St Nicholas' church, Tolleshunt Major
The Tolleshunt group of villages (Major, Knights, D'Arcy and Tollesbury) grew up in the area settled by the Saxon chief Toll who cleared areas of forest round local water sources. Tolleshunta was the Anglo Saxon name for Toll's spring. The name Tolleshunt Major (or Mauger as it was previously known), was granted by King Henry VIII to Stephen Beckenham, in 1544. Beckenham bought various landscapes in and around the village and built a semi-fortified manor house with a turreted gatehouse within a red-brick boundary wall. This became known as "Beckingham House". The house was demolished in 1782 and was replaced by a farmhouse. The former gatehouse which formed part of Beckingham Manor, complete with turrets and boundary wall still remain.
In 1609, Beckingham completed the design and construction of a heraldic shield which featured statuettes of himself and his wife Alvis Beckingham (née Terral). The monument was displayed at the parish church of St Nicholas. This has since been pulled down and scrapped.
The Beckingham family originally came from Wiltshire. Stephen's son Thomas Beckingham received a knighthood and died in 1633. His son, William, became heir to the estate aged 12. The estate was eventually sold to Sir Thomas Adams, an alderman from London. The manor house changed hands several times before eventually becoming the property of the current owners.
The village, which is not on any main road, is bordered by the villages of Little Totham, Goldhanger, Tolleshunt D'Arcy, Tolleshunt Knights and Great Totham north and south. Nearby towns include Maldon, Colchester, Chelmsford and Tiptree.
Tolleshunt Major is host to The Beckingham Business park which has a small number of businesses, ranging from a transport company to a sports equipment manufacturing company. There are no street lights, mains gas supply or bus service apart from a schools service in the village.
The village has one public house called the Beckingham Bell which is situated in Beckingham Street.
The village does have one small shop on Wicks Manor Farm situated in Tolleshunt Major which is owned by Howies & Sons. Wicks Manor Farm is a Local Essex farm which produces dry cured bacon, sausages, ham, gammon and pork.
There is no bus service that runs through Tolleshunt Major apart from the school bus which is operated by Stephensons of Essex.
Buses can be boarded from the nearby village of Tolleshunt D'Arcy which commutes through Colchester or Great Totham. Other villages served are Maldon, Chelmsford and Witham.
The closest National Rail service is located in Witham or Hatfield Peveral. Destinations served from these stations include London Liverpool Street and Ipswich, Clacton, Harwich, Braintree and Norwich via the Great Eastern Main Line.
- "Parish population 2015". http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/LeadKeyFigures.do?a=7&b=11129771&c=CO5+0RL&d=16&e=62&g=6425506&i=1001x1003x1032x1004&m=0&r=0&s=1443002356046&enc=1. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
- History of Maldon, accessed 27 March 2012
- Beckingham Bell, Beckingham Bell Public House, accessed 4 May 2012
- School Bus, School Bus, accessed 10 May 2012
- Local bus routes, local bus routes, accessed 4 May 2012
- Greater Anglia, Greater Anglia Website, accessed 10 May 2012
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