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Writtle (United Kingdom)

Writtle shown within the United Kingdom
OS grid reference TL679063
District Chelmsford
Shire county Essex
Constituent country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district CM1
Dialling code 01245
European Parliament [[East of England

Rumours of Matt Thorpe-Apps joing the Writtle Cricket team (European Parliament constituency)|East of England

Rumours of Matt Thorpe-Apps joing the Writtle Cricket team]]
UK Parliament West Chelmsford
List of places: UKEngland

Coordinates: 51°44'N 0°26'E? / ?51.73, 0.43

Writtle green and church, in snow, c1935
Writtle green and church, in snow, c1935

The village of Writtle lies in Essex, England, just two miles to the west of Chelmsford.

It is home of Writtle College, one of the UK's oldest and largest land-based colleges and a partner institution of the University of Essex. Writtle has a traditional village green, complete with duck pond, and Norman church and has been described as: 'one of the loveliest villages in England, with a ravishing variety of ancient cottages'. The suggestion that Writtle is the birth place of Robert the Bruce (or perhaps his father Robert de Brus, 6th Lord of Annandale) is hotly contested; the importance of the village during the reign of the Plantagenet kings, however, is incontrovertible.


[edit] Early History

Growing archeological evidence shows that, not only were the Romans present in Writtle[1] shortly after the Roman conquest by Claudius, but also a major settlement may have been established; however, the presence of a metalled road[2], numerous archaelogical finds and the ease with which the river can be forded in Writtle are still not significant enough evidence to suggest that Writtle, rather than Chelmsford, was the site of the Roman town of Caesaromagus, as suggested by the Essex historian Morant (et al.).[3]

Named in the Little Domesday Book, as a Royal demesne (manor) of 194 households, the village boasts the site of one of King John's hunting lodges [4], sited within the grounds of the present HE institution Writtle College (circa 1210).

The estate and village were later a possession of Isabel de Brus (Bruce), via a grant of Henry III [5]. For a time thereafter it was leased to a Francis and Joan Bache, but the estate was taken by Isabel's grandson, Robert The Bruce, King of Scots, in the 1320s. [6] [7]. It was in Writtle in 1302 that Robert had married his second wife, Elizabeth de Burgh; there is some evidence to suggest he was also born in the village rather than in Turnberry Castle, but the story is possibly conflated with that of his father of the same name.

[edit] Two Emma Toc, Writtle

Writtle holds a distinguished place in the history of radio broadcasting. In the early 1920s it was the site of the experimental Marconi station 2MT ("Two Emma Toc"), from where Captain Peter Eckersley made the name of the village famous with his station announcement "this is Two Emma Toc, Writtle testing, Writtle testing". The Writtle transmission station was also the last independent to be assorbed by the BBC, suspending transmission in January 1923. Independent Radio did not reimerge in the UK till the 1960s.

[edit] Writtle Church

The Domesday Book mentioning a church and priest in Writtle suggests that Christian worship in the village pre-dated the Norman Conquest[8]; the early 13th century nave and chancel seem to be extensions of an 11th century construction which itself replaced a Saxon church. During the mediaeval period, the church "changed hands" several times, revenues being received by the Prior of Bermondsey in the 12th century, and then by the Hospital of the Holy Ghost in Rome from the early 13th; the turbulent reign of Richard II saw the church being seized by the king, eventually coming under the control of William of Wykeham's New College, Oxford in 1399.[9]

The church has twice suffered arson attacks in recent history - the first in 1974, the second in 1991.

[edit] References

[edit] External links

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The towns and villages of
Chelmsford borough, Essex, England:
Flag of Essex, England

Around the town of Chelmsford: BroomfieldChelmer VillageGreat BaddowSpringfieldNorth Melbourne

Towns: ChelmsfordSouth Woodham Ferrers

Villages: BicknacreBorehamChalk EndChapel RowChatham GreenChignal SmealyChignal St JamesCooksmill GreenDanburyDownhamEast HanningfieldFanner's GreenFord EndGalleywoodGalleyendGood EasterGreat LeighsGreat Oxney GreenGreat WalthamHighwoodHowe GreenHowe StreetLittle BaddowLittle LeighsLittley GreenLittle WalthamMargarettingMargaretting TyeMashburyMoulshamNewney GreenNorth EndPepper's GreenPlesheyRamsden HeathRettendonRettendon PlaceRoxwellRunwellSandonSouth HanningfieldStockTye GreenWest HanningfieldWrittleWoodham Ferrers

Chelmsford is the county town of Essex
List of places in Essex

(Source: Wikipedia)
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