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Help and advice for Great Dunmow

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Great Dunmow

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"DUNMOW (GREAT), a parish (formerly a market town) in the hundred of DUNMOW, county of ESSEX, 12½ miles (N. N. W.) from Chelmsford, and 37½ (N. E. by N.) from London, containing 2409 inhabitants. It is supposed by Bishop Gibson to have been the site of the Roman station Caesaromagus, and this conjecture has been adopted by some other antiquaries; Roman coins have been discovered at several places near the town, and the road, leading from it to Colchester, which was probably Camalodunum, displays some indications of Roman construction. At the time of the Norman survey it was the principal place in the hundred to which it gives name; and in 1253 it was made a market town. It is agreeably situated near the river Chalmer, and consists of two principal streets, which are paved and lighted: and the inhabitants are supplied with water from springs. The town obtained a charter of incorporation from Philip and Mary, which was confirmed by Elizabeth, under which the government is vested in a recorder, bailiff, and twelve burgesses; but at present they do not possess magisterial authority, and the only function they exercise, is the appointment of a constable, breadweighers and leather-sealers, which takes place annually on the Tuesday after Michaelmas-day. The petty sessions for the division are held here; a court leet for the manor is also held occasionally. Formerly the manufacture of baize and blankets was carried on very extensively, but at present there is only a small establishment for making sacking and coarse cloth. The market, which was on Saturday, has been discontinued; but there are fairs on May 6th and November 8th, for cattle. The living is a vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Middlesex, and diocese of London, rated in the king's books at £18. 13. 4., and in the patronage of the Bishop of London. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a spacious edifice in the decorated and later styles of English architecture, consisting of a nave, aisles, and chancel, with a fine east window; it has lately received an addition of two hundred and thirty sittings, of which two hundred are free, the Incorporated Society for the enlargement of churches and chapels having granted £50 towards defraying :the expense. Here are places of worship for Baptists, the Society of Friends, and Independents. There is an almshouse for six poor persons; a charity school for fifty boys, and another for twenty girls, are supported by voluntary contributions." [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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Historical Geography

  • Great Dunmow was a member of the Dunmow Hundred

You can see the administrative areas in which Great Dunmow 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.

  • Great Dunmow was a member of the Dunmow Poor Law Union