Chapman & André Map of 1777 by Tim Fransen

Local Treasures on an Old Map

Chapman and André 1777
Extracted from Tim Fransen Essex Record Office at

Maybe not gold or silver, but pieces of local history long forgotten, can be found on this 1777 map, a link to which can be found on our sister website,  the Rochford Community Website, at

Tim Fransen has developed an open access high-resolution interactive version of the Chapman and André’s Map of Essex 1777. The Rochford article links to the site which shows the map across the whole of Essex. Through those links, you can zoom in on the relevant sheet for Hadleigh and Thundersley, part of which I attach.

You might like to find the milestones (“M”) either side of the Rayleigh Road not far from The Woodmans and Victoria House corners. Another local milestone remains on the London Road going towards Leigh, but the other two in Rayleigh Road appear to have gone and perhaps with them, the significance of Rayleigh Road as part of the main road link in the past between London and Leigh (via Billericay and Rayleigh) at a time when Bread and Cheese Hill would have provided a very steep alternative route for horse drawn vehicles.

What about the brick kiln shown on Kiln Road? Bricks from here were used to build Thundersley workhouse. Was it still in use when the Victorian Hadleigh terraces were built?

Does “Combhill Wood” (alongside the A13) suggest that Bread & Cheese Hill might have earlier been called “Combe Hill”, ie the hill with a valley within it? The combe is still there, within the trees.

Experience has shown that this very early map was not totally accurate (except perhaps where a wealthy local landowner had paid for their estate to be mapped). For example “Sawns Green” on the map is presumably the “Swans Green” we are more familiar with.

Was West Wood really then known as “Wayburn Wood” and thus part of Wayburn farm, the former site of which is now the field next to Little Havens in Daws Heath? Just as confusing is that Hadleigh Great Wood was then shown as “West Wood” (presumably so called by the people of Leigh, then spelt “Lee”!).

Perhaps it is true that I am a “map nerd”, but I find all this fascinating and I want to know more.

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