Little Warley

A History of the County of Essex: Volume 7. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1978.

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'Little Warley', in A History of the County of Essex: Volume 7, (London, 1978) pp. 174-180. British History Online [accessed 24 April 2024]

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Little Warley lies 3 miles south of Brentwood. between Great Warley and Childerditch. (fn. 1) The ancient parish comprised 1,691 a.; it included a detached part of 96 a. which lay in Corringham and was transferred to that parish in 1882. (fn. 2) The main part was about 3½ miles long, sloping from a wooded ridge to the Thames plain. The parish was rural and thinly populated until the 19th century, when barracks were built at its northern end. They were closed in 1959, but were replaced in 1964 by the new central offices of the Ford Motor Co. (fn. 3) In 1934 Little Warley, previously in Billericay rural district, was divided at the railway line between the urban districts of Billericay (later Basildon) and Brentwood. (fn. 4) In 1938 the area south of the railway was transferred from Billericay to Thurrock U.D. (fn. 5)

The terrain drops from 375 ft. in the north of the parish to 25 ft. in the south, and the soil consists of London clay over a stiff loam. (fn. 6) Several streams flow southward: one, which separates Little Warley from Great Warley to the west, joins another stream from Childerditch before flowing into the Mardyke.

Little Warley has always been sparsely populated. Twelve inhabitants were recorded in 1086, and in 1671 there were only 23 houses occupied. (fn. 7) There were 169 inhabitants in 1801, 163 in 1831, and 216 in 1841. (fn. 8) By 1851 the population of the parish had risen to 988, of whom 644 were soldiers. The other 344 included, however, the officers' and men's families and the permanent population of the parish was probably about 250, the highest figure it ever reached while Little Warley was a separate parish. Between 1861 and 1931 permanent population numbered between 150 and 200. (fn. 9)

The road pattern of Little Warley has remained virtually unchanged for the past two centuries and probably for much longer. (fn. 10) The village lies in the centre of the parish, along Magpie Lane as it runs westward from Childerditch. At Clapgates Magpie Lane is joined from the SW. by Bird Lane. It then turns north up Warley Gap, swinging west into Great Warley near the Headley Arms, formerly the Magpie, from which the lane took its name. (fn. 11) Hall Lane runs south from the village for 2½ miles to Old Englands. Eagle Way, which is now a wide road running across the north of the parish, past the Ford offices, originated as a track over Little Warley common. In the early 19th century, after the inclosure of the common and the building of the barracks, it became Barrack Road. At its western end Eagle Way joins Warley Hill, running down to Brentwood station. At its eastern end it joins Hartswood Road, to Shenfield Common, the Avenue, to Ingrave, and Childerditch Lane, which runs south past Scrub Hill. The Eastern Counties railway from London to Brentwood, opened in 1840, was extended to Chelmsford and Colchester in 1843. (fn. 12) The London, Tilbury and Southend railway extension from Upminster to Pitsea, opened in 1886, crossed Little Warley north of St. Mary's Lane, the nearest station being at East (now West) Horndon. (fn. 13) The Southend arterial road, opened in 1925, cut the parish in two, isolating the church. (fn. 14)

Before the 19th century settlement was scattered through the parish. Old Englands in the extreme south is a 17th-century farm-house. (fn. 15) A mile north lie the church, which in its present form dates from the 15th century, and the Hall of the early 16th century. (fn. 16) The former rectory, rebuilt in 1858, stands on an older site about a mile north of the church. In Magpie Lane are Little Bassetts, a 17th-century farm-house, and the weatherboarded Blue House Farm of the 18th century. (fn. 17) Clapgate Farm, of c. 1700, was destroyed by bombing in 1945. (fn. 18) In the north of the parish, on an unidentified site, there was a beacon in 1626; its name was preserved in the late 18th century by Beacon House Farm and by the 'cottages at the Beacon' in 1794. (fn. 19)

In the 18th century the common was used for military camps. (fn. 20) Brentwood races were also held there; the course for the two-day meeting lay partly under the site of the later barracks. (fn. 21) In 1746 Denner Bennett, the lord of the manor, kept the Bull on Warley common, the only alehouse in the parish. (fn. 22) By 1769 it had been succeeded by the Greyhound, in Magpie Lane. (fn. 23)

The modern history of the parish began with the sale of 116 a. of Warley common in 1805, and the subsequent building of the barracks. (fn. 24) The sale had been made by George Winn (d. 1827), who, c. 1820 built (Little) Warley Lodge. (fn. 25) This is a large house in stock brick looking over the village from the southern rim of Ellens Wood. It was occupied by a succession of tenants in the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1953 it was bought for use as a mental hospital by the South Ockendon hospital group. (fn. 26) The first patients were admitted in 1955. In 1974 the hospital was transferred to the Barking and Havering area health authority. (fn. 27)

After the Second World War some bungalows were built in Hall Lane north of the Southend arterial road; and in the 1960s, after the closure of the barracks, the Ford Motor Co. built central offices on part of the site. (fn. 28) Almost opposite, Brentwood U.D.C built houses on 31 a. of the barrack ground on a site now bounded by Eagle Way, Warley Hill, and The Drive. (fn. 29) In 1975 Brett Essex golf club was opened on 118 a. of the former Clapgate farm. (fn. 30) The Warley Sports Centre, Holden's Wood, which was also opened in 1975, includes a golf range and a ski slope. (fn. 31)


In 1066 the manor of (LITTLE) WARLEY, which comprised the greater part of the modern parish, was held by Guert as 4 hides less 15 acres, but William I gave the manor to William, bishop of London (d. 1075), as an old possession of his see. (fn. 32) In 1507 the manor was still held of the bishop by fealty and the payment of 18s. a year. (fn. 33)

In 1086 Tascelin the priest held 15 a. of the manor; Humfrey held the rest. (fn. 34) The demesne lordship of the manor later passed to the family of Setmels (de Septem Molis), which came from Sept Meules in Normandy (Seine Inf.), and from which the manor became known in the Middle Ages as WARLEY SETMELS. (fn. 35) In 1166 William Setmels held 2¾ unidentified knights' fees of the bishop of London, and c. 1210 Robert Setmels held a carucate in Warley as 1 fee. (fn. 36) In 1212 Michael of Huntingdon held Warley as guardian of the heir of Ralph Setmels. (fn. 37) William Setmels, who was lord of the manor in the mid 13th century, apparently lost his reason and squandered his estates. (fn. 38) By 1259 he had surrendered the manor and advowson to the bishop of London in return for nominal sums to his wife and eldest son, and for 20 marks down, 6 marks a year for life, and the bishop's protection for himself. After his death his heirs were to warrant the charter of transfer to the bishop.

John de Belmeis was holding the manor in 1272. (fn. 39) Parnel de Belmeis, probably his widow, was holding it at her death in 1295, as tenant of the heirs of Philip Burnel (d. 1294). (fn. 40) In other Essex estates Burnel had succeeded his uncle, the acquisitive Robert Burnel, bishop of Bath and Wells and chancellor of England (d. 1292). (fn. 41) It therefore seems likely that Philip's rights in Little Warley had also come to him as the bishop's heir; but there is no later reference to their interest in the manor. Malcolm de Belmeis, son and heir of Parnel, granted the advowson of Little Warley in 1301 to Richard of Gravesend, bishop of London; in 1305 he conveyed the reversion of the manor, after his death, to William Cosyn and his wife Emme. (fn. 42) Cosyn, apparently of London, was still alive in 1331. (fn. 43) In 1346 it was stated that the knight's fee formerly held by Maurice de Belmeis had been split into four: one quarter was held by Thomas of Gravesend and the rector, one by the prior of Thoby and the abbot of Coggeshall, one by the prior of Christchurch (Hants.), and one by William of Bakeswell. (fn. 44)

By 1372 John of Fyfield, mercer of London, held the manor. (fn. 45) In 1382 he conveyed it to another London mercer, John Lovey, but retained a lifeinterest for himself and his wife Idony. (fn. 46) Fyfield and his wife were still alive in 1390. (fn. 47) In 1413 the manor passed to William Parker, son of William Parker deceased, also a London mercer. (fn. 48) John Eton, of London, held the manor in 1428. (fn. 49) He, or another John Eton, died in 1453, leaving Little Warley to his infant daughter Isabel. (fn. 50)

In 1504 Richard Gilmyn and his wife Alice quitclaimed a third of Little Warley manor to Sir Robert Tyrell, Robert Cornwallis, Thomas Glantham, and Cornwallis's heirs. (fn. 51) Within the next year or two Glantham and Humphrey Tyrell sued Sir Robert for refusing to complete a sale of the whole manor, a third of which was then said to be held by Anne Petit. (fn. 52) Humphrey Tyrell held two-thirds of the manor at his death in 1507, but his son Sir John Tyrell (d. 1541) and grandson John Tyrell (d. 1586) held the whole manor. (fn. 53) The latter's daughter and heir Mary married Thomas, second son of Edward Clinton, earl of Lincoln (d. 1585); (fn. 54) in 1600 Thomas and Mary Clinton sold Little Warley to Edward Denner. (fn. 55)

Denner's daughter and heir Elizabeth (d. 1626) married John Strutt of Hadleigh. (fn. 56) Their son and heir, Sir Denner Strutt, Bt. (d. 1661), was survived by two daughters. In the division of his estate Blanch (d. 1671), the wife of Thomas Bennett, took Little Warley, and was succeeded in the direct line by her son (d. 1741), grandson (d. 1742), and great-grandson (d. 1779), all of whom were named Denner Bennett. In 1759 the youngest Denner Bennett sold the manor to John Fisher, who in 1772 sold it to George Winn (d. 1798), later Lord Headley. (fn. 57) He already held the manor of Great Warley, with which Little Warley descended until 1919. (fn. 58) In that year Essex county council bought Little Warley Hall and 117 a. from Mrs. Llewellyn. (fn. 59) The Hall was separated from the estate in 1920 and sold to Mr. J. L. McConnell; in the 1930s it was the home of the actress Mary Clare. It was owned in 1975 by Mr. Jack C. Harris. (fn. 60) In 1955 Mrs. Llewellyn's daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. K. M. Fardell, sold 140 a. of common to Brentwood U.D.C. (fn. 61)

Little Warley Hall stands beside the church south of the arterial road. Fragments of a moat to the south and west of the house suggest that this is an old site. The existing house is probably the product of a partial rebuilding of the early 16th century. It is of red brick, decorated with patterns of black headers, and represents the two-storeyed porch, hall, hall-chamber, and part of the service-end of the 16th-century house. In 1568, when it was attacked by yeomen and others from Little Warley, it was described as 'Little Warley Hall, otherwise Castle Warley.' (fn. 62) Until the later 19th century a plaster-fronted range of the 17th century, with two north gables, extended westwards, presumably containing parlours. (fn. 63) In the 19th century both the hall and its chamber were partitioned and an early-17th-century stair was reconstructed and reset against the south wall, to the west of the original garderobe. The house has been several times restored in the present century.

The manor or farm of DAME ELLENS or DAME ELYNS lay in the north of the parish and has left its name in Ellens Wood. It may have been associated with the family of Elyne or Heleyne recorded in the 13th and 14th centuries, but its early decent has not been traced. (fn. 64) Henry VIII granted it with other properties to Waltham Abbey c. 1536 in exchange for Copped Hall, Epping. (fn. 65) In 1540, at the Dissolution, it passed briefly to Thomas Cromwell, earl of Essex, and in 1541 it was among other Essex properties granted to Anne of Cleves for life. (fn. 66) The Crown sold the reversion of several of these properties, including Dame Ellens, to Sir William Petre in 1544, and in the same year he leased them from Anne of Cleves. (fn. 67) In 1559 Petre transferred Dame Ellens to John Tyrell, (fn. 68) and from that time it appears to have descended with Little Warley manor. (fn. 69)

In 1586 Dame Ellens contained 20 a. arable, 40 a. pasture, 60 a. wood, and 100 a. heath. (fn. 70) It included 140 a. woodland in 1686, and c. 1725 was said to be worth £80. (fn. 71) It seems to have been held by tenants until 1772, but in that year George Winn, later Lord Headley, bought the estate and took it in hand. (fn. 72) Warley Lodge was later built on the wood's southern flank. (fn. 73)

The estate called (OLD) ENGLANDS, or INGLONDES, lies in the south of the parish. At his death in 1507 Humphrey Tyrell was holding it of the bishop of London. (fn. 74) In 1589 it was held by Richard Luther (d. 1639), of Kelvedon Hatch. (fn. 75) By 1601 he had leased it to (Sir) John Morris, son-in-law of Sir Gabriel Poyntz of North Ockendon; it was then reckoned at 120 a., or as 1 plough-land. (fn. 76) Luther's son and heir, Anthony Luther (d. 1665), and Anthony's grandson Edward Luther (d. 1734), both enlarged the estate, which in 1729 comprised 180 a. (fn. 77) Englands was normally leased to tenants, whose sequence can be established, almost without interruption, from that time. (fn. 78)

The estate appears to have descended to Edward Luther's son, Richard (d. 1767), but in 1781 Mrs. Gibson was the owner. (fn. 79) She was followed by George Gibson, 1782–1806, and Daniel Pettiward, 1807–32. (fn. 80) In 1835 Thomas Cawkwell (d. 1840) owned and occupied the farm. (fn. 81) His widow apparently still owned it in 1863, but William Tanner, the tenant from c. 1842, later became the owner. (fn. 82) He, and his widow from c. 1875, farmed Englands until 1885, when mortgagees foreclosed. (fn. 83) James Crane, their tenant from 1886, bought the farm with 173 a. in 1911, and it has continued in his family to the present. (fn. 84)

Old Englands is a 17th-century farm-house. (fn. 85) Its SW. wing, now the kitchen, was formerly open to the roof and may be older than the rest of the house. Having fallen into disrepair, the house was extensively renovated c. 1910 when the exterior was weatherboarded.


Little Warley has always been a mainly agricultural parish. In 1086 there were 2 plough-teams on the demesne and 3 belonging to the tenants, woodland for 700 swine, and marshland pasture for 100 sheep. (fn. 86) Since 1066 one plough-team had disappeared from the demesne; otherwise there had been no change.

The most striking Domesday figure is that relating to swine-pastures, which shows that Little Warley was one of the most densely wooded places in Essex. At that time the north of the manor probably consisted mainly of woodland and scrub, some of which still survives as Little Warley common. (fn. 87) In 1257 Coggeshall Abbey was licensed to inclose 300 a. of heath in Childerditch and Little Warley. (fn. 88) Dame Ellens appears to have been won from the common in the Middle Ages. (fn. 89) The most northerly parts of the common were sold to the War office in 1805, but in 1838 the parish still contained 140 a. of common, at Warley Gap (44 a.) and Scrub Hill (96 a.), which have never been inclosed, (fn. 90) as well as 190 a. of woods, all in the north. (fn. 91) In 1946 over 1,000 trees, mostly oak, chestnut, beech, and birch, were felled in Ellens Wood. (fn. 92)

The marshland sheep-pasture of 1086 was detached from the main body of the parish. (fn. 93) In the 19th century it comprised 80 a. pasture and 16 a. arable, locally situated between Holehaven and Shellhaven creeks in Corringham. (fn. 94)

In 1295 the demesne land of Little Warley manor included 283 a. arable and 33 a. meadow and pasture. (fn. 95) In the early 16th century there were 340 a. arable, 80 a. meadow, and 10 a. wood. (fn. 96) Excluding the detached portion, the parish in 1838 contained 673 a. of arable and 498 a. of pasture in 15 holdings. Two, including the largest (236 a.), belonged to the Petres and were let with Childerditch farms. Three had between 107 a. and 161 a., and another 3 totalling 168 a. were farmed as a single unit. Two holdings of 45 a. and 17 a. were similarly farmed together; 4 of the remaining 5 holdings had between 38 a. and 59 a.; the last had 17 a. (fn. 97) In the late 19th century much arable was converted to pasture: in 1916 there were 632 a. of pasture and meadow and only 198 a. of arable. (fn. 98) Four farms had between 104 a. and 212 a.; the other 6 holdings, worked as 5, had between 17 a. and 52 a. (fn. 99) There was little further change in land use before 1975 when Mr. J. D. Brett began to turn much of Clapgate farm into a golf course. (fn. 100)

About 1835 a smock mill was built east of the junction of Magpie and Bird Lanes. It was wrecked by a gale in 1866. (fn. 101) There was a brick-maker in the parish in 1605; two fields on the western border of the parish were still styled Brick Kiln field in 1837. (fn. 102) There was a tannery at Little Warley from 1652 to 1769. It presumably lay in Tanners meadow NE. of the junction of Warley Gap and Magpie Lane. (fn. 103)

When the barracks were closed in 1959 the Ford Motor Co. bought 21 a. of the site of the barracks for their new British central offices opened in 1964. In 1967 the headquarters of Ford in Europe were also opened there. By 1975 the building accommodated 2,000 employees. (fn. 104)


A temporary military camp was set up in 1742 on Warley common, in Great and Little Warley. (fn. 105) The common was used for other camps on several later occasions in the 18th century. (fn. 106) The 1778 camp was visited by George III and by Dr. Samuel Johnson. (fn. 107)

In 1805 the War Office bought 116 a. of the common and built permanent barracks for two troops of horse artillery. From 1806 to 1815 Warley House, formerly on the SE. corner of Eagle Way and Warley Hill, seems to have been the commandant's quarters. (fn. 108) Various army units used the barracks until 1832, after which they lay empty for a decade.

The East India Company bought the barracks for £15,000 in 1843, and in the next 15 years greatly altered and added to the buildings, further land being purchased in 1858. In 1861 the India Office transferred the barracks once more to the War Office. From 1873 until their closure in 1959 Warley barracks were the depot of the Essex Regiment. (fn. 109) In 1961 Brentwood U.D.C. bought 59 a., and the Ford Motor Company 21 a. (fn. 110) The barracks were demolished, and Ford's central office was opened in 1964. (fn. 111)

The barracks were of yellow brick in the plain style typical of early-19th-century military buildings. On the main (east) front a central block of 7 bays and 2½ storeys was joined by a single-storeyed wall to 2 wing-blocks, each of 9 bays and 2 storeys, capped with 3-bay pediments. The chapel, which survives, was designed by Sir Matthew Wyatt in 1857 in an Italianate style, in yellow brick trimmed with red. (fn. 112) The campanile was added in 1957. The furnishings of the chapel were designed by Sir Charles Nicholson. (fn. 113) A few other military buildings survive, including a pair of semi-detached married quarters, of 1892, in Chindits Lane, Great Warley. The 20thcentury officers' mess became the Marillac hospital in 1963. (fn. 114)


No records of manorial courts survive for Little Warley. There are parish vestry minutes for 1718–71 and overseers' accounts and rates for 1749–95. (fn. 115)

In the 18th century vestry meetings were held only once or twice a year, and the rector or, usually, the assistant curate took the chair. Five or six of the more substantial farmers normally attended the meetings, and they shared the parish offices among them. There were two churchwardens between 1719 and 1730, and despite a distinction drawn between the 'nominal' one and the one who was 'to act', both submitted accounts of their expenditure. There was only one warden after 1730; from 1733 he was appointed by the rector. From 1718 to 1750 there was a single overseer of the poor; thereafter two were often appointed, but the account was still submitted in the name of one. When Thomas Biggs died in 1757, his widow Elizabeth succeeded him as overseer. She again held the office in the years 1763–5 and 1779–81, but usually acted through her son, John Biggs. Little Warley had a single constable; at the end of the century this office was combined with that of church clerk, a post to which there were appointments in 1725 and from 1763. There were usually two surveyors.

The rateable value of the parish was £570 in 1749. It was continuously revised, and by 1794 was £926. By 1815 it had risen to £1,630, but it later declined, presumably because of the closing of the camp; in 1837 it was £1,122. (fn. 116)

In the early 18th century Little Warley had few poor. In 1723 there were only four regular pensioners who were apparently paid monthly. Poor children were sometimes bound as apprentices within the parish, but the practice was unpopular, and in 1768 the vestry resolved to end it. Out-relief was given throughout the century. The homeless poor were boarded out, and since Little Warley had no workhouse of its own, two or three were sent to Great Warley workhouse from 1783. After the closure of Great Warley workhouse in 1830 Little Warley seems to have started using the house belonging to Chappington's charity as a poorhouse. (fn. 117)

In the earlier 18th century medical treatment was provided on a casual basis, as in 1719 when Richard Twydell, surgeon, agreed to take 5 guineas if he cured a patient, but only 2 guineas if the patient died under his hand. About 1750, however, the parish appears to have retained a doctor for a decade or more at 2 guineas a year. Thereafter no regular retainer seems to have been paid until 1788.

In the three years 1782–5 approximately 86 per cent of the overseer's expenditure was spent on the poor. (fn. 118) If the proportion was constant in the 18th century, about £43 a year was spent on the poor in the period 1749–80, and about £82 in the period 1780–95. (fn. 119) From 1804 to 1817 expenditure on the poor averaged £195, in the worst years (1805–6 and 1812–13) reaching £281 and £265 respectively. (fn. 120) Comparable figures are not available for later years, but it seems likely that an improvement in 1816–17 was followed by greatly increased distress among the poor in 1817–19. (fn. 121) In 1835 Little Warley became part of Billericay poor-law union. (fn. 122)


The advowson of the rectory of Little Warley appears to have descended with the manor until 1301. (fn. 123) In that year Malcolm de Belmeis ceded it to Richard of Gravesend, bishop of London (d. 1303), as a personal possession. (fn. 124) From the bishop the advowson passed to his brother Sir Stephen of Gravesend, and then to Sir Stephen's son, another Stephen, also bishop of London (d. 1338). (fn. 125) In 1361 Sewel Michell of Canewdon presented to the rectory; in 1363 he granted the advowson to Sir Thomas Tyrell of Heron, in East Horndon, in whose family it remained for four centuries. (fn. 126) On the death of Sir John Tyrell, Bt., in 1766, his daughters Elizabeth, who died unmarried, and Mary (d. 1832) inherited the advowson. (fn. 127) Between 1777 and 1837 they, or their trustees, or Mary's husband, Arthur Gore, earl of Arran (d. 1837), made presentations to the rectory. (fn. 128) John Pearson, rector 1837–78, owned the advowson by 1848 and kept it until c. 1880. (fn. 129) It then passed to David Roberts (c. 1880 until c. 1904) and (Sir) J. Herbert Roberts (Bt.), later Lord Clwyd. (fn. 130) By 1932 James F. Hough, headmaster of Brentwood School, held the advowson. (fn. 131) In 1940 Little Warley and Childerditch were united, and the advowson of the united benefice was vested in Hough and the Martyrs Memorial Trust alternately. (fn. 132) Hough's share of the advowson passed in 1960 to Brentwood School. (fn. 133) In 1969 the benefice was vacated, and from 1970 to 1972 it was in the charge of the rector of East and West Horndon. A new union of benefices then occurred: Little Warley was separated from Childerditch, and joined with East and West Horndon, the advowson of the united benefice being vested in Brentwood School and the bishop of Chelmsford alternately. (fn. 134)

The rectory was valued at 7 marks in 1254 and 1291, £11 3s. 8d. in 1535, £80 in 1650, and £100 in the 18th century. (fn. 135) In 1837 the tithes were commuted for £287 10s. (fn. 136) The glebe apparently consisted of 2 a. in the 14th century, about 30 a. in the 17th century, and 38 a. in 1837. (fn. 137) In 1601 the rectory house stood about a mile north of the church. (fn. 138) It described in 1848 as a small lath-and-plaster building. (fn. 139) A new rectory, on the same site, replaced it c. 1858. (fn. 140) In 1972 it was sold by the Church Commissioners. (fn. 141)

The parishes of Little Warley and Childerditch were closely associated: in the second quarter of the 18th century they were described, with Great Warley, as 'one congregation, as it were', and in 1777 the vicar of Childerditch was also the assistant curate of Little Warley. (fn. 142) The rectors were usually nonresident, and the parish was served by curates almost continuously from 1718 to c. 1870. (fn. 143) The curate's stipend in the 18th century was £30 a year, but had risen in the early 19th century to £75 and fees. (fn. 144)

The rectors of Little Warley in the reign of Charles I were apparently Puritans. In 1629 Christopher Dennis, rector 1627–32, was among those petitioning the bishop on behalf of Thomas Hooker, and in 1634 Thimbleby Holden, rector 1632–53 appeared before the court of High Commission. (fn. 145) In 1649 Holden had to attend the County Committee, but was discharged without penalty, and in 1650 was described as 'an able, godly minister'. (fn. 146) His successor stayed at Little Warley only a few months, and at Michaelmas 1653 was followed by William Powell, formerly curate of Brentwood, who was ejected in 1662. (fn. 147)

The church of ST. PETER, which stands south of the arterial road to Southend, consists of chancel, nave, west tower, and south porch. (fn. 148) Frequent rebuilding suggests an unstable site. The nave was rebuilt in the 15th century, when a west tower was probably added. The chancel was rebuilt in brick in the 16th century, and the south porch, of timber on modern brick walls, is probably of the same date. The present brick tower was built in 1718, partly on earlier footings. More recent restorations include the 19th-century east wall of the chancel.

A gallery, no longer extant, contained in 1923 panelling of c. 1600, reset. In the nave three seats with moulded rails are of the early 16th century; one panelled back dates from c. 1600, as do the box-pews. The present pulpit incorporates elements of a 17th-century pulpit.

The church had three bells in 1552, but c. 1725 there was only one, which remains. It was probably cast by William Wodewarde c. 1400. (fn. 149) The church plate includes a cup of 1564. (fn. 150)

A brass commemorating Anne (d. 1592), wife successively of David Hanmer and John Tyrell, has been removed from its indent in the nave and placed in the chancel. The chancel also contains an alabaster monument of Mary (d. 1658), third wife of Sir Denner Strutt, Bt., reclining shrouded on her left elbow on a marble altar-tomb, and a double marble and alabaster monument to Sir Denner (d. 1661) and his first wife Mary (Staresmore, d. 1641). Mary lies on an altar-tomb, revealed by two cherubs drawing back a canopy; on a lower stage, probably added later, Sir Denner lies in plate-armour. An early-17thcentury figure of Father Time, formerly in the churchyard, has been set in the blocked north doorway of the nave.


Four dissenters 'at most' were reported in the parish in 1760, (fn. 151) but no record has been found of organized nonconformity at any date.


Thimbleby Holden, rector, conducted a school at Little Warley c. 1640. (fn. 152) In 1833 six girls from Little Warley were being sent daily to school at Great Warley by the curate, assisted by the family at Warley Lodge. (fn. 153) In 1842 there was a day and Sunday school at Little Warley; in 1846–7 it had 25 pupils and was supported by subscriptions and school pence. (fn. 154) In 1858 the house in Magpie Lane belonging to Hugh Chappington's charity was pulled down and replaced by a schoolroom with an almshouse at each end. (fn. 155) In 1901, when the building was improved, the school was certified as efficient by the Board of Education, but the certificate was not renewed in 1902 because the teacher was unqualified. In 1904 the school was taken over by the county council, which maintained it until 1907, when a new council school was opened opposite the old one. (fn. 156) In 1936 the school was reorganized for mixed juniors and infants. (fn. 157) In 1939 there were 64 pupils. (fn. 158) The school was closed in 1953; the children were transferred to Oglethorpe county primary school, Cranham. (fn. 159)


By the will of Hugh Chappington (d. c. 1693) the reversion to an estate in Little Warley with two tenements, called the Blue Ball and the Red Lion, was left, in default of heirs, to the poor of the parish. (fn. 161) Chappington's widow Eleanor and her husband Luke King surrendered their interests to the parish in 1706, but the lord of the manor claimed the Red Lion. In 1707 the parish agreed to his claim and in return was allowed to inclose 3 a. alongside the Blue Ball. (fn. 162) It was stated in 1837 that the rent of the house and 17 a. land (fn. 163) had normally been used to repair the house, pay the parish doctor, and provide money and coal for the poor. Since 1835, however, it had been improperly used to relieve the poor-rates. The house was let with the land until 1830, but in 1837 it was sheltering 6 pauper families. Its use as a poorhouse probably started after the closing of the Great Warley workhouse in 1830. (fn. 164) Part of the house was used as a parish school, probably from c. 1838 when the trustees started paying annual grants to the school. In 1858 it was replaced by a new school and two rooms for the poor on the same site in Magpie Lane. By 1878 half the £30 annual income was used to support the school. (fn. 165) Under a Charity Commission Scheme of 1887 a third of the income of £40 was used to provide prizes and continuation payments to Little Warley children attending public elementary schools. In 1904 this part of the endowment was established as a separate educational foundation. In 1968 the capital of the poor's charity was £1,691 and that of the educational foundation £492. The building was pulled down in 1969 and replaced by three alms-houses, which were opened in 1971. (fn. 166) Under a Charity Commission Scheme of 1971 the educational foundation was combined with the poor's charity as the Hugh Chappington alms-house and relief in need charity for residents of Little Warley. After payment of £60 a year to maintain the alms-houses the balance of the income was to be used to provide relief in cash or kind to persons in need. The annual income from the 17 a. of land was £85 in 1971.


  • 1. O.S. Map 1/25,000, TQ 58, 59, 68, 69.
  • 2. Divided Parishes Act, 1882, 45 & 46 Vic. c. 58, s.2.
  • 3. See p. 177.
  • 4. Essex Review Order, 1934.
  • 5. County of Essex (Billericay and Thurrock Urban Districts) Conf. Order, 1938.
  • 6. V.C.H. Essex, i. 8–9.
  • 7. Ibid. i. 439, 445; E.R.O., Q/RTh 5.
  • 8. V.C.H. Essex, ii. 345.
  • 9. Census (1851–1931).
  • 10. Map of Essex (1777).
  • 11. Kelly's Dir. Essex (1845); White's Dir. Essex (1848).
  • 12. E. Carter, Hist. Geog. Rlys. 63.
  • 13. Ibid. 466.
  • 14. V.C.H. Essex, v. 74.
  • 15. See p. 176.
  • 16. R.C.H.M. Essex, iv. 89–91; Pevsner, Essex, 286–7.
  • 17. R.C.H.M. Essex, iv. 91; Thorne, Environs Lond. 676.
  • 18. Inf. from Mr. J. D. Brett.
  • 19. E.R.O., Q/SR 255/42; E.R.O., D/DB T827.
  • 20. See p. 177.
  • 21. D. W. Coller, People's Hist. Essex, 349.
  • 22. E.R.O., T/P 195/2.
  • 23. E.R.O., Q/RLv 24.
  • 24. See p. 177.
  • 25. See p. 176; E.R.O., Q/RPl 144–5; Pigot's Dir. Essex (1826–7), 522; cf. D. Stroud, Humphry Repton (1962), 174.
  • 26. E.R.O., D/DU 353/1; Kelly's Dir. Essex (1845 and later edns.); Barking and Havering area health authority deeds.
  • 27. Inf. from NE. Thames regional health authority.
  • 28. Inf. from Ford Motor Co.
  • 29. Inf. from Brentwood D.C.
  • 30. Inf. from Mr. J. D. Brett. A further 9-hole course was to be opened on 50 a. in 1976.
  • 31. Inf. from proprietor; Brentwood Gaz. 13 Feb. 1976.
  • 32. V.C.H. Essex, i. 339 n, 439.
  • 33. Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, iii, pp. 484–6.
  • 34. V.C.H. Essex, i. 439. Nothing more is known of Tascelin's holding.
  • 35. E.R. xxix. 212; Cal. Inq. p. m. Hen. VII, iii, pp. 484–6; L. C. Loyd, Origins Anglo-Norm. Fams. (Harl. Soc. ciii), 97–8.
  • 36. Red Bk. Exch. (Rolls Ser.), i. 186; ii. 542.
  • 37. Bk. of Fees, i. 122.
  • 38. Close R. 1242–7, 357; Cal. Anct. D. i, A761, A772; Close R. 1259–61, 155–6, Cf. E.R.O., D/DP T1/1158; Morant, Essex, i. 114.
  • 39. E.R.O., D/DP T1/1183, 1177–8.
  • 40. Cal. Inq. p. m. iii, pp. 200–1; D.N.B. s. v. Burnell.
  • 41. Cf. V.C.H. Essex, v. 76; vi. 10.
  • 42. Feet of F. Essex, ii. 91, 99; for Belmeis in 1321: Cal. Pat. 1321–4, 61.
  • 43. Feet of F. Essex, ii. 119, 123, 169, 232; iii. 19.
  • 44. Feud Aids, ii. 169.
  • 45. Cal. Inq. Misc. iii, 314; Cal. Close, 1369–74, 418.
  • 46. Feet of F. Essex, iii. 195; Cal. Close, 1381–5, 203–4, 211–12.
  • 47. Cal. Close, 1389–92, 188.
  • 48. Ibid. 1413–19, 91, 96.
  • 49. Feud. Aids, ii. 224.
  • 50. C 139/152/5.
  • 51. Feet of F. Essex, iv. 110.
  • 52. C 1/367/37.
  • 53. Chancellor, Sep. Mons. Essex, 174; Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, iii, pp. 484–6.
  • 54. Chancellor, Sep. Mons. Essex, 174.
  • 55. C.P. 25(2)/139/1757.
  • 56. E.R.O., T/G 21: unless otherwise stated, the source of information in this paragraph. Cf. E.A.T. v. 147; G.E.C. Baronetage, ii. 161.
  • 57. C.P. 25(2)/1262/31 Geo. II Hil.; C.P. 25(2)/1475/12 Geo. III Hil.
  • 58. E.R.O., C/TS 75; deeds penes Barking and Havering area health authority; see p. 167.
  • 59. E.R.O., C/TS 75.
  • 60. Ibid.; inf. from Mrs. Harris; Who's Who in the Theatre (1925–47).
  • 61. Inf. from Brentwood D.C.
  • 62. E.R.O., Q/SR 27/29. For the hall, see also R.C.H.M. Essex, iv. 90; Pevsner, Essex, 286–7.
  • 63. E.R.O., Pictorial Coll.
  • 64. P.N. Essex, 135. Reaney correctly assigned Ellens Wood to Little Warley, but mistakenly placed the ancient Dame Elyns in Horndon-on-the-Hill: ibid. 157.
  • 65. V.C.H. Essex, v. 122.
  • 66. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xvi, p. 242; xix (1), p. 494.
  • 67. Ibid.; F. G. Emmison, Tudor Secretary, 266, citing Bodl. MS. D. Phil. d. 1007.
  • 68. E.R.O., D/DP T1/935–6; cf. Cal. Pat. 1550–3, 214.
  • 69. See above.
  • 70. C 142/211/184.
  • 71. E.R.O., T/P 195/2.
  • 72. Ibid.; E.R.O., D/P 66/12/1–2; E.R.O., Q/RPl 106–57.
  • 73. See p. 175.
  • 74. Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, iii, pp. 484–5. It seems possible that Englands was the unidentified Geddesduna of Domesday Book: see above, p. 99.
  • 75. E.R.O., Q/SR 109/46; cf. ibid. 122/17, 130/27, 135/20; for the Luther family: V.C.H. Essex, iv. 67–8.
  • 76. E.R.O., Q/SR 163/22 and 80, 166/144
  • 77. E.R.O., D/DFa T21, F6.
  • 78. Ibid.; E.R.O., D/P 66/1/2; D/P 66/12/1–2; E.R.O., Q/RPl 106–57; E.R.O., D/AER 36/382.
  • 79. E.R.O., D/DFa F6; Q/RPl 106.
  • 80. E.R.O., Q/RPl 107–57.
  • 81. E.R.O., D/DP P109; E.R.O., D/P 66/20.
  • 82. White's Dir. Essex (1863); E.R.O., D/P 66/20. Tanner is said to have been a kinsman of Mr. or Mrs. Cawkwell, and to have bought the property: local inf.
  • 83. Kelly's Dir. Essex (1878, 1882); E.R.O., Sale Cat. B3533.
  • 84. E.R.O., Sale Cat. B3533; inf. from Messrs. Crane.
  • 85. R.C.H.M. Essex, iv. 90; inf. from Messrs. Crane.
  • 86. V.C.H. Essex, i. 439.
  • 87. J. H. Round's figure of 41 swine per 100 a. (ibid. i. 375) should be corrected to 43¾, since the detached portion of the parish is not relevant to the calculation.
  • 88. Cal. Chart. R. i. 466; E.R.O., D/CT 386.
  • 89. See p. 176.
  • 90. E.R.O., D/CT 386; J. W. Burrows, Essex Regiment, iv. 167–74.
  • 91. E.R.O., D/CT 386; they were bought by Brentwood U.D.C. in 1955 (inf. from Brentwood D.C.).
  • 92. Bill of sale penes Riders, Lincolns Inn; Mr. T. Murray Mills is thanked for securing access to it.
  • 93. V.C.H. Essex, i. 369, 439.
  • 94. E.R.O., D/CT 386.
  • 95. Cal. Inq. p.m. iii, pp. 200–1.
  • 96. Feet of F. Essex, iv. 110; Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, iii, pp. 484–6.
  • 97. E.R.O., D/CT 79, 386.
  • 98. Or c. 832 a. of pasture and c. 272 a. of arable, if the two Petre holdings (236 a. and 38 a.), which were farmed from Childerditch, are added. They are most unlikely to have had as much as 90 a. of arable by 1916: E.R.O., D/CT 386, D/Z 45/1.
  • 99. E.R.O., D/Z 45/1, 11; D/Z 45/1 Little Warley, wrongly includes Clay Tye, Great Warley, but excludes Little Warley glebe, which appears as Church Hill in D/Z 45/11 Great Warley. The two Petre holdings are not included in this description.
  • 100. 2nd Land Utilization Survey of Britain, Land Use sheets 225–6; inf. from Mr. J. D. Brett.
  • 101. E.R.O., D/P 66/20; D/CT 386: Essex Standard, 12 Jan. 1866. The mill and miller (William Bennett) are absent from the Land Tax returns, 1781–1832: E.R.O., Q/RPl 106–57.
  • 102. E.R.O., Q/SR 173/32; D/CT 368A, nos. 54, 135.
  • 103. E.R.O., Q/SR 351/77, 364/25, 479/61; E.R.O., D/ABR 18/334, 26/93; E.R.O., D/DB T827; E.R.O., D/CT 386A, no. 32.
  • 104. Inf. from Ford Motor Co. See plate facing p. 32.
  • 105. Burrows, Essex Regiment, iv. 167–74: the source of information in this section unless otherwise cited.
  • 106. E.R. xxviii. 42; xxxiv. 57; xlii. 182.
  • 107. Ibid. xxxiv. 57; O. Hedley, Queen Charlotte, 121–2; Chelmsford and Essex Mus. (Essex Regt. Mus.), ER 16; Chelmsford Chron. 17 July 1778. Two views of the royal visit, by P. J. de Loutherbourg, are in the royal collection. For one of these see plate facing p. 65.
  • 108. E.R.O., Q/RPl 131–40; and see above, p. 165.
  • 109. E.R. ix. 105. Cf. V.C.H. Essex, ii. 252–4.
  • 110. Brentwood Gaz. 14 July, 29 Sept., 24 Nov. 1961.
  • 111. Inf. from company.
  • 112. See plate facing p. 48.
  • 113. Pevsner, Essex, 287; D.N.B. s.v. Wyatt, Sir M. D.; H.O. 129/7/199; Essex Churchman, Nov. 1957.
  • 114. Inf. from hospital; Brentwood Gaz. 20 Sept. 1963.
  • 115. E.R.O., D/P 66/8/1, 66/12/1, 2: unless otherwise specified, all information in this section comes from those sources.
  • 116. E.R.O., D/P 66/20. The reopening of the camp and canteen in 1843 added £540 to the valuation of the parish.
  • 117. See p. 180.
  • 118. E.R.O., Q/CR 1/1.
  • 119. In the later period expenditure on the poor averaged a fraction less than £60 a year between 1787 and 1793.
  • 120. E.R.O., Q/CR 1/9/4. In the years 1812–15, on average, 21 persons received permanent, and 66 occasional, relief: E.R.O., Q/CR 1/10.
  • 121. E.R.O., Q/CR 1/12.
  • 122. E.R.O., G/Bi M1.
  • 123. See p. 175; cf. E.A.T. N.S. xviii. 17.
  • 124. Feet of F. Essex, ii. 91; D.N.B.
  • 125. Cal. Inq. p.m. iv, p. 130; Newcourt, Repertorium, ii. 642; D.N.B.
  • 126. Newcourt, Repertorium, ii. 642; Cal. Close, 1360–4, 544–5; Chancellor, Sep. Mons. Essex [173–5].
  • 127. Chancellor, Sep. Mons. Essex [175].
  • 128. E.R.O., T/A 547/1.
  • 129. White's Dir. Essex (1848); Kelly's Dir. Essex (1878, 1882).
  • 130. Kelly's Dir. Essex (1882–1929); Chelmsford Dioc. Yr. Bk. (1915–29).
  • 131. Chelmsford Dioc. Yr. Bk. (1932).
  • 132. Ibid. (1941); C.C.L., Bp. Inskip's Recs. ii (5 Dec. 1940); cf. E.R.O., T/P 181/12/8.
  • 133. Chelmsford Dioc. Yr. Bk. (1961–2); Brentwood Gaz. 22 Jan. 1960.
  • 134. Chelmsford Dioc. Yr. Bk. (1969 and later edns.); Lond. Gaz. 2 May 1972.
  • 135. E.A.T. N.S. xviii. 17; Tax. Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 23; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i. 436; Smith, Eccl. Hist. Essex, 246; Guildhall MSS. 9550, 9556, 9560.
  • 136. E.R.O., D/CT 386.
  • 137. Feet of F. Essex, ii. 91; Newcourt, Repertorium, ii. 641–2; E.R.O., D/CT 386.
  • 138. E.R.O., Q/SR 154/19, 217/12; cf. Newcourt, Repertorium, ii. 641–2; Map of Essex (1777).
  • 139. White's Dir. Essex (1848).
  • 140. Kelly's Dir. Essex (1855, 1859).
  • 141. Inf. from Mrs. David Tee.
  • 142. Guildhall MSS. 9550, 9557.
  • 143. Guildhall MSS. 9550–1, 9553, 9557, 9560; White's Dir. Essex (1863); Kelly's Dir. Essex (1859 and later edns.).
  • 144. Guildhall MSS. 9550–1, 9553, 9557, 9560.
  • 145. Davids, Nonconformity in Essex, 157; Cal. S.P. Dom. 1634–5, 108.
  • 146. Smith, Eccl. Hist. Essex, 166; Davids, op. cit. 506.
  • 147. A. G. Matthews, Calamy Revised, 396–7; Davids, op. cit. 506.
  • 148. This account of the church is based on: R.C.H.M. Essex, iv. 89–90; Pevsner, Essex, 286; cf. Hale, Precedents, p. 151.
  • 149. Ch. Bells Essex, 24–7, 439; E.R.O., T/P 195/2.
  • 150. Ch. Plate Essex, 68.
  • 151. Guildhall MS. 9558.
  • 152. Venn, Alumni Cantab. I, ii. 157.
  • 153. Educ. Enquiry Abstract, H.C. 62, p. 294 (1835), xli; in 1832 Warley Lodge was owned by Charles Winn and let to Jacob Hansler: E.R.O., Q/RPl 157.
  • 154. E.R.O., D/DU 353/1; Nat. Soc. Church Schs. Enquiry, 1846–7.
  • 155. White's Dir. Essex (1863), 588; O.S. Map 6", Essex, LXVII (surv. 1866); and see below.
  • 156. Ed. 21/5256.
  • 157. Inf. from Essex Educ. Dept.
  • 158. Ed. 21/50986.
  • 159. E.R.O., C/ME 47, p. 345.
  • 160. Unless otherwise stated this section is based on Rep. Com. Char. [108], pp. 722–3 (1837–8), xxv(1); Char. Com. Files.
  • 161. Prob. 11/423 (P.C.C. 1694, f. 229).
  • 162. E.R.O., D/DP T163.
  • 163. E.R.O., D/CT 386.
  • 164. E.R.O., D/P 66/8/1; 66/12/1; D/P 195/8/3.
  • 165. Kelly's Dir. Essex (1878), 267.
  • 166. Brentwood Official Guide (1973–5), 71; inf. from Mrs. Bloomfield.