St. Peter-ad-Vincula church, Coggeshall
|Population||3,919 (2001) |
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||East of England|
Coggeshall ( // or // ) is a small town of 4,727 residents (in 2011) in Essex, England, between Colchester and Braintree on the Roman road of Stane Street, and intersected by the River Blackwater. The population increased to 4,727 at the 2011 Census. It is known for its almost 300 listed buildings and formerly extensive antique trade. Many local businesses, such as the White Hart Hotel and the Chapel Inn, have been established for hundreds of years (the Chapel Inn became a legally licensed premises in 1554). A market has been run every week on Market Hill since 1256, when a charter to do so was granted by Henry III.
Coggeshall won the Essex Best Kept Village award in its category in 1998 and 2001–03; it was named the Eastern England & Home Counties Village of the Year in 2003.Official brown coloured sightseeing/tourist road signs on the entry to the town from the A120 road still show Coggeshall as "Village of the Year".
The meaning of the name Coggeshall is much debated. Different pronunciations and spellings have been used throughout its history and many theories as to the name's origin have arisen. The earliest mention of the name is in a grant from around 1040 where it is called Coggashael. The Domesday Book from 1086 addresses the town as Cogheshal and it is mentioned elsewhere as Cogshall, Coxal and Gogshall. Beaumont brought together several theories in his 1890 book A History of Coggeshall, in Essex.
Post-Beaumont, Margaret Gelling associated the name with the landscape in which the town is situated, believing that -hall comes from Anglo-Saxon healh, meaning a nook or hollow, thus rendering the name as "Cogg's nook" (with Cogg as a proper name), corresponding to Coggeshall's sunken position in the 150-foot contour line.There are several towns throughout Britain with similar names: Uggeshall, Cockfield, Cogshull, Cogges, Coxhall Knoll. Part of the Parish was known as Crowland; the Parish of Crowland in Lincolnshire has an area within it called Gogguslands.
Coggeshall has been called Sunnydon, referenced in 1224 as an alias for the town.
Coggeshall dates back at least to an early Saxon settlement, though the area has been settled since the Mesolithic period.There is evidence of a Roman villa or settlement before then and the town lies on Stane Street, which may have been built on a much earlier track. The drainage aqueducts of Stane Street are still visible in the cellar of the Chapel Inn today. Roman coins dating from 31 BC to AD 395 have been found in the area and Coggeshall has been considered the site of a Roman station mentioned in the Itineraries of Antoninus. Coggeshall is situated at a ford of the River Blackwater, part of another path running from the Blackwater Valley to the Colne Valley. Where these paths crossed a settlement started.
Coggeshall is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Cogheshala. The Manor of Coggeshall was owned by a Saxon freeman named Cogga, and at the time of its entry there was "a mill; about 60 men with ploughs and horses, oxen and sheep; woodland with swine and a swineherd, four stocks of bees and one priest". William the Conqueror gave the Manor to Eustace, the Count of Boulogne.
The modern history of Coggeshall begins around 1140 when King Stephen and his queen Matilda, founded Coggeshall Abbey, a large Savigniac abbey with 12 monks from Savigny in France,the last to be established before the order was absorbed by the Cistercians in 1147. Matilda visited the Abbey for the last time in 1151 and asked for the Abbot's blessing, "If thou should never see my face again, pray for my Soul. More things are wrought by prayer than this World dreams of."
Flint and rubble were the main materials used in the construction of the monastery, and the buildings were faced with stone punted up the Blackwater, and locally produced brick. Brick making had died out in Britain since the Romans left and the monks may have been instrumental in its re-establishment around this time. They built a kiln in the north of the town at a place called Tile Kiln, an area now known as Tilkey. The bricks from Coggeshall are some of the earliest-known bricks in post-Roman Britain. Long Bridge, in the south of the town, was probably built in the 13th century using these bricks and the kiln in Tilkey continued to produce bricks until 1845.The Church was sufficiently complete to be dedicated by the Bishop of London in 1167.
The estate commanded by the monastery was extensive. The monks farmed sheep, and their skilled husbandry developed a high-quality wool that formed the foundation of the town's prosperous cloth trade during the 15th to mid-18th centuries, when it was particularly renowned for its fine Coggeshall White cloth. The monastery also had fishponds with strict fishing rights – a vicar of Coggeshall was imprisoned in Colchester for stealing fish.However, the monastery could not produce all that it required and sold produce at an annual fair to buy the things they did not have. In 1250 the Abbot of Coggeshall was allowed by Royal Charter to hold an eight-day fair commencing on 31 July – the feast of St. Peter-ad-Vincula, to whom the Parish Church was dedicated. In 1256, a Saturday market was granted as long as it didn't interfere with its neighbours. Colchester complained in 1318 that Coggeshall was a hindrance, and their complaint, being upheld, resulted in the market being moved to Thursday, where it remains to this day.
The Black Death hit the Abbey hard, with the number of monks and conversi much reduced. Revenues across Essex fell to between one third to one half of pre-plague rates; the abbey suffered financially with tenanted and cultivated lands heavily decreased. km²), were seized; King Henry VIII granted them to Sir Thomas Seymour. They remained into his possession until 1541 when they were split up.During the Peasants' Revolt of 1381 the Abbey was broken into and pillaged. The sheriff of Essex and Hertfordshire, John Sewall, was targeted by rioters at his Coggeshall house, now the Chapel Inn. By the early 15th century a new church was begun at the Abbey called St. Mary's; it was completed by the start of the 16th century but the Dissolution of the Monasteries brought an end to the prosperity of monks. In 153] Abbot Love was demoted with a list of complaints raised against him; though some of them may have been fabricated, it appears that standards at the monastery were dropping. It was common practice at the time that Abbots unsympathetic to the will of the King were replaced with more favourable ones; in this case Abbot More was supplanted by Dr. T. Leigh. Coggeshall survived the Act of Suppression in 1536 and the Abbot of St. Mary Grace's, London, invested in its future. However, the political situation was opposed to the monasteries and Coggeshall succumbed in 1538, handed over by Abbot More. The monks were sent back to their families or into the community, many becoming priests. Abbot Love became vicar of Witham where he stayed until his death in 1559. The monastery's possessions and lands, totalling nearly 50,000 acres (200
After the decline of the wool trade, Coggeshall's economy centred around cloth, silk and velvet, with over half of the population employed in its production. The cloth trade is first linked with the town in 1557 as a well-established industry but the onslaught of various trade laws brought about the decline of the trade. The last book order entry for cloth production is listed as 14 November 1800.
The 1851 census showed Coggeshall to be one of the most industrialised places in Essex. However, the English silk industry was being artificially supported by a ban on imported silk goods; Continental silk was cheaper and of a higher quality. When Parliament repealed the ban in 1826 and later reduced and finally removed duties on French silk, English weavers were unable to compete and Coggeshall's economy was devastated.
The town again found fame in Tambour lace, a form of lace-making introduced to Coggeshall around 1812 by a Monsieur Drago and his daughters. The production of this lace continued through the 19th century before dying out after the Second World War. Examples of Coggeshall lace have been worn by Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth II.
Coggeshall was noted for the quality of its brewing, in the late 19th century having four well-established institutions. In 1888 Gardner and Son were awarded the Diploma of Honour at the National Brewer's Exhibition.The brewery buildings have undergone alternative use in recent years, with several now used a residential buildings and another used as the Coggeshall Village Hall. In 2008 the Red Fox Brewery was opened near Coggeshall.
By the end of the 19th century gelatine and isinglass production was well established at a site on West Street,production continued until ceasing in the late 1980s.
In the mid-19th century John Kemp King established seed growing in the area where it continues to this day.The seed growing industry is said to have originally started with the Cistercian monk's at the abbey
The first independent place of worship in Coggeshall was a converted barn on East Street, put to use in 1672. In 1710 a permanent chapel was built on Stoneham Street for "Protestant Dissenters from the Church of England, commonly called Independents". By 1716 there were 700 hearers including some of the wealthiest and most influential people from the local area. In 1834 the chapel was enlarged and again in 1865. Today the building continues to be part of the United Reformed Church in continuous succession from its Congregational and Independent past. The modern Christ Church which meets in the building is now a Local Ecumenical Partnership (LEP); a new single congregation coming together from a union of the three village chapels in 1989 and uniting members from the Baptist Union, the Methodist Church, and the United Reformed Church.
The Quakers were active in Coggeshall as early as 1655, with Fox stating "I came to Cogshall, and there was a meeting of about 2,000 people." That same year James Parnell, a local Quaker, caused a disturbance at the church and was sentenced to prison at Colchester Castle where he died whilst imprisoned in 1656. A meeting house was purchased on Stoneham Street in 1673 with a new building constructed in 1878. A graveyard was purchased on Tilkey Road in 1856 but now forms part of a private garden attached to Quaker Cottage. The meeting house is now home to Coggeshall Library.
Coggeshall has proved an important place in the local Baptist Ministry. For many years congregations met in a house just off Hare Bridge, and in 1797 the first annual meeting of the Essex Baptist Association was held in the Independent Meeting House. A permanent meeting house was constructed in 1825 along Church Street. This building is now used as business offices.
The Methodists have been present in Coggeshall since 1811, worshipping first at a house on Stoneham Street, then a chapel on East Street. A permanent chapel was constructed in 1883 on Stoneham Street to seat 250 people and now hosts a local children's nursery.
Coggeshall is situated on top of a large deposit of London Clay. The main river is the Blackwater with the local Robin's Brook feeding into it. Beaumont mentions that there are good bore holes.The current course of the river was dug by the monks, with the original course running to the north. There is a small stream called the 'backditch' that follows the original route of the river.
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St Nicholas' Chapel, Coggeshall Abbey's gatehouse chapel, survived the Dissolution of the Monasteries intact, albeit converted into a barn. Subsequently, restored in 1863,it is the oldest surviving post-Roman brick building in the country (c. 1220). The original bricks from the ruins of the abbey are older still, and were made by the monks themselves. These were previously believed to be the oldest post-Roman bricks in the country; however, newer evidence suggests that brick making was not reintroduced to Britain by the Cistercians, but that there was already a brick making industry around Coggeshall in the early 12th century, prompted by the exhaustion of the supply of recyclable Roman bricks.
The Church of St Peter-ad-Vincula (St Peter in chains) is built on an earlier Norman church. It is one of the largest churches in Essex (internal dimensions of 134 ft 6 in by 62 ft 9 in, the tower reaches a height of 72 ft) and was considered as a possible choice for cathedral, with Chelmsford Cathedral eventually being chosen. The present church was built in the perpendicular style with 'wool money' during the first quarter of the 15th century; its unusual size is testament to the affluence of the town at the time. Restoration work was carried out during the 19th century. During the Second World War, on 16 September 1940, the Luftwaffe bombed the church causing the roof of the nave to collapse and significant structural damage; repairs were completed in 1956.
To celebrate the Millennium two new bells were purchased, bringing the total to ten. Coggeshall hosts the fifth heaviest peal in Essex,the heaviest four being (in descending order) Waltham Abbey, Chelmsford, Writtle and West Ham.
Paycocke's house was built in or around 1500 by John Paycocke (d. 1505); it is thought it was built as a wedding present for his son Thomas and daughter-in-law Margaret as the initials T.P. and M.P. appear in the wood carvings that decorate the house. The house features elaborate wood panelling and carvings, a testament to the wealth generated by the wool trade in East Anglia. It also features gates which some think were taken from the Abbey at the time of its dissolution. The Paycocke family moved into Coggeshall in the 15th century and exemplified a trend for successful butchers to acquire large flocks of their own sheep which would produce wool as well as meat. The wool could be used to make cloth and often the 'grazing butchers' would eventually evolve into clothiers. These merchants frequently became very wealthy during this process. Thomas was the last Paycocke to live in Coggeshall, dying in 1580. It was the sold to the Buxton family who were clothiers and from 1746 changed hands several times eventually being bought by Lord Noel-Buxton, a descendant of the original Buxtons, and given to The National Trust in 1924. Restoration work was carried out in the 1960s and the house is now open to the public.
Grange Barn was built by the Cistercians in the 13th century to serve the abbey. It is one of the oldest surviving timber-framed buildings in Europe. It was located a quarter of a mile from the Abbey and underwent significant structural alteration in the 14th century. It survived the Dissolution of the Monasteries, remaining in continual agricultural use up until 1960 when it was left derelict. It was compulsorily purchased in 1982 by Braintree District Council, who initiated the restoration of the barn, with the work being completed in 1985. In 1989 the barn was given to The National Trust for its future preservation. Although it has undergone extensive reconstruction and its original thatch roof has been replaced with tile, the barn today represents that which existed in the 14th century. Grange Barn is now open to the public showing a collection of farm carts and wagons, and is available to hire for special events.
The town clock was built to celebrate Queen Victoria's jubilee in 1887 and the clockhouse was at one point a school for the poor children of the town and later housed an award-winning tearoom. It is currently a wine bar.
Nunn's Bridge, a wrought iron footbridge on a Public Right of Way crossing the River Blackwater was listed by Historic England in 2020. Erected in 1892, it is unique in its design, and was made and installed by local blacksmith and social campaigner Henry ‘Dick’ Nunn after the previous wooden bridge was washed away and authorities refused to replace it. Nunn was an early campaigner for human and animal welfare, and advocate of rights of way in the countryside.
Coggeshall lies on the ancient Roman road of Stane Street. It is now serviced by the A120 road which follows the original road. Around 1982 a bypass was built around Coggeshall.
:See also: Wise Men of Gotham
The saying "A Coggeshall job" was used in Essex from the 17th to the 19th century to mean any poor or pointless piece of work, after the reputed stupidity of its villagers. There were numerous stories of the inhabitants' ridiculous endeavours, such as chaining up a wheelbarrow in a shed after it had been bitten by a rabid dog, for fear it would go mad. John Ray's 1670 Collection of English Proverbs gives the following rhyme:
The phrase is said to have originated one day when Coggeshall's town clock chimed 11 times at noon. When the villagers heard that the town clock at Lexden had struck 12 times at 11 o'clock, they rode to the town to collect the missing stroke.Other jobs included winching up a cow onto the church roof to eat the grass growing there, knocking down one of two windmills as there would not be enough wind for both of them, attempting to divert the course of the river with hurdles, hanging sheets over roads to prevent the wind from blowing disease into the town, chopping the head off a lamb to free it from a gate, removing stairs from a house to stop flood water entering and some appropriated from other 'fool centres', for example the classic 'fishing for the moon'.
The local football club, Coggeshall Town, currently play in the Essex & Suffolk Border League and were previously members of the Essex Senior League. They are one of the oldest clubs in existence having been founded in 1878.
The sixth abbot of Coggeshall's abbey (from 1207–18), Lord Ralph was one of the most important chroniclers of his time, described by the historian E. L. Cutts as "a man of polished erudition, as well as of temperance and arrived at such a degree of excellence in literature as to be esteemed by far the first of the brethren of his convent." He is known particularly for his work in the Chronicon Anglicanum ('Chronicle of English Affairs'). It is from that work that much of the early history of Coggeshall is known. Due to ill health he ceded his title to the seventh abbot, Lord Benedict de Straford in 1218, living quietly in the Abbey until his death in 1228.
In the 1840s a gang of criminals terrorised Coggeshall and the neighbouring villages. Their headquarters were at the Black Horse Inn on Stoneham Street and their success was due to the unpaid and untrained, spare-time parish constables' inability to deal effectively with crime in their local area. The gang committed burglaries and violent robberies across Coggeshall, Great Tey, Cressing and Bradwell. Their crimes were often brutal and mainly directed at the elderly. Dell's Hole in nearby Earls Colne is named after Mr Dell who was attacked by the gang as he made his way home after a day at Coggeshall market. During a raid on a farmhouse one of the gang was recognised, and was soon arrested: the captain of the gang promised to care for his family if he refused to identify his partners-in-crime. He was sentenced to transportation for fifteen years. After the trial his mother told him his family were not being helped by the gang so he turned Queen's evidence. The magistrates convened at the Chapel Inn in Coggeshall and sent a posse of the new county police to the Black horse Inn. Some of the gang were caught there and then, but the gang's leader made a daring escape across the rooftops, eventually being arrested trying to board a ship to France. Twenty men were brought to trial at the Shire Hall in Chelmsford, evidence being provided by 700 witnesses. Such was the interest in the gang that the galleries of the courtroom were filled with fashionably dressed women. One of the members was sentenced to hang, commuted to transportation for life, and others were transported to Australia for terms varying from life to seven years. The captain of the gang soon died in Preston Gaol, while three others did well for themselves in Australia. One eventually farmed a large area of Western Australia and retired to Coggeshall a very wealthy man. Another had farms in Queensland and became a pillar of his local community, while a third ran a successful bakery in Tasmania and mingled with the best of local society. .
The town was featured in the BBC series Lovejoy .
The Cistercians maintained a library at the Abbey.Scholarly works were produced such as Ralph of Coggeshall's Chronicon Anglicanum and John Godard's Concerning the threefold method of calculating alongside the ecclesiastical. There was also a school at the Abbey before 1464, in contravention of Cistercian rule.
Sir Robert Hitcham's School was founded in 1636 as part of the will of Sir Robert Hitcham, a member of parliament and Attorney General. The school was to educate 20 or 30 of the poorest children of the town and to give them funding for apprenticeships. The school functioned until the mid-20th century, being rebuilt in 1858 on land opposite Paycockes.
A national school was started in 1838–39 when the old workhouse on Stoneham Street was given to the vicar and churchwardens.
The British school was built on land adjoining the Independent Chapel (current-day Christ Church) in 1841 for education of the poor.
In the late 20th century St Peter's School Church of England Primary School was opened in the land opposite St. Peter ad Vincula Church. It was rebuilt in the 1980s.[ citation needed ]
In 2008 a Montessori School was founded in the rooms above Christ Church.[ citation needed ]
Coggeshall has one comprehensive secondary school called Honywood Community Science School.
The Coggeshall Museum was founded in the 1990s.[ citation needed ]
Witham is a town in the county of Essex in the East of England, with a population of 25,353. It is part of the District of Braintree and is twinned with the town of Waldbröl, Germany. Witham stands between the city of Chelmsford and the town of Colchester, on the Roman road between the two. The River Brain runs through the town and joins the River Blackwater just outside.
The River Blackwater is a river in Essex, England. It rises as the River Pant in the northwest of the county, just east of Saffron Walden, and flows in a generally southeast direction to Bocking, near Braintree, via Great Sampford and Great Bardfield. At Bocking, it becomes the River Blackwater, and veers east to flow past Bradwell Juxta Coggeshall and Coggeshall. It then veers south, flowing past Kelvedon and Witham, before reaching Maldon. There, it veers east again and empties into the Blackwater Estuary, which in turn meets the North Sea at Mersea Island.
Essex is a county in the East of England which originated as the ancient Kingdom of Essex and one of the seven kingdoms, or heptarchy, that went on to form the Kingdom of England.
Bordesley Abbey was a 12th-century Cistercian abbey near the town of Redditch, in Worcestershire, England.
Witham is a parliamentary constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since its 2010 creation by Priti Patel, a Conservative who became the Home Secretary in July 2019, in the Johnson ministry.
Kelvedon is a village and civil parish in the Braintree District of Essex in England, between Chelmsford and Colchester. It had a population of 4,717 in 2001, reducing to 3,587 at the 2011 Census. It is now home to several businesses including Knight Group and Lysanda. Brockwell Meadows Local Nature Reserve is south-east of the village between a housing estate and the River Blackwater.
Colchester is a historic town located in Essex, England. It served as the first capital of Roman Britain and is oldest recorded town in Britain.
Bradwell or Bradwell Juxta Coggeshall is a village and civil parish in Essex, England. It is located on the River Blackwater, approximately 5 km (3.1 mi) east of Braintree and is 19 km (12 mi) north-northeast from the county town of Chelmsford. The village is in the district and parliamentary constituency of Braintree. The parish is part of the Blackwater parish cluster.
Colchester in Essex, England, has a number of notable churches.
Coggeshall Abbey, situated south of the town of Coggeshall in Essex, was founded in 1140 by King Stephen of England and Matilda of Boulogne, as a Savigniac house but became Cistercian in 1147 upon the absorption of the order.
St John's Abbey, also called Colchester Abbey, was a Benedictine monastic institution in Colchester, Essex, founded in 1095. It was dissolved in 1539.
Braintree is a town in Essex, England. The principal settlement of Braintree District, it is located 10 miles northeast of Chelmsford and 15 mi (24 km) west of Colchester. According to the 2011 Census, the town had a population of 41,634, while the urban area, which includes Great Notley, Rayne and High Garrett, had a population of 53,477.
Great Totham is a village and civil parish in Maldon district, Essex, England, and midway between Chelmsford and Colchester. The village includes the Island of Osea in the Blackwater estuary and is separated into two parts, north and south. The north side and the south side are about a mile and a half apart, distributed along the B1022. The parish contains the hamlet of Totham Hill.
Bocking is an area of Braintree, Essex, England, which was a former village and civil parish. In 1934 it became part of the civil parish of Braintree and Bocking, which is now within Braintree District.
St. Urban's Abbey is a former Cistercian monastery in the municipality of Pfaffnau in the canton of Lucerne in Switzerland. It is a Swiss heritage site of national significance.
Grange Barn is a historic timber-framed building in Coggeshall, Essex, England. Grange Barn was built by the Cistercians in the 13th century to serve Coggeshall Abbey. It underwent significant structural alteration in the 14th century. It is Grade I listed.
Sir John Sharpe of Coggeshall in Essex was a courtier to King Henry VII (1485–1509). He was present at the king's death-bed as is evident from a drawing of the event by Sir Thomas Wriothesley, Garter King of Arms.
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