The Rodings

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The Rodings (or Roothings) are a group of eight villages in the upper part of the River Roding and the west of Essex, the largest group in the country to bear a common name.[1] The typical pronunciation of the name is "Roadings".


The Rodings are believed to be the remnants of a single Anglo-Saxon community known as the Hroðingas, led by Hroða, who sailed up the River Thames and along a tributary in the sixth century and settled in the area.[1] This was one of the tribal areas that were absorbed into the Kingdom of Essex.[2] The River Roding and the villages derived their name from Hroða.[1]

The villages are recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Rodinges in the Hundred of Dunmow.[3] In the time of Edward the Confessor, it was held by the Abbey of St Æthelthryth of Ely; however, after the Norman Conquest, part was taken by William de Warenne.[3] Part was also held by the de Veres and de Mandevilles families, who became the Earls of Oxford and Earls of Essex.[1] By the 14th century, the boundaries and names of the villages had become fairly established.[1]

In the second half of the 19th century The Rodings came part of the Dunmow and Ongar Unions – poor relief provision set up under the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834. The parishes were in the rural deaneries of Roding and Ongar, the Archdeaconry of Essex, and the Diocese of St Albans. In 1914 the parishes came under the Diocese of Chelmsford. There were occasionally found Roman remains in the area. Crops grown at the time were chiefly wheat, barley and beans, on a heavy soil with a clay subsoil.[4]


The area is typified by mediæval thatched cottages, timber-framed manor houses and farmhouses. There is a mid-18th-century post mill windmill in Aythorpe Roding, the only surviving windmill in the area. There are a number of churches dating from the Norman period; the oldest is St Margaret of Antioch in Margaret Roding, which has a Norman doorway and the tomb of a crusader.[1]

Roding names

Further reading

  • Stephen Basset, Stephen (1997), "Continuity and fission in the Anglo-Saxon landscape: the origins of the Rodings (Essex)", in Landscape History, vol 19: pp.25–42[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Rollason, Pam (June 2008). "Around the Rodings". Essex Life (Archant): p. 92. Retrieved 2009-02-03.  (Registration required.)
  2. Andrew Reynolds, Later Anglo-Saxon England (Tempus, 2002, page 67) drawing on S Bassett (ed) The Origin of Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms (Leicester, 1989)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dr Ann Williams; Professor G H Martin, ed (2003). Domesday Book: A Complete Translation. London: Penguin Books. pp. 982, 996, 1393. ISBN 978-0-14-143994-5. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Kelly's Directory of Essex 1882 p.245; 1894 p.285; 1902 p.339; 1914 p.477
  5. Lewis, Samuel (1831) A topographical dictionary of England, vol 3, p.630
  6. "Lost In Time: A short History of Morrell Roding", Aythorpe Roding Parish Council. Retrieved 8 February 2018
  7. Basset, Stephen (1997). "Continuity and fission in the Anglo-Saxon landscape: the origins of the Rodings (Essex)". Landscape History 19: 25–42. 

Outside links

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about The Rodings)