Ingatestone (Virgin Mary)

INGATESTONE (Virgin Mary), a parish, and formerly a market-town, in the union and hundred of Chelmsford, S. division of Essex, 6 miles (S. W.) from Chelmsford, and 23 (N. E. by E.) from London; containing 856 inhabitants. This place was anciently called Ing-atte-stone, a name derived from the Saxon word Ing, a "meadow," and a Roman military stone on the road to Colchester. The parish comprises 2678 acres, of which 226 are woods and plantations, 104 common and waste, and the remainder arable and pasture; the lands are chiefly luxuriant, meadow and pasture. Ingatestone Hall, the mansion-house of the principal manor, a quadrangular structure erected by Sir W. Petre, ancestor of the present Lord Petre, in 1565, has been partly taken down, and the remainder converted into private dwellings. The town, which extends into the adjoining parish of Fryerning, is lighted with oil; and has a station of the Eastern Counties railway. There is a large fair for Scotch and Welsh cattle on December 1st and 2nd. The living is a rectory, with the perpetual curacy of Buttsbury annexed, valued in the king's books at £16. 13. 4., and in the gift of Lord Petre: the tithes have been commuted for £560, and the glebe contains one acre, with a house. The church has a lofty embattled tower of brick at the west end: adjoining the chancel is a sepulchral chapel belonging to the Petre family, which contains several handsome monuments, especially a fine altar-tomb to the memory of Sir William Petre, treasurer to Edward IV., and his lady, with their statues in Parian marble; also a sumptuous monument to John, the first Lord Petre, with his lady. There is a place of worship for Independents. An almshouse for seven men and three women was founded and endowed by Sir William Petre, in 1557.

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

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