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Rayleigh (Holy Trinity)

RAYLEIGH (Holy Trinity), a parish, and formerly a market-town, in the union and hundred of Rochford, S. division of Essex, 14 miles (S. E. by S.) from Chelmsford, and 34 (E. by N.) from London; containing 1651 inhabitants. This place, which was once the head of an honour or barony, was after the Conquest in the possession of Sweyn or Swene, who built a castle here, some ruins of which, with earthworks and ditches, yet remain. The parish is on the road from London to Southend, and comprises 2874 acres, whereof 55 are common or waste; the surface is elevated, and the soil stiff and heavy, with portions of poorer land. The town is situated upon the shore of Hadleigh bay; a brewing and malting establishment affords employment to about fifty persons; a cattle-fair takes place on Trinity Monday and Tuesday. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £17. 17. 6.; net income, £774; patron, R. Bristow, Esq. The church is an ancient and stately structure in the early English style, with a lofty embattled tower surmounted by a shingled spire. There is a place of worship for Baptists.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.