A History of Lambourne from The White's Directory of Essex 1848


LAMBOURNE parish comprises several scattered houses near the church, but the chief part of its population is a mile to the west, in the improving village of ABRIDGE, on the south side of the river Roding, 4 miles South by East of Epping, and on the London and Ongar road, 13 miles North East of the former, and 7 miles South West by South of the latter town.

The parish contains 2415 acres of fertile land, and increased its population from 515 souls in 1801, to 904 in 1841

Many good houses, etc., having been built, during the last thirty years, at Abridge, which has its name from the bridge over the Roding, and has a modern chapel of ease, an Independent chapel, a brewery, and a fair for cattle, etc., on the 2nd of June.

In 1050, the manor of Lambourne belonged to Leffi, a Saxon, but at the Conquest, it was given to Eustace, Earl of Boulogne. It was afterwards held by the Lambourne, Lampet, Hatfield, Barfoot, Aland, and Fortescue families. In 1782, it was purchased of the latter by the Rev. Edward Lockwood, and it now belongs to Wm. Joseph Lockwood, Esq., who has a pleasant seat here, called Bishop's Hall, but part of the parish belongs to Sir Charles C. Smith, Bart., Mr. Samuel Crane, Mr. John Jones, and a few smaller freeholders.

Lambourne Hall is an old farmhouse, which has been a large mansion, and near it was a handsome house, built by the first Lord Fortescue, but it was pulled down many years ago.

A small manor or estate, called Shepes Hall, was long held by the Bishops or Norwich, among whom, the earliest who occasionally resided here, was the warlike Bishop Spencer, who held the estate of Richard II. in capite, as of the manor of Havering, by the service of making sixty perches of the royal park-pale with his own timber.

This martial ecclesiastic bred to arms in Italy, in the service of Pope Adrian (Nicholas Breakspear,) in his wars against the Duke of Milan, obtained from his holiness the bishopric of Norwich, as a reward for his services, in 1370.

During Wat Tyler's rebellion, in 1381, Bishop Spencer put himself at the head of a small body of loyal subjects, and attacking the rebels, by dint of valour, aided by stratagem, made a terrible slaughter, "beheading some, killing others, and capturing their leader, Littster, a dyer of Norwich, whom sent to London, and who was there condemned and executed."

The Bishops of Norwich held this estate till 1536, when it was given by Henry VIII. to Lord Chancellor Audley. It was afterwards the seat and property of the Walkers, Waylets, and Balls. In 1826, it was sold by E.H. Ball, Esq., to the Rev. Edward Dowdeswell, who gave it to Miss Lockwood Percival.

It now belongs to W.J. Lockwood, Esq., of Bishop's Hall, which stands on the crown of a bold eminence, commanding fine views of Epping and Hainault Forests, and the surrounding country, as far as the Thames and Kentish Hills.

The site of the ancient castellated mansion, which was occasionally occupied by the bishops, is surrounded by a moat, enclosing an area 200 yards square.

Patch Park, or Hunts, now a farm in the parish, belongs to Sir C.C. Smith, and was formerly held by the Vere, Luther and other families. Arneway, or Arnolds, a farm now held by Mr. Samuel Crane, was formerly held by the Fitzwilliam, Carpenter, Draper and Scott families. The house is a large old timber building, 1½ mile North East of the church.

Dews Hall, a little south of the church, gives name to a manor now belonging to W.J. Lockwood, Esq., and formerly to the Dukes of Buckingham, and the Sulyard family. The other estates, or reputed manors, in the Lambourne parish are, Lambourne-Abridge, or St.John's (now a small farm,) Affebruge, or Abridge, formerly held by a family of its own name; Priors, which belonged to some religious house; and Knolls, which was purchased by the Lockwoods, of the Fortescues.