ARDLEIGH, a pleasant village on the Colchester and Manningtree road, 5 miles N.E. of the former, and 4 miles S.W. of the latter town, has a Station, with a large yard for coal, lime &c., on the Eastern Union Railway, near which an extensive steam corn-mill has recently been erected. About 3½ miles of this railway are in the parish of Ardleigh, which contains many scattered farm-houses, 1605 inhabitants, and 5045 acres of land. The soil is mostly fertile loam, on gravel; and about 1½ mile W. of the church is Ardleigh Wic farm and the Crown Inn, near the sources of a rivulet which flows southward to the Colne. A fair for toys and pedlery, is held in the village on Sept. 29th. The parish has been variously spelt Ardlee, Erdelega, Hardley, &c., and belonged to six freemen in the Confessor's reign; and at the Conquest, to four Normans. It is partly free and partly copyhold; and the following are the names and lords of the four manors, viz., Picotts, Edw. Reeve, Esq.; Bovills, Wm. S. Lamb,Esq.; Martell's Hall, Lord Ashburton; and Mose Hall, belonging to the heirs of the late Mrs. Garland. A great part of the soil belongs to other proprietors, among whom Wm. Webb, J. W. E. Green, C. G. Round, Wm. Austin, and T. Catchpool, Esqs., and Messrs. J. Eagle, T. Bromley, D. and S. Cooper, and J. Whitaker, are the principal. Badley Hall, an estate about a mile S.E. of the village, has been called a manor, and was frequently held by the Gilberd, Harris, and Lugar families. Ardleigh Park is the seat of J. P. Osborne, Esq. The Church (Virgin Mary,) is a handsome structure, which was rebuilt some years ago, of brick and flint, with stone dressings, on a smaller scale than the original fabric. The interior is neatly fitted up, and in the tower are six musical bells. In the reign of King Stephen, Robt. de Ramis gave the rectory and advowson to St. John's Abbey, Colchester, but the former was soon after given to the Archdeacon of Colchester. The vicarage, valued in K.B. at £11. 0s. 10d., and in 1831 at £262, is in the patronage of the Lord Chancellor, and the incumbency of the Rev. Hy. Bishop, M.A., who has a good residence, and 7A. 2R. 28P. of glebe. The rectory-house. with 27A. of glebe, and the great tithes, are held on lease, under the Archdeacon, by Wm. Webb, Esq. The tithes have been commuted, the rectorial for £1360, and the vicarial for £325 per annum. A National School is about to be erected, and there is in the village a neat Wesleyan Chapel. The parish sends about twelve free scholars to the Dedham Grammar School, and the poor have £2. 10s. yearly from Love's Charity, as noticed with Aldham. Nathaniel Winder, a respectable farmer in this parish, died in March, 1847, aged 96 years.
POST OFFICE, at the Lion Inn. Letters despatched every evening, & received every morning, via Colchester mail cart
The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales...., by John Marius Wilson. circa 1866
ARDLEIGH, a parish and a sub-district in the district of Tendring, Essex. The parish lies on the Eastern Union railway, 4 and ¼ miles NE of Colchester; and it has a station on the railway, and a post-office under Colchester. Acres, 4,905. Real property £9,445. Pop., 1,582. Houses, 360. The property is divided among a few. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Rochester. Value, £380. Patron, the Lord Chancellor. The church is good; and there is a Wesleyan chapel. The subdistrict comprises six parishes. Acres, 18,037. Pop., 4,964. Houses, 1,136.
Transcribed by Noel Clark