Old Images of West Hangingfield, Essex

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old photos and films with Local History Videos .com

Glimpse history through old images West Hangingfield, Essex, England.

Hangingfield Reservoir 1954

Hangingfield Reservoir was created by flooding the 1,000 acre Sandon Valley.

A small hamlet of farms, houses, and cottages was abandoned and flattened, before the land was submerged under water.

Fremnells Manor, a large 16th century manor house with 19 bedrooms, was also demolished. Stones were removed from the site to make new dams on the River Chelmer and River Blackwater, thus diverting the river water into the new reservoir.

Large trees, too, were taken down and removed.

Alex Frood’s family are shown leaving their 100 acrea farm and its lovely traditional farmhouse. Mr Frood inspects the last crop to be harvested before the flood waters arrive.

The final scene shows the empty Fremnells Manor, whose demolition had even been questioned in the House of Commons in 1951.

Essex Reservoir (1954) – British Pathé on YouTube


A Bit of West Hangingfield History

Extract from: The history and topography of … Essex – Volume 1, by Thomas Wright

Published in 1836

Pages 136 – 138

WEST HANNINGFIELD . – This
twenty – nine from London .
village and parish is five miles from Billericay , and
The population consists of two hundred and forty – eight males and two hundred and
twenty females ; total , four hundred and sixty – eight .
It was held by William Warren , earl of Surrey , at the general survey , and contains
besides the lordship paramount , four other manors .
Cloville’s Hall derives its name from the family of the Clovilles , or Clonvilles , to

whom it belonged from the time of Henry the Second to the year 1664. This estate
afterwards came to Mrs. Richard Finch .


Hanningfield Temple is so called from its having formerly belonged to the Knights
Templars ; and the part called Parages , or Pagetts , has probably belonged to a person
of that name .

In 1541 it was granted by Henry the Eighth to John Cannon , mer
chant – tailor of London , who was succeeded by his son Richard ; the latter dying
unmarried , in 1727 , left the estate of Parages to Humphry Sidney , Esq . of Marga
retting . As for that part of the manor called Temple , it came to Mr. Drage , who
sold it to Daniel Williams , V. D. M. and D. D. who , by a codicil to his will in 1712 ,
gave it to his wife during her natural life , and after her decease to the cities of Glas
gow and Edinburgh , for the founding and endowing of alms – houses there . This
gentleman’s other extensive charities are recorded under Tolleshunt Major .


Peverels is a manor held by a branch of the family of that name from the year 1311.

It appears that this manor contained three hundred and eight acres two rods
and two perches of land , from a survey in 1611. It went from the Peverels to
William Cloville , in 1469 ; his brother Edward was his heir . A family of the name
of Tanfield were the next possessors ; and about the year 1678 , it was sold by
Daniel Tanfield to the before – mentioned Dr. Williams . The mansion – house is a
mile from the church .
Chervilles is the last of the subordinate manors , and is known to have been held
by Michael de Cherville in 1254 , a trial having taken place at Chelmsford in that
year between this gentleman and Ernald de Berkheld and others , about their common
of pasture in West Hanningfield . In 1489 it was held of Sir George Neville , Lord
Bergavenny , by John Wawton ; Cicely , his daughter and heir , was three years old at
his death in that year . By marriage , or otherwise , it afterwards came to John
Cannon , and it was then called the hamlet of Chervilles . It afterwards came to
the Humfries . The mansion – house is not far from the church . There is also a
good house near the church , called the church – house , which formerly belonged to
the same family .
The manor in this district called Bedenested , which gave name to Petronilla de
Bedenested , and to Albric de Bensted , appears to have been a place of importance ,
from the account in Domesday – book . The name Bensted – green remains , but little
more is known respecting it .
The church has a nave and chancel , each of which have a south aisle . It is
dedicated to St. Mary and St. Edward . An octagonal tower at the west end contains
four bells , above which there is a wooden spire .
In the south aisle is a stone of very antique appearance , on which were , inlain in
brass , the half – length effigies of a man and woman . The former is taken away ; but
the latter remains . Beneath is the following inscription , in Old English characters :

” Isabele Clovill John son fils gisent ici lequale Joben morust le 23 jour d’Octobre , l’an
de grace 1361. Dieu de leur alme eit m’re . “
TRANSLATION .
” Isabel Clovill , and John her son , lie here ; the last – mentioned John died the 23d day of
October , in the year of grace 1361. God have mercy on their souls . “
An altar tomb stands on the north side of the chancel , covered with grey marble ;
it belongs to the Clovill family , but the inscription is illegible . On the floor near it
there is a white stone , on which is cut the effigy of a youth , round the border of
which are these words :
” Heare lyes John Erdeswicke , sonn and heyre of Richard Erdeswicke , Esquier , who died in
November , 160 …….. ” The rest is defaced .
The parsonage – house is a neat edifice , with a brick front , and much improved by
the Rev. Henry Burton , when rector here .
The rectory of West Hanningfield is valued in the king’s books at 162. 13s . 4d .
Richard Cannon , who died in 1605 , gave to the poor five pounds per annum for
ever , to be distributed in bread to the poor of this parish . Mrs. Ann Humfry gave
the sum of forty shillings yearly to the poor widows who take no collection , to be
paid out of Chervilles .

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By Debbie Death

I love learning about history, and for the past 30 years have enjoyed books, films, and documentaries on the topic. Much of my spare time is spent visiting historic and archaeological sites, along with research for LocalHistoryVideos.com