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St. Osyth

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"OSYTH (ST.) CHICH, a parish in the hundred of TENDRING, county of ESSEX, 11 miles (S. E.) from Colchester, containing 1414 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry of Colchester, and diocese of London, and in the patronage of F. Nassau, Esq. The church is a large, irregular building, some parts being of considerable antiquity, and others of the time of Henry VI.: in the chancel are two handsome monuments in alabaster, erected to the memory of the two first Lords D'Arcy, and their wives. A creek, or arm of the river Coin, dividing into two branches, leads to two wharfs in this parish, and is navigable for barges and sloops. At the south-eastern boundary are a martello tower, for the defence of the coast, and a signal station. A school is endowed with land producing about £7 per annum. This place, remarkable for the remains of its noble monastery, derives its name from St. Osyth, daughter of Redwald, King of East Anglia, who, having made a vow of virginity, retired hither, where she founded a church and a nunnery; these were afterwards plundered by the Danes who beheaded the foundress near an adjacent fountain About the year 1118, Belmeis, Bishop of London, established a priory for Augustine canons on the supposed site of the nunnery, which, at the dissolution, had a revenue of £758. 5. 8. The quadrangle of this building is almost entire, excepting part of the north side, where are some modern apartments; the entrance is by a beautiful gateway of hewn stone, mixed with flints, having two towers and posterns; to the east are three towers one larger and loftier than the rest." [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


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Description and Travel

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Historical Geography

  • St. Osyth was a member of the Tendring Hundred

You can see the administrative areas in which St. Osyth 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.

  • St. Osyth was a member of the Tendring Poor Law Union