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Help and advice for Brentwood

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“BRENTWOOD, a chapelry (formerly a market-town) in the parish of SOUTH-WEALD, hundred of CHAFFORD, county of ESSEX, 11 miles (S. W.) from Chelmsford, and 18 (E. N. E.) from London, on the road to Norwich, containing 1423 inhabitants. The name, which is of Saxon origin, signifies a burnt wood; the woods which previously occupied the site having been burnt down. The town is pleasantly situated on a commanding eminence, and consists principally of one street, the houses in which are, in general, ancient and irregularly built: the inhabitants are supplied with excellent water from wells. ..........The market has been discontinued: the fairs are on July 18th and October 15th, for cattle. Courts leet and baron are held occasionally by the lord of the manor of South Weald. Petty sessions for the division take place here every Thursday. The assizes were formerly held here: part of the old townhall, which is still remaining, has been converted into a butcher's shop, and part into a blacksmith's shop. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry and diocese of London, endowed with £600 private benefaction, £800 royal bounty, and £400 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of Christopher Thomas Tower, Esq. The chapel, dedicated to St. Thomas à Becket, is a small ancient edifice, ............. There is a meeting-house for Independents. The free grammar school was founded and endowed, in 1537, by Sir Anthony Browne, Knt., and is open to all boys residing within three miles of Brentwood: the income arising from the endowment is £1452. 7. per annum, which, according to the intention of the founder, is paid to the master, subject to an allowance of £10 per annum each to five alms-persons, and to the expense of keeping the school premises and almshouses in repair: ............. An exhibition of £6 per annum to Caius College, Cambridge, was founded by Dr. Plume, with preference to Chelmsford, Brentwood, and Maldon.” [From Samuel Lewis A Topographical Dictionary of England (1831) - copyright Mel Lockie 2016]



  • Census returns are available from the usual sources for 1841-1911, which includes most copies held at the ERO, Wharf Rd, Chelmsford. More information on other ways to view these census returns on the Essex

Description and Travel

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Ask for a calculation of the distance from Brentwood to another place.

Click here for a list of nearby places.


Historical Geography

  • Brentwood was a member of the Chafford Hundred

You can see the administrative areas in which Brentwood has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

  • Brentwood was a member of the Billericay Poor Law Union