Castle Hedingham, Essex

Historical Description

Castle-Hedingham, a village and a parish in Essex. The village stands on the river Colne, and on the Colne Valley railway, on which it has a station, 4 ½ miles NW of Halstead, is a seat of petty sessions, and has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Halstead, Acreage, 2436; population, 1028. A grand castle was built on an adjacent eminence, in the early part of the 12th century, by Aubrey de Vere, Earl of Oxford; was the death-place of Queen Maud, made a great figure in the wars in the time of King John, was the scene of a sumptuous entertainment to Henry VII., suffered much demolition in 1592 by Edward de Vere, and was reduced to ruin in 1666 in the first Dutch War. Only the keep of it now stands, and this is pure Anglo-Norman, 62 feet wide, 55 feet broad, and about 100 feet high-the walls from 10 to 13 feet thick-the height disposed in five storeys, pierced with loop-holes and narrow windows. A Benedictine nunnery and an hospital also were founded here by the De Veres-the former in 1198, the latter in 1250; part of the nunnery is now a farmhouse. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of St Albans; gross yearly value, £143 with residence. The church dates from the time of King John, shows Norman traces, has a tower of 1616, and contains monuments of the De Veres and the Ashursts. There is a large Congregational chapel and several almshouses.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient County Essex
Ecclesiastical parish Castle Hedingham St. Nicholas
Hundred Hinckford
Poor Law union Halstead

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Civil Registration

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Directories & Gazetteers

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