A History of the County of Essex: Volume 9, the Borough of Colchester. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1994.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
The ancient parish of Mile End, a compact area of 2,352 a. (951.8 ha.), (fn. 1) probably took its name from its original settlement a mile north of Colchester town, but by the late 13th century it was sometimes called Myland. (fn. 2) It did not become a separate parish until the 13th century. (fn. 3)
In the 19th century Mile End's boundary followed natural features on the south along the river Colne and on the north along Black brook and Salary brook except for a small deviation round an intrusive part of Great Horkesley; on the east and west it mainly followed roads and lanes. At the south-west corner the boundary curved inwards round the built-up area of St. Peter's parish as it existed in the 13th century. On the east side the border turned inwards to skirt detached parts of All Saints' and St. Botolph's parishes. (fn. 4) From 1841 to 1871 an extra-parochial place of a few acres called 'No Man's Land', on Cock Common in the northeast corner of Mile End next to Ardleigh, was included in Mile End. (fn. 5) The land rises from below 15 metres on the Colne in the south to more than 50 metres over much of the north part of the parish, falling away to the east and west. The soil is mainly silty and sandy clay, with some gravel and sand in the north-west corner and some London clay in the south and east. (fn. 6)
The main road running northwards through the parish from Colchester to Nayland and Sudbury (Suff.), sometimes called Mile End causeway, was mentioned in 1298. (fn. 7) A branch led west to West Bergholt. Severalls Lane, turnpiked in 1696, ran from the main Colchester-Ipswich road, part of which forms the north-east parish boundary, north-west across Mile End towards Langham. Minor roads linked those roads and connected Mile End with neighbouring parishes. (fn. 8) Colchester's first railway station, opened in 1843, lay on the road from Colchester to Mile End, just south west of the parish boundary. The railway line from Ipswich to Colchester, opened in 1846, ran across the south part of the parish. (fn. 9)
There was presumably a settlement at Mile End by 1254 when the church was recorded. (fn. 10) In the Middle Ages settlement seems to have been scattered over the unwooded areas of the parish, including Tubswick recorded from 1295, named from the Tubbe family, and Braiswick. (fn. 11) In 1296 only 7 inhabitants were assessed for subsidy, compared with 13 in Greenstead and 16 in Lexden; Simon of Nayland, master of St. Mary Magdalen's hospital in 1301, was the most highly taxed inhabitant. (fn. 12) Nineteen men were assessed to the lay subsidy in 1523, fewer than in Lexden and Greenstead, but more than in West Donyland. Of those taxed Robert Northen was worth more than the other 18 together. (fn. 13) He was probably Robert Northen of Mile End Hall, cousin of Robert Northen of Colchester, a wealthy clothier. (fn. 14) In 1588 twenty three able-bodied men aged between 16 and 60, almost all labourers, were liable for military service. (fn. 15) There were 50 households in 1671, of which 29 were exempt from hearth tax. (fn. 16) In 1692 the poll tax was assessed on 94 adults. (fn. 17) More burials than baptisms were recorded between 1700 and 1720 but baptisms outnumbered burials in most years thereafter until 1800. (fn. 18)
By 1801 the population had reached 299 and there were 44 houses. The population doubled between 1801 and 1841, the most rapid growth being between 1811 and 1821, and in the 1830s before the opening of the railway. Between 1841 and 1901 the population increased from 596 to 1,373. The number of inhabited houses increased to 124 in 1841 and 300 in 1901. (fn. 19)
In the Middle Ages much of Mile End was woodland and heath, but much of the woodland had been cleared by the end of the 16th century. All of the parish was subject to royal forest jurisdiction. Kingswood included all of the parish except probably the part west of the Nayland road. The north part of Kingswood became the estate called Kingswood and Kingswood heath, later known as the Severalls and Mile End heath. (fn. 20) Part of the south became the land of Mile End manor. West of the Nayland road lay part of the ancient wood of Cestrewald or Chesterwell in the north; in the south was part of the Braiswick estate, the rest of which was in Lexden. (fn. 21)
There was a race course on Mile End heath in the 1750s, but it had gone by 1821 when the corporation was inclosing c. 100 a. of the heath to add to its farmlands. (fn. 22) By 1841 much of the parish was arable land, but High wood and part of East wood remained west and east of Mile End manor house. (fn. 23) A village focus developed in the 19th century round the new parish church which was built in 1854-5 half a mile north of the old one. An isolation hospital was built in the north of the parish in 1884 and other hospitals in the 20th century. (fn. 24)
The medieval manor house, Mile End Hall, is discussed below. The timber-framed back range of Severalls Hall, a farmhouse on the Kingswood estate, was built in the early 17th century. Its western parlour end was refitted in the late 18th century when a bay window was added to the end elevation. Early in the 19th century a brick range containing an entrance hall and new principal rooms was added to the front of the older house. Church Farmhouse is of the early 17th century and has a main frame of oak with subsidiary timbers of elm and pine, and is jettied along the south side. The plan is symmetrical with one room on each side of the chimney stack and a central lobby entrance. (fn. 25) It was extended and modernized as a home for 18 mentally handicapped people when Essex Hall hospital closed in 1985. (fn. 26)
There was a tenement called the Half Moon, which may have been an inn, on the Severalls estate in the 17th century. (fn. 27) The Spread Eagle, sometimes known as the Castle, an inn in 1704, was probably on the site, between the Nayland and Boxted roads, of Eagle Lodge built in the early 19th century. (fn. 28) The Dog and Pheasant has a long brick range, of c. 1820, with late additions at the back. (fn. 29)
MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES.
In 1066 St. Peter's church, Colchester, held of the king 2 hides which were probably in what later became Mile End. The church had lost the land to Eudes the sewer and Robert son of Ralf of Hastings by 1086, and the later descent has not been traced. (fn. 30) In 1268 the abbot of St. Osyth's was granted free warren in Mile End, presumably the later manor of MILE END and ABBOTS HALL; the estate was described as a manor in 1359. (fn. 31) The abbey kept the manor until the Dissolution when it was granted to Thomas Cromwell, Lord Cromwell. (fn. 32) On his attainder in 1540 it reverted to the Crown and was granted in 1544 to John de Vere, earl of Oxford, and Dorothy his wife, who conveyed it the same year to John Lucas. (fn. 33) John's son, Sir Thomas Lucas, in 1563 acquired the neighbouring Greenstead manor, with which Mile End descended thereafter. (fn. 34) In 1937 the lordship was held by trustees of the late Lord Lucas and Dingwall, by which time manorial rights had lapsed. (fn. 35)
Mile End, or Myland, Hall, the manor house, has at its centre a 14th-century two-bayed hall which has a heavily smoke-blackened roof, and there is evidence of a cross-passage at its north end. A southern cross wing is contemporary or slightly later but the northern cross wing has been substantially rebuilt. A central chimney and a first floor were put into the hall in the 16th century. A new range was added alongside the east front of the hall in the 18th century and the north end of the house was enlarged then and in the 19th century. Substantial additions have been made to the north and west since 1980.
BRAISWICK seems to have originated as a medieval freehold and may have been associated with Thomas de Bray who in 1258 acquired 2 messuages, 61 a. of land, 5 a. of meadow, 8 a. of wood, and 12d. rent in Mile End and Lexden. Before 1431 Thomas Godstone devised certain lands, rents, and services in Braiswick to his brother John Godstone who appears to have sold the land in 1437. (fn. 36) In 1438 John Stopingdon, archdeacon of Colchester, gave St. John's abbey a messuage, 200 a. of land, 3 a. of meadow, and 140 a. of wood in Mile End and Lexden called Braiswick which he held partly of the abbey and partly of Lexden manor. (fn. 37) The abbey kept the land until the Dissolution when it was granted to Thomas Cromwell. On his attainder in 1540 it reverted to the Crown and was granted in 1544 to Francis Jobson, his wife Elizabeth, Robert Heneage, and Richard Duke, who conveyed it to George Sayer in 1546 when it was referred to as a manor. (fn. 38) The male line of the Sayer family failed in the mid 17th century. (fn. 39) Braiswick farm contained 113 a. in Mile End and Lexden in 1803. (fn. 40) In 1930 the earl of Winchilsea, a descendant of the Heneage family, claimed to be the lord of Braiswick manor. (fn. 41)
Braiswick Farm, Mile End, has at its centre the hall and eastern parlour range of a late medieval house. An upper floor and a chimney were inserted into the hall, which retains its smoke-blackened roof, in the 17th century, and in the 18th century a brick range with a symmetrical eastern elevation was built alongside the parlour wing, which was remodelled internally at the same time. The original service end or wing was rebuilt to a smaller scale, probably in the 18th century, and in the 19th minor additions were made on the north side. The house formed the north side of a courtyard of farm buildings, now destroyed, which included timber-framed and thatched barns. (fn. 42)
TUBSWICK took its name from Richard Tubbe, bailiff of Colchester 1296-7, who had crops and stock worth £6 16s. 8d. there in 1296. It was given for the endowment of Eleanor's chantry in 1349, and on the chantry's dissolution in 1548 it passed to the corporation. (fn. 43) The early 18th-century Tubswick farmhouse, part of the Kingswood estate, has a main range of brick and a symmetrical south front of three open and two blind bays. There are 19th- and 20th-century additions along the north side.
Its name, recorded in 1168, implies that KINGSWOOD had belonged to the king, but it was in the hands of the burgesses of Colchester from 1130 or earlier until 1168 when Henry II reclaimed it allowing the townsmen to retain their common rights. (fn. 44) In 1535 Henry VIII restored Kingswood to the burgesses with the power of inclosure. (fn. 45) In 1576, at Queen Elizabeth's request, the Colchester corporation leased to Sir Thomas Heneage for 60 years 800 a. of inclosed land which became known as the Severalls, retaining 300 a. of uninclosed land. When the lease expired the land was let to several persons, notably to Thomas Lucas in 1656. (fn. 46) In 1722 the corporation leased to Daniel Defoe for 99 years the estate of Kingswood heath or the Severalls, together with Brinkley farm, and Tubswick. (fn. 47) Brinkley farm may have been the messuage called Swaynes and lands opposite Kingswood heath occupied by John Brinkley in 1599, associated with John Sweyn in the 14th century. (fn. 48) The corporation sold parts of the Severalls in the mid 19th century, established an isolation hospital in the 1880s on other parts, and sold 300 a. in 1904 for the development of a mental hospital. (fn. 49)
In the Middle Ages the Colchester burgesses had half year lands next to the town in the south of the parish and whole year common rights across the north. (fn. 50) There was a certain amount of piecemeal clearance of woodland at Mile End hall manor in the area surrounding Highwoods. In the 13th and 14th centuries the abbot of St. Osyth's and others inclosed groves which were apparently used for producing timber and as wood pasture. (fn. 51) In the 13th century timber from Kingswood was used at Dover castle and for repairs to Colchester castle. (fn. 52) Livestock included sheep: 33 sheep were sold at Mile End hall in 1386. (fn. 53) The names Tubswick and Braiswick suggest that they originated as pastoral farms; by 1296 Tubswick was a mixed farm which in 1348 contained 18 a. of arable land and 2 a. of wood; in 1438 Braiswick included 200 a. of land, presumably arable. (fn. 54) Smallholdings described as crofts that were hedged and ditched may have contained arable. (fn. 55) A field called Little Ryeland was mentioned in 1418 indicating that rye was grown there at some time. (fn. 56)
Barley-growing was recorded in 1566 and 1583. (fn. 57) A survey of 1599 covering 609 a. of fields in the parish described 22 per cent as arable and 10 per cent as meadow, about three-quarters of each subject to commoning rights, and 68 per cent as coarse pasture and hay ground held in severalty; 100 a. at Mile End hall was included, in similar proportions; and 153 a. of the Severalls, recently inclosed parts of the Kingswood estate, was listed. (fn. 58) In the later 17th century grain, including wheat, and peas and beans were grown in Castle grove, former woodland in the south. (fn. 59) Arable farming increased as the inclosure of woodland and waste progressed. (fn. 60) By 1708 25 a. of the 40 a. of Chesterwell wood had been converted into 5 closes. (fn. 61)
In 1767 the Severalls estate, containing 816 a. of 'rich pasture and arable', with common rights on a further 230 a., was said to be let to 'responsible tenants'. (fn. 62) In 1778 land tax of £202, the corporation paying over a third of it, was paid by Mile End, seventh of the 16 Colchester parishes. The only other significant landowner was the non-resident lady of the manor. (fn. 63) Throughout the 18th century parishioners were still mainly tenant farmers and poor agricultural labourers living in scattered farms and cottages. (fn. 64) By 1801 just over half the land in the parish was cultivated: wheat, oats, turnips or rape, and barley were the main crops, but peas, beans, potatoes, and a little rye were also grown. (fn. 65) In 1821, when the lease of the Severalls was surrendered, the borough relet the land in smaller units. (fn. 66) Mile End hall, mainly an arable farm which was mostly heavy clay and hilly, was 'well managed' by the Lucas family's tenant in 1824, using a rotation of barley, clover or peas, wheat, and beans on the heavier land and turnips on the lighter land. (fn. 67) Local farmers in the early 19th century regarded Mile End farm labourers as sober, steady, and hardworking, but low wages and fear of unemployment caused by the new threshing machines led the labourers to participate in 1816 and 1830 in the machinebreaking and incendiarism more widespread in other north Essex parishes. (fn. 68)
By 1841 more than three quarters of the parish was arable land, with 16 farmers and 111 agricultural labourers out of a total population of 596. The corporation owned almost half the parish in 1842, nearly a third of it leased to William Wyncoll and the rest in small portions; Thomas Philip, Earl de Grey, lord of the manor, owned almost a quarter of the parish. (fn. 69) Although Mile End remained in appearance predominantly agricultural until the end of the 19th century and the number of people employed on the land fluctuated only slightly, farming occupied a declining proportion of the employed population, over half working on the land in 1841, but less than a third in 1881. (fn. 70) Employment was increasingly available on the railway and in shops and other service industries in Colchester; few people worked in factories, though much outwork was done for Colchester clothing firms. (fn. 71)
There was no large-scale industry in the parish. Potters were living in the north-west part in the late 12th and the 13th century, attracted by the clay, water, and scrub, and by a ready market in Colchester. (fn. 72) By the 15th century bricks and tiles were made from clay dug on Kingswood heath, and gravel was extracted in the parish. (fn. 73) By the 1840s brickworks east of the railway station employed 10 or more men, and bricks were still being made there at the end of the century. (fn. 74) There is evidence of domestic weaving in 1576, perhaps connected with the presence of Dutch people at about that time. (fn. 75) Nursery gardening, particularly rose-growing, became important from c. 1870 when Messrs. D. Prior and Sons set up their general nurseries. Frank Cant established a rose farm at Braiswick in 1875, and his uncle, Benjamin Cant, developed rose grounds near the station in 1879. (fn. 76)
LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND POOR RELIEF.
A manor court was held in the 16th century and presumably earlier. (fn. 77) No vestry records before 1810 survive, (fn. 78) but there were two churchwardens in 1448 and constables c. 1655. (fn. 79) In the early 19th century two churchwardens, two overseers, and surveyors, constables, and assessors were usually appointed each year, presumably continuing an existing pattern. Vestry meetings were held at Easter and occasionally at other times, usually at the church, but also sometimes at the Dog and Pheasant in the parish, and once at the Waggon and Horses in Colchester. The average attendance was eight and usually included the rector. A committee of five was appointed in 1836 to revise and equalize the rating assessment.
Applications for poor relief were dealt with in 1822-3 at weekly meetings of a select vestry, consisting mainly or entirely of parish officers together with the rector, and between 1824 and 1833 at monthly vestry meetings. Usually from two to seven people attended, but after 1823 the rector was not often present. In 1832-3 one person each week from a rota of wealthier parishioners served with an overseer at the church.
Poor relief was given in cash and kind. In the winter of 1822-3 regular weekly cash payments ranging from 1s. to 6s. were paid to 29 parishioners. A list of poor families in 1826 included 145 persons, about a third of the population, of whom 60 per cent were children. Financial help was granted for medical, funeral, and lodging expenses. Unemployment was high in the 1820s and 1830s. The parish sometimes employed men, for example at the local gravel pit, but there does not appear to have been any consistent policy. A poor widow was paid to clean the church in 1826-7. Children were sometimes boarded out within the parish; one child was apprenticed to a printer in London in 1829. A workhouse mentioned in 1829 was probably outside the parish.
The annual cost of poor relief was £140 in 1776 and averaged £170 in 1783-5. Expenditure reached £747 in 1812, equivalent to over £2 a head, but fell to £395 in 1814, and then fluctuated between £440 and £695 during the period 1816-25. After rising to £722 in 1831, or £1 10s. 3d. a head, it had fallen to £493 by 1835 when Mile End parish became part of the Colchester poor law union. (fn. 80) Mile End was always a poor parish and before 1835 its expenditure on poor relief per head appears to have been significantly higher than any of the other 16 Colchester parishes. In 1845 low agricultural wages were still often insufficient to support a family, and the vestry agreed to a voluntary levy on ratepayers to supply temporary relief to able-bodied labourers with large families to prevent the break-up of families by the workhouse test. (fn. 81)
Mile End was part of St. Peter's parish in the early 13th century, but had become a separate parish by 1254 when St. Botolph's priory held the advowson of the rectory. (fn. 82) The patronage remained with the priory until the Dissolution when it was granted to Sir Thomas Audley (d. 1544). (fn. 83) He devised it to his brother Thomas, who sold it before 1551 to John Lucas, in whose family it descended, with the manor of Mile End or Abbotts, until 1919 when Nan Ino, Lady Lucas, granted the advowson to Balliol College, Oxford. (fn. 84)
The rectory was valued in 1254 at £3 6s. 8d., from which 6s. 8d. a year was paid to the prior of St. Botolph's. (fn. 85) The living was vacant in 1443 because of its poverty. (fn. 86) In 1535 the value was £7 10s. (fn. 87) In 1650 the tithes were worth £50 and the house and glebe £30, but in 1681 the tithes of Castle grove and parts of the parish which had belonged to St. John's abbey were in dispute. (fn. 88) In 1835 the income was £521. (fn. 89) Tithes on 2,164 a. were commuted in 1842 for a yearly rent charge of £567, but in 1851 the living was said to be worth only £572, including £70 from the glebe. (fn. 90) In 1898 the tithe rent charge of £567 provided almost all the rector's income. (fn. 91)
In 1637 there were c. 27 a. of glebe. (fn. 92) More land was evidently acquired later. In 1840 and 1844-8 c. 30 a. were sold to the Eastern Counties Railway Company, but c. 11 a. adjoining the parsonage house were bought for the living in 1847. (fn. 93) About 24 a. of glebe were sold in 1919, and most of the remainder in 1927, partly for building plots. (fn. 94)
A rectory house was recorded in 1374, and the same or a subsequent house was in ruins in 1584. (fn. 95) The house recorded in 1650 may have been the one being repaired in 1723, which in 1727 was still unfit for the rector's family. By 1810 a subsequent rector was living there. (fn. 96) The house was demolished in 1842 and a larger one built, apparently on the same site beside the church, to plans by the local builder Samuel Grimes. The house was modernized c. 1922, but was itself demolished and replaced in 1972 by a new house, built on part of its garden. (fn. 97)
From 1353 a regular succession of rectors was recorded, although many in the Middle Ages served only briefly. A third of the rectors recorded between 1310 and 1542 were pluralists, four of them holding other Colchester livings. (fn. 98) A rector named John, presumably John Arrowsmith instituted in 1371, lost a wrestling match in 1372 for two qr. of corn and then refused to hand it over; in 1374 he was accused of violently assaulting another man's female servant and detaining her for five weeks in the rectory. (fn. 99)
Churchwardens conformed to the protestant changes of the mid 16th century: by 1548 they had sold church goods, including a rail and hanging for a statue, and a painted cloth from the sepulchre. (fn. 100) William Fiske, instituted in 1551, was one of the married clergy deprived by the bishop. (fn. 101) William Lyon, rector in 1560, performed his duties uncontroversially but Thomas Knevett, presented by Sir Thomas Lucas in 1585, was suspended the following year for preaching without a licence. He was accused in 1587 of failing to use the ring in marriage, or make the sign of the cross, or wear a surplice, and in 1593 of omitting part of the service when he preached and of failing to hold a service on Easter day. He survived to be listed by his fellow puritans as 'diligent and sufficient' in 1604. He died in possession of Mile End in 1626. (fn. 102) The conformist Thomas Talcott, rector of St. Mary's-at-the-Walls 1604-41, was rector from 1625 until his death in 1641. (fn. 103) Nevertheless the church was ill equipped in 1633. (fn. 104) Thomas Eyres, rector from 1644, was deprived of his other living at Great Horkesley in 1646 but kept Mile End until 1673. (fn. 105)
William Smythies, rector 1687-1719, an outspoken critic of popish and High Church tendencies, was a close friend of the writer Daniel Defoe, who held the Severalls estate in the parish. (fn. 106) His son Palmer, rector 1720-76, was also master of Colchester grammar school and rector and master of St. Mary Magdalen's church and hospital. (fn. 107) He lived in Colchester, for many years at the school, and served both parishes himself, with the help of assistant curates, among them, in 1770, George Pattrick, later a popular preacher in London. (fn. 108) Thomas Bland, rector 1777-89, served the cure when his health permitted during the half of each year which he lived in Colchester. (fn. 109) In 1723 Palmer Smythies held only one Sunday service and celebrated communion four times a year, an arrangement that continued throughout the 18th century. (fn. 110) There were c. 40 communicants in 1778. (fn. 111)
For most of the 19th century the church was served by two rectors: Philip Strong (1818-49), and Edmund Hall (1855-1903). By 1810 Sunday services had been increased to two, except in winter. (fn. 112) In 1841 of the 107 families in the parish 85 were said to belong to the church. In 1851 average attendances of 200 in the morning and 250 in the afternoon (including 60 Sunday school children at each service) were reported out of a population of 870, and the rector claimed that many people were turned away for lack of seats. (fn. 113) He started a subscription fund for the new church which was consecrated in 1855. From 1906 the school, built in 1871 with materials from the old church, was used as a church hall. (fn. 114)
In 1920 the average church attendance was 150-175. The parish was described in 1922 as 'distinctly Evangelical', but not extreme. (fn. 115) Social work was important, and the hymnologist W. J. L. Sheppard, rector 1926-32, found the rapidly growing, poor parish a demanding one. (fn. 116) Church life and worship in 1985 centred on the weekly parish communion, and St. Michael's church had close links with Mile End Methodist church, sharing a church magazine. (fn. 117)
The medieval church of ST. MICHAEL, which was apparently left to fall down in the late 19th century, stood on the east side of Mile End Road a mile north of Colchester, and comprised chancel, aisleless nave, and south porch. (fn. 118) Fragments of 14th- or 15th-century stonework survived on the site in 1987. From 1582 the church was frequently reported to be in need of repair, and c. 1700 the eastern part of the ruined chancel was demolished and a new east wall built. A western gallery and perhaps the wooden bell turret at the west end of the nave were built at the same time. (fn. 119) By the mid 19th century the building was dilapidated and too small for the parish. A new church, designed by E. Hakewill in the Early English style, was built in 1854-5 half a mile north of the old one on a site given by Thomas Philip Weddell, Earl de Grey, the patron. It comprises chancel, nave with north aisle, west tower, and south porch. (fn. 120) An organ chamber, choir vestries, and clergy vestry were added on the north side of the chancel in 1933-4. (fn. 121)
There was no bell in 1683, and the archdeacon suggested buying one from an abandoned church. (fn. 122) If a bell was bought, it was not moved to the 19th-century church which has a clock bell of 1887 and two bells of 1897, hung for chiming. (fn. 123) The plate includes an inscribed silver chalice and paten of 1660, and a 17th-century almsdish. (fn. 124) An early 19th-century octagonal brick font, discovered during excavations on the site of the medieval church c. 1972, was placed in the Colchester museum. (fn. 125)
Twelve nonconformists were recorded in 1676, but no more were reported until 1778 when the rector noted one Independent family. (fn. 126) There was a licensed Methodist preacher c. 1796 and a licensed meeting house with frequent visiting preachers and a considerable following. By 1810 all but three families were alleged by the rector to have returned to the church, but Wesleyan Methodists were meeting in the parish in 1829. (fn. 127)
A Primitive Methodist chapel, in the Hadleigh (Suff.) circuit, was built in the high road in 1840 when there were 21 members. It reported congregations of 22 in the afternoon and 38 in the evening on Census Sunday 1851. (fn. 128) Mile End had been transferred to the Colchester (Artillery Street) circuit by 1860. By then numbers had fallen to 7 but the chapel was rebuilt in 1866. There was only one member in 1887 and the chapel was closed and let to the Quakers for an adult school. (fn. 129)
Mile End (former Wesleyan) Methodist church, Nayland Road, originated in 1884 with mission work by Wesleyans from Culver Street church, Colchester. (fn. 130) A small chapel was built in 1895 and a school hall added in 1930. (fn. 131) In 1972 the minister also served Boxted, West Bergholt, and Marks Tey. (fn. 132)
Mile End chapel, on Mile End heath, registered in 1860 by its minister Henry Wyncoll, a local farmer, for evangelical protestant dissenters, was probably the one in Mill Road known as Providence Independent chapel. It had presumably closed by 1878 when the building was offered to the Wesleyan Methodists. (fn. 133)
In 1833 there was a Church day school with 24 children and a Sunday school with 50, both partly maintained by the rector Philip Strong. (fn. 134) The school had failed by 1844 when, because the population was increasing rapidly, Strong invited subscriptions for a new school which was soon established in premises opposite the rectory. By 1846 it had 35 children, 15 more attended on Sundays, and both schools were supported by subscriptions and pence. (fn. 135) By 1861 the day school had c. 100 children. (fn. 136) In 1871 a school for 137 with a teacher's house was built in Mile End Road of materials from the old church. (fn. 137) The school received a government building grant and annual grants from 1872. (fn. 138) It was enlarged in 1884 for 170 children but by 1891 more than 200 attended. (fn. 139) Overcrowding was relieved by the opening of North Street board school in 1894. (fn. 140) In 1907 Mile End school was replaced by a new council school for 350 in Mill Road, and the old school was demolished in 1927. (fn. 141)
The Gilberd school, North Hill, is discussed above. (fn. 142)