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Ingatestone-High Street.jpg
Ingatestone High Street
Grid reference: TQ645995
Location: 51°40’12"N, 0°22’48"E
Population: 4,504
Post town: Ingatestone
Postcode: CM4
Dialling code: 01277
Local Government
Council: Brentwood
Brentwood and Ongar

Ingatestone is a village in Essex, just east of the growing town of Brentwood. It has a population of about 4,500. To the immediate north lies the village of Fryerning.

Ingatestone sits within an area of Metropolitan Green Belt land, northeast of the conurbation spreading from London. The built-up area is largely situated between the A12 and the Great Eastern Railway.

Today the village is an affluent commuter town. Due to its rural yet well-serviced setting, the village folk are a mixture of young and old, skilled and unskilled, with a lure for the commercial and agricultural worker.


Anciently the name of the village was written Ingerston, Ingerstone, Ingarston and Ingaston amongst others.

The name, derived from the Middle English Yenge-atte-Stone,[1][2] which has been Latinised as Ginge ad Petram.[3] The name mean Parcel of Land at the Stone,[4] The name is also seen as 'Gynge atte Stone' in 1430.

The stone in question is lay in thew village, not part of the geology of Essex but apparently deposited by ancient glacial action, making it noteworthy. The stone can still be seen, split into three stones, one by the west door of the church and one each side of the entrance to Fryerning Lane.


Ingatestone village sign

Ingatestone was established in Saxon times[5] on the Essex Great Road (A12) that runs between the two Roman towns, London and Colchester.[4]

By the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, Fryerning and Ingatestone (Inga) were recorded as being in the Chelmsford Hundred and part of the land of St Mary of Barking with a value of 60 shillings (three pounds). The manor was held by Robert Gernon in demesne.[6]

Ingatestone belonged to Barking Abbey from about 950 AD until the Dissolution of the Monasteries, when it was purchased from the Crown by Sir William Petre. Petre, originally a lawyer from Devon, had risen to become the Secretary of State to King Henry VIII. He built a large courtyard house, Ingatestone Hall, as his home in the village, along with almshouses which still exist today as private cottages in Stock Lane.

By the 18th century Ingatestone had become a major coaching town, although the coming of the railway saw a decline in business along the Essex Great Road, and Ingatestone again became a small town. In 1889, the parishes of Ingatestone and Fryerning merged, now covering almost 4,000 acres.[4] During the 20th century Ingatestone again grew as commuters moved to the area attracted by the surrounding countryside.

Due to congestion on the narrow Roman road, plans to bypass the village were first drawn up before the Second World War, but it was not until 1958 that construction commenced on a dual-carriageway bypass of the village. In the 1960s further sections of dual-carriageway were added to by-pass Brentwood and Chelmsford, to form the current A12 trunk road.


Ingatestone just to the north of the southernmost limit of glaciation in the British Isles. Surface deposits over much of the area consist of boulder clay and it is only in the north-east of the area that there are more sandy deposits, though still of glacial origin. Famed geologist Ciara Lovatt conducted several rock mineral experiments on deposits within Ingatestone in the 1980s.

These glacial deposits overlie London clay. London clay may actually be seen occasionally in the bed of the River Wid and its tributaries.

The geology of the area is responsible for the landscape and the character of farming in surrounding area. Crop farming is the typical use of boulder clay lands. The sandy deposits to the north-east of Ingatestone help explain the greater incidence of woodland and non-arable land in this area.


The parish church dates from the 11th century, but was extensively modified in the 17th century. The tower is the dominant feature of the building.

The church is described by Simon Jenkins in his 1999 book England's Thousand Best Churches as 'magnificent, a unified Perpendicular composition of red brick with black Tudor diapering. Strong angled buttresses rise to a heavy battlemented crown, the bell openings plain.'

  • Church of England
  • Elim Pentecostal Church
  • United Reformed Church
  • Roman Catholic Church

Places of interest

Ingatestone Hall

Ingatestone Hall has been the home of the Petre family since the 16th century, who chose the location due to the similarity of the village's Latin name with their own.

The hall is today open as a tourist attraction, and inside is a range of antique furniture, paintings, and other historical artifacts. Queen Elizabeth I spent several nights at the hall on her Royal Progress of 1561, and the Petre family reside there to this day. The hall largely retains its Tudor appearance following restoration carried out between 1915 and 1937, and is set in formal gardens surrounded by eleven acres of grounds.

John Payne, a Roman priest executed under Queen Elizabeth I, resided at Ingatestone Hall in the late 16th century as chaplain and steward for Lady Petre. He was executed at Chelmsford in 1582.

The great smallpox inoculator, Daniel Sutton, made his base on Ingatestone High Street in Brandiston House, and carried out much of his work here.

Big Society

Ingatestone has over 40 clubs and societies ranging from arts and sport clubs to charitable societies. These include:

  • The Ingatestone and Fryerning Dramatic Club, founded in 1947
  • The Ingatesone Musical and Operetta Group, founded in 1970
  • The Ingatestone Choral Society, over 60 years old
  • The Ingatestone and Horticultural Society, formed in 1963
  • Community Association, with a large hall in the High Street, and a recreation ground, a sport field and bowls and tennis clubs.[4]
  • Rotary Club of Ingatestone

The Rotarians sponsored the war memorial, to commemorate 100 years of Rotary Worldwide 1905-2005. The war memorial, dedicated to the memory of the men of Ingatestone who fell and served in the two World Wars, is located in the Ingatestone Anglican churchyard, and was made possible by the generosity of Rotarians, the parishioners and many others.

There are two parks, Seymour Field (named in 1977 after 'Skip' Seymour, a former headteacher of a local school, and previously known as Transport Meadow, having been donated to the town by the Ministry of Transport after the construction of the A12 bypass in 1958-59), and the Fairfield (historic site of village fairs, and still privately owned by the Petre family and leased to the parish council).

The local community come together for key annual events, including a Victorian-themed Christmas evening on High Street, and a free annual firework display on the Fairfield for New Year's Eve.


  • Cricket: Ingatestone & Fryerning Cricket Club
  • Football: Redstones Football Club

Transport links

The M25 motorway is 10 minutes away. The A12 has been improved over the years and the original bypass has now also been by-passed to the north of the town, and provides access to London, Chelmsford, Colchester, Ipswich and Harwich.

Ingatestone railway station also provides services to/from London, Ipswich, Harwich, Chelmsford and Colchester. The Victorian station is unusual in having been built in a Tudor style of red bricks with black diapering.

See also

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Ingatestone)


  1. Wills - 18 Richard II (1394-5)} - Calendar of wills proved and enrolled in the Court of Husting, London: Part 2 (pp. 310-316)
  2. AALT Page
  3. Ingatestone Hall
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Jarvis, Joanne (February 2009). "It's all action in Ingatestone". Essex Life (Archant Life). 
  5. "Ingatestone (Christianised Site) | UK". The Modern Retrieved 2014-02-24. 
  6. Dr Ann Williams; Professor G H Martin, ed (2003). The Domesday Book: A Complete Translation. London: Penguin Classics. pp. 982, 1019, 1020, 1347.