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Great Dunmow, Essex

Historical Description

Dumnow, Great, a small town, a parish, and head of a union, in Essex. The town stands on an eminence on the right bank of the river Chelmer, adjacent to the Bishops Stortford, Dunmow, and Braintree line of the G.E.R., on which it has a station. It dates from the Roman times, was connected by a Roman road with Colchester, and is identified with a Roman station, which some antiquaries think to have been Villa Faustini, but a greater number call it Csesaro-magus. Vestiges of the Roman road in several places still exist, and very many Roman coins and other Roman antiquities have been found in the vicinity. The town consists chiefly of two good streets, had formerly a market on Saturday, and has now one on Tuesday for corn and cattle, is a seat of petty sessions, and has a head post office. The church is a large and ancient building of stone in the Decorated and Perpendicular styles, has a five-light decorated window, a western embattled tower, and has some interesting brasses and monuments. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of St Albans; net yearly value, £360 with residence, in the gift of the Lord Chancellor. There are also a mission room, a Roman Catholic church, Baptist and Congregational chapels, and a Friends' meeting-house. There is a town-hall, a literary and scientific institution, a Conservative Club founded in 1886, and a workhouse, erected in 1840, for 418 inmates. The manufacture of baize and blankets was at one time extensively carried on, but both this and a subsequent kind of manufacture are extinct. The local government was vested by a charter of Mary in a recorder, a bailiff, and 12 burgesses, but under the provisions of the Municipal Corporation Act of 1883 the corporation came to an end in 1886. The area of the parish is 6778 acres of land and 17 of water; population of civil parish, 2781; of ecclesiastical, 2804. The manor belonged anciently to the Crown, was given at Domes-day to Hamo Dapifer, and by Henry VIII. to his Queen Catherine, and now belongs to the Countess of Warwick. Newton Hall and Bigods Hall are chief residences.

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


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

Ancient CountyEssex 
Ecclesiastical parishDunmow St. Mary 
Poor Law unionDunmow 

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

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Great Dunmow from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Essex is available to browse.

The Essex pages from the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 is online.


Online maps of Great Dunmow are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers covering Essex online:

Postal districtCM6
Post TownDunmow