Springfield All Saints
Springfield is a parish in the Chelmsford hundred of Essex that forms a suburb of the city of Chelmsford. The ancient parish takes in the portion of the city north of the river Chelmer, although the corresponding civil parish was reduced in size as Chelmsford expanded. It originally comprised the manors of Springfield Hall, Springfield Barnes (now Chelmer Village), Cuton Hall, and in part New Hall (now Beaulieu Park).
Until the 1950s the parish was a semi-rural village lying a mile north-east of Chelmsford, on the old Roman road, with little to attract the visitor outside of the annual Essex show, a half dozen pubs and the town's prison (the original County Gaol) and Essex Police headquarters, both of which still lie to the east of the Roman road. The Essex show-ground was once located on fields north of The Green, and south of Pump lane. Since this time the former show site along with a thousand or so acres of surrounding arable land have been developed to create the most populous suburb of Chelmsford.
The historic heart of the parish is centred on the Anglican All Saints Church, Springfield Place and Green. This historic heart is one of the few areas not to have been visibly transformed.
A former resident of the village of Springfield, William Pynchon, went on to become one of the leaders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1636, Pynchon and a group of pioneers founded Springfield, Massachusetts, beside New England's greatest river, the Connecticut River. Originally named Agawam (which is now a nearby suburb) the settlement was renamed "Springfield" in Pynchon's honour, after Pynchon had suffered indignities from Connecticut's Captain John Mason - the notorious "Indian Killer" of America's Pequot Wars - who expressed disdain at Pynchon's "delicate treatment" of the region's Native People. After this, Springfield forever aligned with Boston, although 89 miles separate the two, instead of aligning with Hartford, now the state capital of Connecticut - only 23 miles south of Springfield.
The parish hosts a number of schools:
- New Hall School (RC)
- The Boswells School
- Springfield Parish Population Statistics - February 2008
- Tory, Gilbert (1977). Chelmsford through the ages. East Anglian Magazine Ltd. ISBN 0-900227-26-5.
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