White Roding

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White Roding
Church of St Martin White Roding Essex England - from the south east.jpg
St Martin's Church, White Roding
Grid reference: TL562136
Location: 51°47’57"N, 0°15’52"E
Post town: Dumnow
Postcode: CM6
Dialling code: 01279
Local Government
Council: Uttlesford
Saffron Walden

White Roding is a village and parish in the Dunomow hundred of Essex. The village is included in the eight hamlets and villages called The Rodings. White Roding is eight miles north-west of the county town of Chelmsford.


According to A Dictionary of British Place Names, Roding derives from "Rodinges" as is listed in the Domesday Book, with the later variation 'White Roeng' recorded in 1248. The 'White' refers to the colour of the parish church walls.[1] White Roding itself is not listed in the Domesday survey, although its small manor of Morrell Roding is, and is listed as in the Hundred of Ongar. Morrell Roding manor was of 11 households, three villagers, three smallholders, and one slave, and included two lord's plough teams, one men's plough team, 19 acres of meadow, and a woodland with 100 pigs. In 1066 there were 10 cattle, six pigs, 50 sheep, and a cob. In 1086 there were 25 cattle, 89 pigs, 55 goats, 225 sheep, seven cobs, and eight beehives. Before the Conquest, lordship was held by Saemer, as his only manor; after given to Thorgisl, under Eudo Dapifer who was Tenant-in-chief to William the Conqueror.[2] Morrell Roding (at 51°48’58"N, 0°15’38"E), was previously centred on Cammas Hall (also written as 'Cammass'), at the north of the parish.[3]

Traditional alternative names for the parish and village include White Roothing, White Rooding and Roding Alba, although the parish was contemporaneously referred to with the 'Roding' suffix in trade directories, gazetteers, sources, and in official documents and maps. Today the official parish and village name for local, district and parliamentery governance is 'White Roding', although some sources, particularly Ordnance Survey, will also include the 'Roothing' suffix for both the village and parish.[4][5][6][7][8][9] The parish is "supposed to have taken its name from the whiteness of the church when new".[3][10][11][12][13]

In 1296-97 Edward I granted the manor, and advowson of the eclesiastical parish, to John de Merks by tail-general (ownership not restricted to direct descendants of the previous owner, but passing to any of the owner's descendants if alive[14]), and his sister, Cecily de Hastings, the wife of Humfrey de Hastings, who also held the manor of Cumbreton in Cambridgeshire. She died in 1304.[15]

In 1307, the advowson of the parish was held by the Cusance family, and from 1322 to 1331 by Sir William Cusance. In 1350, the 23rd year of the reign of Edward III, the advowson was provided by the Quenton family, who in 1388 held both the manor and advowson, with ecclesiastical patronage by Sir William de Quenton in 1365 and 1373. Following Quenton, Sir Henry Green (c.1347 – 1399) of Drayton House in Lowick, Northamptonshire held the manor and advowson, this until 1397. The following vacancy was filled by Sir Simon Felbrigg, and his wife, Katherine, she holding the advowson for three successive parish priests. This patronage was followed in 1469 by that of John Stafford, 1st Earl of Wiltshire (1427– 1473), son to Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham. John Stafford's wife, Constance, was the daughter and heir to the earlier patron, Sir Henry Green. After the death of Constance in c.1474, the guardians of her surviving children took the advowson of White Roding. The patronage was in the hands of Humfry Brown Serjeant-at-Law by 1532, who in 1537 alienated (transferred) by licence a third of White Roding manor to John Brown, who, the following year alienated it to Thomas Carew and John Knight. By 1557 the parish advowson was presented by George Brown, and in 1575, the sixteenth year of the reign of Elizabeth I, through in capite (held directly from Elizabeth), by Wiston Brown. Elizabeth probably granted the advowson to the following patron, John Harrington, in 1576. On 22 September 1617, the parish priest was presented through Sir John Leventhorpe, (c.1560–1625) 1st Baronet in 1622, and was the Rev Sir Charles Leventhorpe (1594–1680), who was priest for 63 years, and became the 5th Leventhorpe Baronet a year before his death. This advowson was given to Leventhorpe by Anthony Brown and Elizabeth his wife. The Brown family provided the patronage to the White Roding ecclesiastical parish until c.1702.[16][17]

According to a terrier of 1622, White Roding included next to the churchyard a mansion house, a stable, a dove house, a malthouse, a kiln house, an orchard, a garden, and a "little hop garden". Glebe land, attached to the rectory, and directly supporting the incumbent and church, was of 45 acres of arable and 5.00 acres (0.02 km²) of pasture. Added to this land were the tithes to the church from the rest of the parish, and was expected from wheat, barley and oats as the tenth sheaf, peas produced on one tenth of ridges, hay to the fifteenth part, a tenth of calves or a tenth of the income if sold, but if less than ten calves existed, one calf with extra monies to bring the amount to what might be the tenth part. Every household with two milking cows would give nine cheeses yearly. The farmer at Camesse (Cammas Hall in Morell Roding), would give over "a piece of ground" to discharge his duty of a tithe of one field. A farmer at Leaden Hall (in Leaden Roding), had land in White Roding, being a piece of land at 'Uptrees', 6½ acres in 'Chesall Mead', and 12 acres at the 'Homes'; he supplied cheeses to the number of his cattle. Other parish tithes were on apples and eggs, but not crab apples (wild apples), and on the seventh lamb and the seventh pig.[16]

The parsonage and moat at White Roding

In 1800 Thomas Kitson Cromwell, Sylvanus Urban and Thomas Blount described White Roding variously as having two "good" shops, a mill, "besides two or three good farm houses". In the then parish area there were three manors: the first White Roding Bury (White Rodingbury), the second Maskel's Bury (Maskelsbury) and the third Morrell. White Roding Bury was near the church but with the manor house "some way off", the manor used for keeping 'lanar falcons', or hawks, for heron hawking from Michaelmas to the Purification (of the Virgin), this for the King's use. Maskel's Bury manor house (still existing) was about a furlong to the south from the church, the manor itself keeping greyhounds to flush herons during the King's hawking. The manor of Morrell, later absorbed into White Roding, became itself a parish. The Morrell parish church, now non-existent, was converted to a pigeon house. in 1800 the White Roding rector was the Rev Sir William Cheere of the Cheere baronetcy. St Martin's Church, now tiled, was once leaded. The tower contains five bells, and the spire is leaded. The church contains a monument to the memory of Rev John Maryon. The parsonage (dating from the 16th to 18th century and today Grade II listed[18]), was moated almost all round (today only part of the south and west of the rectangular moat exists). Ralph Pettus, of the Pettus baronet family, who was a supporter of, and fought with Charles I during the Civil War, consequently losing his estates in Magdalen Laver, five miles south-west of White Roding, and later offered the same support for the returned Charles II, probably took up residence at White Roding after the restoration of the monarchy.[10][11][15]

In 1848, although in White Roding parish, Morrell Roding formed a separate township, a detached part of Ongar Hundred. White Roding included about 300 acres of woods, roads, and wastes (non-cultivated land). The two manors of White Roding-bury, and Maskels-bury had a joint Lord of the Manor. Colville Hall in the parish was bequeathed in 1701 "for the relief of poor widows and unfortunate seamen of Stepney". Further landholdings were held by Merks Hall estate (today Marks Hall), and several smaller owners, some copyhold tenants. In White Roding in 1848 was the Association for the Prosecution of Thieves. By 1882 there were two Lords of the Manor who were two of the four principal landowners. A principal landowner in 1894 was Major John Augustus Fane (1839-1908), of Barnes Common London, and son of Colonel John William Fane MP and Lady Ellen Catherine Parker, daughter to Thomas Parker, 5th Earl of Macclesfield (1763–1850).[19][19][20]

Also in 1848 the rectory was in the patronage of John Maryon Wilson, with the incumbency including a residence and 64 acres of glebe. The tithes had been commuted in 1839, for £600 per annum. The Church Land was about 4½ acres, let for an income of £6.8s. By 1882 there was 80 acres of glebe (reduced again to 56 acres by 1894); this and the residence was in the gift of Sir Spencer Maryon Maryon–Wilson, 10th Baronet (1829–1897), who held the patronage until at least 1894, later transferred to Sir Spencer Pocklington Maryon-Wilson, 11th Baronet (1859–1944) by 1902. Two notable rectors of White Roding were John Maryon (c.1692 – 17 Nov 1760), ordained a deacon in 1714, and rector in 1710 and 1720; and John Ellerton (1826 – 1893), the hymn writer and hymnologist, rector of White Roding in 1886.[21][19][20][22][23][24]

St Martins Church was restored in 1879 at cost of £1,700, which included the purchase of a new organ, and an added vestry, stalls for the chancel, and oak benches. The church containes 200 sittings. The parish register dates to 1547. In 1901 a memorial tablet to Queen Victoria was installed in the church, and in 1911, one to King Edward VII. A Congregational chapel opened in Jan 1888.[21][19][20]

A School Board was formed on 14 March 1873 for a Public Elementary School for boys and girls, which was built the same year for 99 children. The School was controlled by the Essex Education (Dunmow District) Sub-Committee.[21][19][20]

Parish population in 1841 was 488 (Morrell Roding with 33); in 1881, 398 (Morrell Roding with 25); in 1891, 383 (with Morrell Roding); in 1901, 373 (with Morrell Roding); in 1911, 388 (with Morrell Roding).[21][19][20]

Black Horse Inn, White Roding


White Roding Church of England parish church is dedicated to St Martin. The village public house is the Black Horse Inn. Trades and services include a recreation ground with a sports and social club, a garage services autocentre, a farm shop with restaurant, a flower shop, a barn wedding venue, and a catering equipment supplier. An anglers lake is within the site of Morrell Roding, and next to Cammasshall Wood.


  1. Mills, Anthony David (2003); A Dictionary of British Place Names, Oxford University Press, revised edition (2011), p.392. ISBN 019960908X
  2. "Morrell Roding", Open Domesday, University of Hull. Retrieved 14 February 2018
  3. 3.0 3.1 Luckombe, Philip, England's Gazetter, or An Accurate Description of all the Cities, Town, and Villages of the Kingdom (1751), vol 2. Reference to parish as 'Roding-Leaden' in 1751
  4. "Old maps of White Roding", Francis Frith web site. Retrieved 20 February 2018
  5. Essex OS Map, at Essex Walks (essexwalks.com). Retrieved 20 February 2018
  6. Hugson, David (1809); London; Being an Accurate History and Description of the British Metropolis and its Neighbourhood to Thirty Miles Extent vol 6, p.177. References the parish as 'White Roding'
  7. "White Roding", An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 2, Central and South west. London: His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1921. 256-258. British History Online. Web. Retrieved 14 February 2018
  8. White Roding Parish Council web site. Retrieved 14 February 2018
  9. "Town and Parish Councils", Uttlesford Council. Retrieved 14 February 2018
  10. 10.0 10.1 Urban, Sylvanus; Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Chronicle 1800, vol 70, part 2, p. 1032-33
  11. 11.0 11.1 Cromwell, Thomas Kitson; Excursions in the County of Essex (1819), vol 2. p.82
  12. The London Gazette 26 November 1845
  13. "Sheet 042" Map of Essex. Southampton: Ordnance Survey, 1872-1890. British History Online. Web. Retrieved 14 February 2018
  14. "general tail", Webster's Dictionary. Retrieved 18 February 2018
  15. 15.0 15.1 Blount, Thomas, Fragmenta Antiquitatis: Or, Ancient Tenures of Land, and Jocular Customs of Manors 1815 p.273
  16. 16.0 16.1 Newcourt, Richard; Repertorium Ecclesiasticum Parochiale Londinense, An Ecclesiastical Parochial History of the Diocese of London vol 2 Comprising all the county of Essex, pp.499,500, reprinted Sagwan Press (2015) ISBN 1297987551. References White Roding as Roding-Alba
  17. Cox, Thomas; Hall, Anthony; Morden, Robert (1738), "Essex" in Magna Britannia antiqua & nova: or, A new, exact, and comprehensive survey of the ancient and present state of Great Britain p.676.
  18. National Heritage List 1111985: The Old Rectory
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 Kelly's Directory of Essex 1882 pp.245-247 / 1894 pp.285-288 / 1902 pp.339-341 / 1914 pp.477-480
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 Post Office Directory of Essex 1874
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 Whites Directory of Essex 1848 / 1863
  22. Alumni Cantabrigienses: A Biographical List of All Known Students, Graduates and Holders of Office at the University of Cambridge, from the Earliest Times to 1900, Volume 1, Part 3 ed, by by John Venn and J. A. Venn. Reprinted Cambridge University Press (2011). ISBN 9781108036092
  23. Ellerton, John; Houseman, Henry; John Ellerton: Being a Collection of His Writings on Hymnology, Together with a Sketch of His Life and Works, Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1896 p.157
  24. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=encyclopaedia }}

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