Birchanger (St. Mary)

BIRCHANGER (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Bishop-Stortford, hundred of Uttlesford, N. division of Essex, 2 miles (N. E.) from Bishop-Stortford; containing 386 inhabitants. It was given by Richard II. to William of Wykeham, for the endowment of New College, Oxford, the Warden and Fellows of which are the present proprietors. The parish comprises 1051a. 23p., of which 730 acres are arable, 185 meadow, and 97 woodland. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £9. 13. 4., and in the gift of the college: the impropriate tithes have been commuted for £50, and the rectorial for £310; there are 24 acres of glebe, with a handsome house. The church, pleasantly situated on the summit of a hill, near the London road, is a small ancient edifice with a round tower, and contains a fine Norman arch. Richard de Newport founded here, in the reign of John, an hospital dedicated to St. Mary and St. Leonard, for a master and two chaplains; the revenue, in the 26th of Henry VIII., was £31. 13. 11.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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