Harlow (St. Mary)

HARLOW (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Epping, hundred of Harlow, S. division of the county of Essex, 17 miles (W. by N.) from Chelmsford, and 23 (N. N. E.) from London; containing 2315 inhabitants. The parish comprehends an area about eighteen miles in circumference. The village, which was anciently the chief town in the hundred, is pleasantly situated on the road to Newmarket, and consists mainly of one street of considerable length, containing many neat and wellbuilt houses. A considerable woollen-manufacture was formerly carried on, but the chief trade at present is spinning. A market on Saturday, after having been long discontinued, was recently revived, the day being changed to Wednesday. A fair is held on the 9th of September, upon Harlow-Bush Common, nearly in the centre of which is Harlow-Bush House, where the Essex Archery Society hold their meetings: there is also a fair for horses and cattle, on the 8th of November, in the village; and the petty-sessions for the division are held here every Monday. The Eastern Counties railway was opened from London to this place August 9th, 1841, and has been since extended. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £15. 7. 11.; net income, £383; patron and impropriator, the Marquess of Bute. The church was partly destroyed by fire in 1711, but was rebuilt, and its windows adorned with stained glass, at the expense of the Rev. Mr. Taylor, then vicar, and the gentry in the neighbourhood: the ancient tower, which rose from the centre of the original cruciform structure, has been replaced by a cupola. Two other churches, dedicated respectively to St. John the Baptist and St. Mary Magdalen, are in the gift of the Vicar. There is a place of worship for Baptists. Several small bequests have been left for the benefit of the poor.

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

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