Shenfield in 1887
The following is taken from ‘Durrant’s Handbook For
written by Miller Christy
(Durrant & Co., Chelmsford, 1887).
2397; P. 1481;
Rectory, value £600; Station, 20¼m. from London, 1m. N.E. from
village forming a suburb of Brentwood. It has an extensive
Common, covered by furze. Beside
the Brentwood Cottage Hospital, containing 7 beds.
The Church (Virgin Mary) consists of a nave
with N. aisle, chancel with new chapel, and W. tower of massive timber,
supporting a slender spire and containing 4 bells.
The W. window has 3 lights.
The nave has S. door, and three 2-light
windows. The aisle,
which is of 15th
cent. date, and has 6 bays, is remarkable as having its piers and
oak, instead of stone. The
slender and elegant workmanship, are clustered, the latter 4-centred. There are in the aisle
four 2-light cusped
windows on the N., a handsome embattled, brick doorway of Tudor age, a
14th cent. (Decor.) E. window, and a brick W.
end with rose
window. The S.
porch is of timber,
restored. There is
a carved roof-beam
between nave and chancel. The
is a 3-light (Perp.) one. There
fine, carved oak reredos, and elegant new font of Carrara marble. Beneath the tower is a
marble altar-tomb with
a recumbent effigy of Eliz. Robinson, of Gwersilt, Denbigh (1652). The Register begins in
once a fine mansion, was
destroyed by fire early in this [19th] century,
but the small park
in which it once stood, and the lake it contained, still remain. The Hall, near the church,
is a fine old
Tasker) is also a good residence.
are several other gentlemen’s houses in this parish.
Shenfield in 1861
The following is taken from ‘The People’s History
of Essex’ written
by D. W. Coller
(Meggy & Chalk, Chelmsford, 1861)
Further on is SHENFIELD,
upon the great high road, its village being
virtually a suburb of Brentwood. Records show that
there was a village here in the time of Edward the Confessor, and Roman
which have been turned up carry back its history as a habitable spot to
early dawn of the Christian era. Its
church, too, bears the marks of great antiquity.
Earl De Grey is the lord, and there are
several good seats in the parish; but Fitzwalters, its finest mansion,
anciently held by the tenure of presenting a pair of gilt spurs to the
the coronation, was destroyed by fire upwards of twenty years ago
[c1841]. The poor
have the dividends of £100. stock,
purchased with £50. left by Eliza Holmes, in 1764, and
£30. by Joseph Babb, in
Photographs. (Top) Shenfield Common, taken from an old postcard.
(Middle) St Mary's Church, Shenfield. (Bottom).
nave arcade, St Mary The Virgin, Shenfield.