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Pleshey, Essex

Historical Description

Pleshey, a parish, with an ancient village, in Essex, on a small affluent of the river Chelmer, 5½ miles NNW of Chelms-ford station on the G.E.R. It has a post office under Chelmsford; money order and telegraph office, Great Walt-ham. Acreage, 732; population, 317. There is a parish council of five members and a chairman. The manor belongs to the Duchy of Lancaster. The castle of the high-constables stood here; was built by Geoffry de Mandeville, made Earl of Essex by King Stephen; was the residence of the Duke of Gloucester, the youngest son of Edward III., and the place of his arrest in 1397 by Richard II.; was the scene in 1400 of the beheading of the Duke of Exeter by the populace; went into decay soon after that event; was used as a quarry about 1600 for building a lodge, which stood till 1767; and is now represented by a mound, great earthworks, two moats, and a curious bridge. A Roman camp previously occupied the same ground, was about a mile in circuit, and has yielded some relics and left some remains. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of St Albans; net value, £190 with residence. The church comprises a nave of 1708, a chancel of 1748, and the transepts and tower of a quondam fine cruciform double-aisled church of Late Decorated date, which belonged jointly to the parish and to a college for nine priests, founded in 1393 by the Duke of Gloucester, and it contains mural monuments of the Tufnells and fragments of several ancient marble tombs. It was thoroughly restored at a cost of £3000 in 1868.

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 parishPleshey Holy Trinity 
Poor Law unionChelmsford 

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

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Pleshey 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 Pleshey 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 districtCM3
Post TownChelmsford