Essex Place-names Project (Essex Society for Archaeology & History), 2015 (e-book).
ESSEX PLACE-NAMES PROJECT. The Essex Place-names Project is a County-wide survey to record place- and field-names from historical documents such as Tithe maps and apportionments, estate maps, sale
and auction catalogues, conveyances, terriers, deeds, rolls, inquisitions and surveys.
The second element of the Project is to investigate on-the-ground visible remains which correspond to the Place-names for actual or potential archaeological, agricultural and industrial sites, and to record natural (topographical) and man-made features which may relate to the Place-name. This involves field-survey in rural and outside investigation in built-up areas.
It is anticipated that the Project will lead to identification of archaeological sites and lost historic buildings; it will enable analysis of indicators of early settlement, land holding, agricultural and industrial practices of the County. It will refine the more precise meaning of descriptive words and elements used by earlier settlers as they gave names appropriate to the topography of the landscape of their time.
For convenience the surveys are based on the parish, recognising that present civil parish boundaries are not necessarily identical to former ecclesiastical boundaries. Local Recorders are supplied with templates of Record Forms to ensure consistency of recording across the County, and forward completed forms to a Central Coordinator for transfer to a county computer database which is available to researchers on the internet at www.essex.ac.uk/history/esah/essexplacenames, and updated periodically.
This publication presents part of the information recorded from the Tithe or Estate Award and Map, and from other documents for this parish. The full record is contained on the master database at Essex County Council (Historic Environment Section) and on the (above) website. Parish books are available to be downloaded from the website link ‘Books’ on the Home page. Please notify errors to the Project Coordinator at the Essex Record Office.
THE TITHE MAP AND APPORTIONMENT. Since medieval times a tenth of the produce of land and stock had been paid by landholders to the church. At the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the property of many religious houses,
including the right to collect tithes, passed into lay hands. The Tithe Commutation Act which received Royal assent on 13th August 1836 abolished a rent payable in kind and
substituted rent-charges apportioned on each plot or parcel. The tithe-rent payable was assessed on the average value of wheat, barley and oats and was to fluctuate with price movements.
The commutation could be by voluntary agreement between the local owners and payers or, if agreement failed, could be compulsorily imposed by commissioners. A Valuer was to be appointed to apportion the rent of each parcel of land and tenants could deduct that rent-charge from their rent paid to the landlord. The task fell to the Tithe Commissioners to produce a map and an Apportionment (Award). A large-scale survey was produced for over 70% of England and Wales in the following 9 years, and about another 8% up to 1855. Most of the parishes in Essex were surveyed. The map scales vary. The Award records ownership, tenancy and land-use, field by field and parcel by parcel (often quoting the field name) with the ground area and rent-charge.
Reproduced by permission
of Essex County Council.
Land that was tithe-free tends to be less accurately mapped and contains few if any of the details recorded for those parcels subject to tithe. Rights of way and roads also tend to be neglected. Boundaries of the tithe areas are shown as are some natural features such as streams, ponds, gardens, greens and commons. Buildings are often shown coloured red if dwellingsor grey if not. Because the Award may have been agreed only some time after the map was finished, discrepancies occur between the two. Enclosure Awards, when extant, usually date to the 18th and early 19th centuries. J..Kemble.
Sible Hedingham Parish in the County of Essex
Reproduced by permission of
Essex County Council.
The Parish of Sible Hedingham (in Hinckford Hundred). The Tithe Award of Sible Hedingham (Essex Record Office D/CT 174a), dated 1840, shows a rent-charge of £1515 including £15 for glebe payable to Rev Charles Parr Burney, rector, and to the impropriators Hon George Addison, Hugh Parkin and Daniel Rowland £120 for the great tithes of Graveshall and Blois (498 acres) and £110 for the copyhold of the same manors totalling 329 acres. John Cutts received £10 per year for the great tithes of Carters Farm. The whole parish measured 5407 acres, all subject to tithes. 4130a were arable, 471a meadow and pasture, 548a wood, 146a common and waste, 57a glebe, 25a hop grounds and 30a market gardens. The Tithe Commissioners were William Blamire and JW Buller, the Valuers Charles Matson and John Isaacson of Clare, Suffolk.
The Tithe Map (ERO: D/CT 174b) was surveyed at a scale of 4 chains to an inch (20” to a mile) and measures 79”x72”. It was countersigned by Roger Kynaston, Assistant Tithe Commissioner.
In Domesday Book, 1086, Waringer held Hedingham from Roger of Raismes which Godwin had held before 1066 as a manor for half a hide. He also held from Roger Bigot Hidingham 25 acres which 15 free men had held, and 48½ acres then with a mill which 3 free men had held (Morris, 1983). For the origin of this place-name see paragraph below, Sible perhaps from the family Sibil, widow of Geoffrey de Laventon who held land here in 1237. In Alreforda (Alderford Hall), 2 men-at-arms held 36 acres of Richard son of Count Gilbert which 3 free men had held from Withgar; Aelfric of Alreforda held before and after 1066 part of half a hide and 6 acres annexed by Richard (Reaney, 1935). This is from Old English alor, ‘ford by the alder-trees’ (Kemble, 2007).
There were six manors: 1. Prayers alias Bourchall, northwest of the church, was held by Roger Bigot in 1086 . It was held by the Prayers family t.Henry III (1216-1272). Sir Thomas de Prayers married Anne daughter of Hugh de Essex. 2. Grays was Godwin’s in 1066. Sir Thomas Grey (died 1331/2) held a messuage, two acres etc of the earl of Oxford. 3. Grassels alias Graveshalles was held of the Honour of Castle Hedingham by de Graveshall t.Henry II (1154-1189). 4. Blois was held by the de Veres earls of Oxford. Aubrey confirmed it to Colne Priory. 5. Pryors alias Glascocks was sold by Edward de Vere to Edward Glascock. 6. Hawkwoods was held by Sir John Hawkwood of the earl of Oxford t.Edward III (1327-1360) (Morant, 1768).
The church dedicated to St Peter dates from c.1330, the tower of C16. The hammerbeam roof was part of the restorations of 1890 and 1897. Prayors Farm, formerly Bourhall, 1330, is timber-framed, C17. Greys Hall, once with 5 bays, has painted brick, c.1714. The White Horse, C15, has a jettied cross-wing. The Sugar Loaves, in the old Roman road Swan Street, is a two-bay hall of C15. Alderford Grange is C16 timber-framed. Hawkwood Manor, Hawkwodes, 1444, remembering Sir John Hawkwood who fought at Poitiers, is early C16 with cross-wings. Baykers to the south is C16 with exposed timbers. Alderford Mill, documented in 1547, is a weather-boarded C18 water mill (Pevsner, 2007)
The Hundred name in Domesday Book is Hidincfort,- forda, Hiding(a)forda, -fort, Hedingfort etc, which Watts (2004) translates from Old English ham, ‘homestead called or at Hethning’, or ‘a place called after Hething’, or ‘the homestead of the people of Hethin’. An alternative is hyth + ingas, ‘people of the landing-place’ on River Colne. Christie (1926) sites the moot just west of the ford (now the bridge) by the castle on a small raised triangular piece of ground, Crouch Green, formerly Mustoe Green, Motstowe in 1262. Place- and field names from the Map of Sible Hedingham (ERO: D/DSm P8) dated 1834, and from other documents are shown against the Tithe Award names.
Christie, M., 1926. Essex Hundred Moots. Trans Essex Archaeological Soc., n.s., xviii (3), 182.