Fairstead (St. Mary)
FAIRSTEAD (St. Mary), a parish, in the union and hundred of Witham, N. division of Essex, 4 miles (W. N. W.) from Witham; containing 306 inhabitants. This parish, which derives its name from the pleasantness of its situation and the beauty of the surrounding scenery, comprises about 1800 acres, whereof about 300 are woodland and pasture, and the remainder arable; a considerable portion is heavy and wet, and the substratum a whitish clayey marl. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £6. 13. 4., and in the gift of the Bishop of London: the tithes have been commuted for £479, and the glebe comprises 74 acres. The church is a small ancient edifice, with a tower of stone surmounted by a tall shingled spire, and contains several monuments, among which is one to Sir Antony Maxey and his lady, whose effigies in a kneeling posture are well sculptured.