offended each other in deed or in word;
Or since the parish clerk said Amen,
Wished yourselves unmarried again;
Or in a twelvemonth and a day,
Repented not in thought any way;
But continued true in thought and desire,
As when you joined hands in holy quire.
If so these conditions without all fear,
Of your own accord you will freely swear,
A whole Gammon of Bacon you shall receive,
And bear it hence with love and good leave;
For this is our custom at Dunmow wee known;
Tho' the pleasure be ours, the Bacon's your own.
The pilgrim, as the happy husband was called, was then taken up in a chair, on men's shoulders, and carried about the churchyard and through the village, with the bacon borne before him, attended by the parishioners and other spectatoors, with shouts and acclamations, and at last sent home in the same manner. The Bacon oath, at Wichnour, in Staffordshire, is much more easily swallowed than the above, which Morant thinks was modelled by one of the lords of the manor to "save his bacon." A gammon of bacon is now given annually by the Great Dunmow Agricultural Society, with a more sensible object; and the late Col. Montagu Burgoyne, in his latter years, occasiionally amused himself by giving bacon in the manner prescribed by the ancient tenure or custom.
The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales...., by John Marius Wilson. circa 1866
DUNMOW (GREAT), a small town and a parish in Dunmow district, Essex. The town stands on an eminence on the right bank of the river Chelmer, adjacent to a line of projected railway from Bishop-Stortford to Braintree, 9 miles E of Bishop-Stortford r. station, and 12½ NNW of Chelmsford. It dates from the Roman times; was connected by a Roman road with Colchester; and is identified with a Roman station, which some antiquaries think to have been the Villa Faustini, but a greater number call it Caesaromagus. (Extractor's note: It is now generally accepted that Caesaromagus was what is now called Moulsham, part of Chelmsford.) Vestiges of the Roman road, in places, still exist; and very many Roman coins and other Roman antiquities have been found in the vicinity. The town consists chiefly of two good streets; had formerly a market on Saturday, and has now one on Tuesday; has also fairs on 6 May and 8 Nov.; is a seat of petty sessions and a polling-place; and has a post-office, of the name of Dunmow, under Chelmsford, a chief inn, a town-hall, a church, four dissenting chapels, a workhouse, and almshouses, - charities, £69. There was formerly likewise a market-cross. The church is large and ancient; has a five-light decorated window, and a western embattled tower; contains the brass of a lady; and shows, over the west entrance, stone-carved arms of the families of Mortimer, Bohun, Bourchier, and Braybrooke. The manufacture of baize and blankets was, at one time, extensively carried on; but both this and a subsequent kind of manufacture are extinct. The local government was vested, by a charter of Mary, in a recorder, a bailiff, and twelve burgesses; but has long been inert. The parish comprises 6,746 acres. Real property, £13,621; of which £100 are in gas-works. Pop., 2,976. Houses, 600. The property is sub-divided. The manor belonged anciently to the Crown; was given at Domesday to Hamo Dapifer, and by Henry VII. to his queen Catherine; and passed afterwards to the Maynards of Easton Lodge. An ancient brick mansion, a short distance west of the church, belongs to Sir. P. Brydges Henniker, Bart. Dunmow-highwood is a meet for the Essex hounds. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Rochester. Value, £500. Patron, the Bishop of Peterborough.
DUNMOW (LITTLE), a parish in Dunmow district, Essex; on the left side of the river Chelmer, adjacent to the line of projected railway from Bishop-Stortford to Braintree, 2 miles ESE of Great Dunmow, and 7½ W of Braintree r. station. It has a post-office under Chelmsford. Acres, 1,715. Real property, £2,738. Pop.,379. Houses, 79. The property is divided among a few. The manor belonged anciently to the Baynards; passed to the Fitzwalters and others; and then was held by the tenure of giving a gammon of bacon to any married pair who chose to take oath that they had been true to each other, had not quarrelled, and had not wished themselves unmarried for a year and a day. This curious custom took root also at Wichnor in Staffordshire; was observed at Little Dunmow first in 1444; went into desuetude here in 1753 or 1761; and was commemorated at Great Dunmow, under the presidency of Mr. Harrison Ainsworth, in 1855. An Augustinian priory was founded at Little Dunmow, by Lady Ingar Baynard, in 1104; and some portions of it, with late Norman and decorated English features, and comprising a monument of the foundress, monuments of the Fitzwalters, and an alabaster effigies (sic) of the time of Henry IV., are still standing. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Rochester. Value, £72. Patron, the Rev. W. Toke. The church is good.
Transcribed by Noel Clark
KELLY'S DIRECTORY OF ESSEX 1933
STEBBING (in Domesday Stibinga and Stabinga ) is a village and parish, on high ground, on a brook which falls into the Chelmer, 3 miles north-east of Dunmow station on the Dunmow and Braintree branch of the London and North Eastern railway, 7 west of Braintree and 43 from London, in the Saffron Walden division of the county, hundred of Hinckford, Dunmow petty sessional division and rural district, Braintree and Dunmow joint county court district, rural deanery of Dunmow, archdeaconry of Colchester and Chelmsford diocese. The church of St. Mary the Virgin, standing in the highest part of the village, is a building of stone and a fine specimen of the Decorated style of the early part of the 14th century: it consists of chancel with a sacristy, clerestoried nave of five bays, aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower with spire containing 6 bells, one dated 1780, two 1839 and three 1902: the whole were rehung and a new treble provided in 1902: on the south side of the chancel are sedilia with lofty arches, cusped and springing from triple columns: the piscina is a good example of the period: the westernmost window, prolonged downwards, forms a low-side window: a screen, magnificent both in design and workmanship, separates the chancel and nave: it consists of three openings, with slender clustered columns; in the centre opening, springing from the capitals of the columns, is a canopy and at the springing grotesque figures; this fine work was partially mutilated in the 15th century, for the erection of a Perpendicular rood screen, which has in its turn disappeared; the principal part of the design, however, remains: the roof is open timbered: at the east end of the south aisle, in an ancient chapel which has been restored as a lady chapel, and which includes a window commemorating the 600th anniversary of the church, are the remains of a fine piscina: the sacristy, also a part of the ancient work, has a third piscina: the south porch, nobly proportioned, has a superbly moulded doorway and the remains of a holy-water stoup, which was restored in 1921: the tower, four stories in height and carefully built of rubble concrete, is of the same age as the church and opens into the nave by a grand arch; the upper stories are gained by short ladders of considerable age: the church was restored in 1884, and has 250 seats. The register of burials dates from 1712; and that of baptisms from 1713. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £350, with residence, in the gift of the Bishop of Chelmsford, and held since 1932 by the Rev. Arthur Edward Thompson M.A. of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Here is a Congregational chapel, with an attached Sunday school, erected in 1877 at a cost of about £700. There is also a Methodist chapel. The Village Institute was opened in 1926 as a memorial to the men of Stebbing who fell in the Great War. On the river side are two flour mills. There is a charity called Smiths charity, left in 1860 by Charles Smith, and distributed in goods. The rent of certain lands, amonting to £2 18s. yearly, given away periodically in bread. Other charities bring in £4 per year. Near the village is an artificial mound, surrounded by a moat, on which, according to tradition, a castle formerly stood. This place once belonged to the Peverel and Ferrers families. S. J. Chopping esq. is lord of the manor of Friers Hall, and the land is occupied by several small landowners. The soil is various; subsoil, clay and gravel. The chief crops are wheat, oats, beans and barley. The area is 4,378 acres of land and 5 of water; the population in 1931 was 898.
BRAN END is 1 mile north; DUCK END is 2 miles; LUBBER HEDGES, 2½ miles north and STEBBING GREEN, 1 mile south-east.
Post, M. O., T. & T. E. D. Office. Letters through Chelmsford
Post & Tel. Call Office, Bran End. Letters through Chelmsford. Stebbing nearest M. 0. & T. office
Fire Engine Station
Police Station, The Downs
Carrier to Dunmow.Henry Arthur Crouch, tues. thurs. & sat
Hicks Bros. omnibuses run daily from Braintree to Dunmow & Bishops Stortford, via Stebbing
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