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White’s History, Gazetteer & Directory of Essex ~ 1848
Submitted and Transcribed by Essex Villages
GREENSTED is a small scattered village and parish, about one mile W. of Chipping Ongar, from which it is commonly called Greensted near Ongar, to distinguish it from Greensted near Colchester. It has only 159 inhabitants, and 674 acres of land, rising boldly from a tributary stream of the river Roding.
At the Domesday survey it belongs to Hamo Dapifer, and it afterwards passed to the Lucy, Robetier, and other families. The Rev. P Budworth is now lord of the manor, but part of the soil belongs to Mr. Wm. Smith, Mrs. Rayner, and a few smaller owners.
The Hall, a large handsome mansion, is now the seat of Wm. Gibson, Esq., and tasteful pleasure grounds, commanding beautiful prospects.
The Church (St. Andrew,) is supposed to be one of the oldest in England, though the nave is constructed of half trucks of oaks, about a foot and a half in diameter, split and roughly hewn at each end, to let them into a sill at the bottom and into a plank at the top, where they are fastened with wooden pegs. This primitive part of the fabric is about to be thoroughly repaired, and is 29ft. 9 in. long, 14ft. wide, and 5½ft. high, on the sides, which support the original roof. At the west end is a boarded tower, but the chancel is now of brick. Both sides are strengthened by brick buttresses, and on the south is a wooden porch. The roof is of later date, and tiled, but rises to a point in the centre, as originally formed. The chancel has a blunt pointed doorway, with mouldings curiously worked in the bricks. Traditions says that the body of St. Edmund rested here in 1011, when being conveyed to its final resting place at Bury St. Edmund’s. The small chapel or shrine, prepared for the temporary reception of the royal corpse, is said to have been afterwards enlarged, and converted into the parish church.
The rectory, valued in K.B. at £6. 13s. 4d., and in 1831 at £280, has 28a. of glebe, and a handsome Rectory House, of white brick, built in 1838, at the cost of about £2000. The patronage is vested in trust with the Bishop of London, and the Rev. P. W. Ray, M. A., is the incumbent.
The tithes were commuted in 1842. The poor have two yearly rent charges, viz., 5s. out of 3a. at Stanford-Rivers, left by Robert Petit; and £2 out of Lee Fields, left by Richard Bourne, in 1660.
Gibson Wm. Esq., clerk of the peace, and solr. Greensted Hall (& Ongar)
Piggott Wm. parish clerk
Ray Rev. Philip Wm., M.A. rector
Loud Jas. Jeken, corn dealer