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Little Dunmow, Essex

Historical Description

Dunmow, Little, a village and a parish in Essex, on the left side of the river Chelmer, adjacent to the line of the Bishop Stortford and Braintree branch of the G.E.R., half a mile W from Felstead station, and 2 miles ESE from Great Dunmow. There is a post office under Chelmsford; money order and telegraph office, Felstead. Acreage, 1728; population, 286. The manor belonged anciently to the Baynards, passed to the Fitzwalters and others, and was then held by the tenure of giving a gammon of bacon to any married pair who chose to take oath that they had been true to each uther, had not quarrelled, and had not wished themselves unmarried for a year and a day. This curious custom took root also at Wichnor in Staffordshire, was observed at Little Dunmow first in 1444, went into desuetude here in 1751 or 1763, and was commemorated under the presidency of Mr Harrison Ainsworth in 1855; it has since been revived, and is now annually observed at Great Dunmow, but it is only a vulgar imitation of the ancient ceremony. An Augustinian priory was founded at Little Dunmow by Lady Ingar Baynard in 1104, and some portions of it, with Late Norman and Decorated English features, and comprising a monument of the foundress, monuments of the Fitzwalters, and an alabaster effigies of the time of Henry IV., are still standing. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of St Albans; net yearly value, i£72. The church was restored in 1872. Dunnerdale-with-Seathwaite forms a township m Kirkby-Ireleth parish, Lancashire, on the river Duddon, 3 miles from Coniston Lake station on the Coniston brancli of the Furness railway. Post town, Carnforth; money order and telegraph office, Broughton-in-Furness. The township has an area of 10,258 acres; population, 274.

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 parishLittle Dunmow St. Mary 
Poor Law unionDunmow 

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

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Little 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 Little 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