Debden (St. Mary)

DEBDEN (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Saffron-Walden, hundred of Uttlesford, N. division of Essex, 4 miles (N. W. by W.) from Thaxted; containing 979 inhabitants. At the time of the Norman survey, this place belonged to Ralph Peverel; and, reverting to the crown, it was given by Henry II. to his son John, afterwards king of England. The parish comprises 4357a. 2r. 7p., of which 3057 acres are arable, 778 grass, and 446 wood: the surface is beautifully varied, rising into numerous hills of considerable elevation, between which are fertile valleys; and the village is pleasantly situated on an eminence. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £34; net income, £837; patron, Sir F. Vincent, Bart. The church is a handsome structure in the early English style, of which it presents many interesting details, and has at the east end an octangular chapel, containing several monuments of the Chiswells; the font, an elegant piece of workmanship, adorned with statues, was presented by the late Mr. Chiswell. A school in union with the National Society is partly supported from the rent of lands, amounting to £78 per annum, left for charitable purposes.

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

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