Boxted, Essex

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Grid reference: TL995333
Location: 51°57’46"N, 0°54’10"E
Population: 1,379  (2011)
Post town: Colchester
Postcode: CO4
Dialling code: 01206
Local Government
Council: Colchester
North Essex

Boxted is a village in Essex, approximately five miles north of Colchester and twenty-four miles northeast of the county town, Chelmsford.

The village was the site of a series of skirmishes between Parliamentary and Royalist troops in July 1648, known as the Battle of Boxted Heath.

Two historic manors are located in the parish - Boxted Hall and Rivers Hall - both are mentioned in the Doomsday records. Boxted was split into two settlements - 'Boxted' and 'Boxted Cross' during the plague - when non infected villagers moved across the valley from 'Old Boxted' to escape infection. A timber framed cottage called Songers is reputedly the oldest private dwelling in Essex dating back to 1280.


In 1630 the village vicar, George Phillips, and many other Boxted residents emigrated to America as part of the Great Migration of puritans. Phillips subsequently founded a church at Watertown on the Charles River in Massachusetts. Other Boxted residents went to Ipswich, Massachusetts.

During the Civil War, Boxted found itself in a strategic location. In June 1648 the men of Colchester seized the Parliamentary commissioners in the town and the Essex Trained Bands came over to the King. They found themselves though besieged in Colchester. An attempt by the cavalry to break out on 15 July 1648 was defeated in a series of skirmishes around Boxted over three days.

Boxted Heath to the southern end of the parish is mostly divided into nearly 70 smallholdings which were originally built by the Salvation Army in the early 20th century under an initiative to create a land settlement or colony. These small holdings replaced the Priory farm that was here in the 19th century. although the old farm house and some outbuildings still remain.

About the village

Today Boxted can be easily reached from Colchester along Boxted Straight Road, which is often mistaken for a Roman road but is in fact a relatively modern road based upon an old heathland track, many other local roads are much older.

Parts of the Boxted parish - such as Old Boxted - are within the Dedham Vale conservation area where development of buildings etc. is tightly controlled. Old Boxted is not developing as fast as Boxted Cross which contains a broad mix of modern housing developments and has now extended considerably along Straight Road. Recently the school has moved from Old Boxted to Boxted Cross.

At Boxted Cross is a Village hall overlooking the George V playing fields where Boxted Lodgers football team and Boxted Cricket club play.

There has been no public house open in the village since the Wig & Fidget closed about 2005. The Cross Inn ceased trading in mid-1980s and was converted into residential usage. The Queens Head (Queens Hd Rd/Ellis Rd corner) closed in 1972 and was demolished after several years as a retirement home. Most of the other pubs - such as the Fox (near the church) and Thatchers (Mill Rd) closed much earlier.

Sport and leisure

There is a King George V Playing Field in the village.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Boxted, Essex)


  • Thompson, Roger, Divided We Stand, Watertown, Massachusetts, 1630-1680, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2001.
  • Thompson, Roger, Mobility & Migration, East Anglian Founders of New England, 1629-1640, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1994