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Help and advice for Writtle

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"WRITTLE, a parish (formerly a market-town) in the hundred of CHELMSFORD, county of ESSEX, 2½ miles (W. by S.) from Chelmsford, containing 2100 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the jurisdiction of the peculiar court of Writtle with Roxwell annexed, and in the patronage of the Warden and Fellows of New College, Oxford. The church, dedicated to All Saints, is ancient and spacious. There is a place of worship for Independents. Writtle has been long divested of the greater part of its trade by the rising importance of the neighbouring town of Chelmsford, but malting and brewing are still carried on, and there is an oil-mill in the vicinity. Morant and other writers have placed here the Caesaromagus of Antoninus; and the remains of a royal palace, built by King John in 1211, which occupied an acre of ground surrounded by a deep moat, are still visible. Courts leet and baron are held here, and the inhabitants have the privilege of appointing their own coroner. Almshouses for six poor people were endowed by Thomas Hawkins, in 1607; and John Blencowe, in 1774, founded a free school for the education of the poor children of Writtle and Roxwell. A National school also has been recently established within the parish. About four miles north-east of the church, in the middle of a wood, called Highwood Quarter, a hermitage was founded, in the reign of Stephen, which, in that of Henry II., was attached to St. John's abbey, Colchester." [From Samuel Lewis A Topographical Dictionary of England (1831) - copyright Mel Lockie 2016]

Highwood - a place within this parish



  • 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


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Writtle area or see them printed on a map.


Description and Travel

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Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Writtle 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.

  • Writtle was a member of the Chelmsford Poor Law Union