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A Study of Great Baddow

Introduction by Christine Goldstone

Study of Great Baddow History - Book coverMost people, I suspect, have kept old school books and perhaps college work and they are gathering dust in their lofts never to see the light of day again. This study would have remained one of these, until in a chance discussion with Ann Whalley about the compilation of the Oral History of Great Baddow I told her of my work on Great Baddow. She showed interest and so I dusted it down and lent it to her, never expecting matters to progress this far. She told me that Allen Buckroyd was typing it up for the Great Baddow archives and this took several years. When he told me it was finally typed and that he wanted to publish it, I had severe reservations. I had not read it since 1963 and I had no idea if it was worth going any further.

Having now read it again, I can see that by today’s standards it would not pass as an academic piece, as the facts are not fully referenced and I think that I have quoted from other people’s work without acknowledgements. I was faced with completely retracing my research and doing it all over again, or allowing it to be published for what it is, i.e. just a teacher training college project to show that I could research a topic and it provides a snap shot of the village at that time.

As Allen Buckroyd had done so much work I did not feel that I could abandon it altogether so here is our joint effort, warts and all, and I hope that our readers will enjoy browsing through it.

Incidentally I went on to teach at Meadgate School, Great Baddow, from 1965 to 1970 and later went in to the Adult Education sector organising classes for language skills for English and non-English speakers.

I have retained my love of history and belong to the Essex Family History Society.

My thanks go to Allen Buckroyd for his valiant work in the typing and editing of this work and to Ronnie Crowe who gave me some of his photos of Great Baddow back in 1962.

I must also sincerely thank my cousin Shirley Green (née Smith) who painstakingly typed this project from my original notes in the days before correcting facilities,

If readers have any comments to make I would be pleased to receive them.

Christine Goldstone (née Steele)

March 2007


(NB. Bearing in mind that Christine wrote the original manuscript in 1962, explanatory notes have been added to assist the reader . This has enabled the integrity of the original text to be retained as far as possible. Allen Buckroyd, July 2007).

Background - The Girl Who’s Chasing Memories

(The Essex Chronicle, Friday August 24 1962)

She’s writing the History of her Village

No one living in Great Baddow should be surprised to hear a knock on the front door and find pretty Christine Steele outside ready with her notebook, asking questions about the history and geography of the village.

Christine, aged 19, lives in Winchelsea Drive, Great Baddow. She came to live in the village 10 years ago and was a pupil at Sandon Secondary Modern School.

Even in her schooldays Christine showed a great interest in history. “It has always been my weakness”, she told a reporter.

Now, a student at Coventry Teachers’Training College, Christine is preparing a historical and geographical study of her village, Great Baddow. The work is for her college-but she has collected enough material for a book-"although of course it won't be published", said Christine.

Christine’s sources of information are both official and unexpected. For the past fortnight she has spent many afternoons poring over old books, maps and documents at the Essex Record Office in Chelmsford. And at weekends she visits people in their homes at Great Baddow to ask what they remember of the village in days gone by.


Christine Goldstone as a young girl“I am hoping people will write and tell me their childhood memories of the village and the changes that have taken place”, said Christine.

“The Study of the Parish of Great Baddow” will be illustrated. Christine has borrowed some old photographs and drawings and has been busy with her own camera, too.

Christine drew a blank on one of her investigations. She went to visit an old house of historical interest she had heard of in the village – only to be told by the owner of a nearby farm, “It was taken down and transported to America many years ago”. (See Plate 17)

But the young and enthusiastic chronicler of Great Baddow is not only interested in the past. She enjoys cycling, and has won her bronze medal for swimming. And she is looking forward to the end of her college training when she will be making her own pupils as enthusiastic about her favourite subject as she is herself.

Contents of the Book

Chapter 1- Geological Setting Page
Relief & Geology 1
Map 1 showing position of Gt.Baddow within Essex 2
Map 2 showing Relief & Drainage 2
Map 3 showing geology and Settlement of Gt.Baddow 3
The Soil 4
Drainage to River Chelmer 4
Map 4 showing furthest extent of ice sheet 5
The Climate 6
Housing & Amenities 6
Map 5 showing Estates & Public Houses 6
Sewerage System 7
Map 6 showing sewerage system 7
Map 7 showing Water Supply 8
Water Supply 8
Electricity Supply 8
Gas Supply 8
Baddow Brook Study Part l 9
Sketch Map 8 showing geology relating to Baddow Brook 9
Baddow Brook I 10
Baddow Brook 2 10
Baddow Brook 3 11
Sketch Map 9 showing proximity of Gt.Baddow to Chelmsford & River Chelmer 11
Sketch Map 10 showing position of Parish Church in Relation to Roads and Relief 12
Baddow Brook Study Part 2 13
Photo 1 & Photo 2 13
Photo 3 & Photo 4 14
Photo 5 & Photo 6 15
Photo 7 & Photo 8 16
Photo 8a & Photo 9 17
Photo 10 & Photo 11 18
Photo 12 & Photo 13 19
Photo 14 20

Chapter 2 – The History of Great Baddow Page
Introduction 21
Archaeology in the Chelmsford Area 21
Land Ownership 21
The Parish of Great Baddow 23
Disease in the 14th Century 24
Chantries and Recusants 24
The Civil War 26
The Wool Slump 26
The Field System 26
Roads 26
Canals 27
Schools 27
Tithes 28
Poor Law 29
Industry 30
Churches 31
Postal Service 31
The Changing Face of Great Baddow 31
The Future Direction 31
Great Baddow Tithe Maps 32
Tithe Map1 33
Tithe Map 2 34

Chapter 3 – Family History Page
The People 35
The Crabb Family 35
The Newman/Jordan Family 36
Chart to show use of Village by a typical family 39
Footnote 39

Photographs - Intro Page
Plate 1 - Gt.Baddow 1962 42
Plate 2 – Whitehorse Inn around 1900 43
Plate 3 – Village Centre around 1900 43
Plate 4 – Baddow Meads 44
Plate 5 – Swimmers at Chelmer Navigation Lock 44
Plate 6 – Blue Lion, looking towards Chelmsford 45
Plate 7 – Maldon Road, looking towards Chelmsford 45
Plate 8 – Aerial View of Gt.Baddow, looking NW 46
Plate 9 - Aerial View of Gt.Baddow, detail 47
Plate 10 – Village Centre in 1962 48
Plate 11 – Baddow village centre in 1902 49
Plate 12 – Brewery buildings 50
Plate 13 – View of Church Street 50
Plate 14 – Brewery, rear view 50
Plate 15 – Baddow Place 51
Plate 16 – Branwoods 51
Plate 17 – Great Sir Hughes 52
Plate 18 – Church Street & Jackson’s garage 52
Plate 19 – Typical Middle Class Family Houses 53
Plate 20 – Rothman’s School 53
Plate 21 – Jackson Family about 1900 54
Plate 22 – St.Mary’s Church, early 20th Century 54
Plate 23 – Plan of Gt. Baddow village 1816 55
Plate 24 – Roads in Gt. Baddow Area 1815 56
Figure 1 – Brass Rubbing of Pascall + Lewkar Arms 57
References 58

Appendices Page
Appendix A – Table of Ownership of the Manor A-1,2
Ownership of the Second Manor A-3
Appendix B – Table of Population B-1
Appendix C – Crabb Family Land Holdings in 1838 C-1

We are grateful to Christine and Allen for allowing us to publish this material.

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