Calendar of Hadleigh

500 BC to 2012 AD

La Mojarra Inscription, Long Count date about 156 AD
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500 – 400 BC   The beginning of a settlement in Hadleigh (Iron Age burial found near parish church)

43 BC-411 AD   Romans invaded Kent and marched into Essex.  Roman finds located in Hadleigh and surrounding districts.

449-597 AD     Saxon invasion

653                 St Cedd converts Saxons to Christianity in area

870-1020         Arrival of Vikings (who settled mostly in the north and east of England)

1000               Hamlet of farmers – Saxon church probably on site of present parish church

1066                Invasion by the Normans

1140                Church of St. James the Less built (or possibly extended) by the Normans

1231                Castle built and market established in Hadleigh, held on Wednesdays

1234                Park farm established

1256                Enquiry ordered into disrepair of Castle

1270                Philip Dawe became landowner – Daws Heath named after him

c.1327-1340     Extensive repairs and building works to castle

1381                Peasants’ revolt

1400                Aubrey de Vere, 10th Earl of Oxford died. He had held the castle and manor of Hadleigh

1491                Sayers Farm established by William Sayer

1500s              Church given its unusual dedication of St James the Less

1553                Castle sold, demolition work commenced but change of plans left it in ruinous condition

1500-1600       Strangmans Place and Blossoms farm houses built

1600’s             Hadleigh Hall established – home of Heber family (Thomas Heber died 1697)

1641               Signing of ‘The Protestation’

1643               Signing of ‘The Vow and Covenant’

1644               Signing of ‘The Solemn League and Covenant’ 

1651               Inn built – Boar’s Head (now call ‘The Castle’)

1700’s             Solby’s built

1701               Commencement of oyster industry

1767               Annual fair

1769               Earliest record of ‘The Crown’ Inn

1780               James Murrell  (Hadleigh’s White Wizard) reputedly the 7th son of a 7th son, born in Rochford.

c1800              Hadleigh House built at ‘Four Wont Ways’ (now the site behind the shops on the roundabout at Victoria House Corner.

1808-14           Peninsular Wars (Napoleonic) against France by Britain/Portugal and Spain – Daws Heath settled by squatters returning from this war                       

1820                First weekend school started in St James the Less church, from endowment by Mrs Martha Lovibond

1828                Mrs Lovibond died at Tunbridge Wells and buried at Hatfield Peverel. (She was only 58 years old).

1838                Jonathan Wood moved to Solby’s

1839                Workhouse in Chapel Lane closed

1840                The Wagon and Horses Ale house opened

1852                The Peculiar People built chapel in Daws Heath Road

1855                First school built in Hadleigh – Church school built on land donated by Lady Olivia Sparrow (later the school closed and became the Parish Church Hall).

1856                Rectory built for the Rev. E. Espin in Rectory Road

1856                Railways reach Southend

1860                James Murrell died (December)

1867                Stibbards Funeral Undertakers established      

1890/91           Land purchased (at least three farms) and the establishment of the Salvation Army Colony in Castle Lane

1897                Alfred Lawrence – Confectioners/Stationers established in High Street

1900               Steve Choppen died aged 70 yrs.  He had been Hadleigh’s blacksmith, his forge had been opposite the Castle Inn in the rear yard.

1903                Congregational Church built in Church Road

1910                First Council school built in Church Road (in October 2010 the School was opened to the general public to celebrate 100 years)

1924                Church school closes having merged with Council school.  Premises become the Church Hall of St. James the Less

1924                New main road through Hadleigh and development of the Kingsway shops

1926                Elim church built in Oak Road

1935                Kingsway cinema built in ‘Kingsway’ Hadleigh and contained Compton organ

1937                The first public library in Hadleigh

1940                Air raid damaged buildings in Hadleigh including the Salvation Army temple roof

1949                The King John Secondary School, Thundersley opened (construction had begun before the Second World War)

1950                Victoria House, formally Hadleigh House, pulled down

1956                St. Barnabas Church built

1953-4             Present rectory built in Rectory Road

1962                Hadleigh Hall pulled down 

c1965              Kingsway cinema closed – became a Bingo Hall and Dance venue

1965                New infants school built in Bilton Road

1966                Westwood Primary School built

1968                Kingsway cinema building pulled down

1971                The Deanes School, Thundersley opened

2000                Original school/Church Hall sold (although still used by children as purchased by Sandcastles Nursery)

2009                Wagon and Horses public house pulled down and flats built on site on corner of New Road/London Road

2010                Fire station closed and new station built in Rayleigh Road near the  A127

2010                Harold House pulled down and flats built on corner of Chapel Lane/London Road.

2011                Web site for Hadleigh’s history set up

2012                Olympic games come to Hadleigh; mountain-bike events to be held on Salvation Army land overlooking the estuary.

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  • The Church of St Barnabas was built before the 2nd world war. It was slightly damaged when the flying bomb fell in Church Road – about three houses away from the Rectory. I attended the church and belonged to the Cub group there.


    Thanks for this comment. From the church’s web-site, an editor found: ‘ The Church of St Barnabas Hadleigh began as daughter church of the ancient Parish Church of St James the Less, Hadleigh. A ‘Mission Church’ designed to be eventually the church hall was dedicated on 1st October 1935. 

    The building was damaged during the second World War, but was restored and re-opened on 19th January 1946. Subsequently, a permanent church was built; it was commissioned on 29th January 1958. The chancel and tower were completed in1961 and dedicated by the Bishop of Chelmsford on 12th September. ‘

    By Roy Denning (26/02/2011)

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