Wicken Bonhunt

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Wicken Bonhunt
St. Margaret's church, Wicken Bonhunt, Essex - geograph.org.uk - 141801.jpg
St Margaret's Church, Wicken Bonhunt
Grid reference: TL4988733346
Location: 51°57’54"N, 0°8’42"E
Population: 223  (2011[1])
Post town: Saffron Walden
Postcode: CB11
Dialling code: 01799
Local Government
Council: Uttlesford

Wicken Bonhunt is a village and parish of north-west Essex, in the Uttlesford hundred.

The village is on the B1038 (Buntingford) road and is midway between the larger villages of Newport and Clavering. The nearest town is Saffron Walden, approximately five miles away. Stansted Airport is approximately ten miles away. The civil parish has a population of approximately 240.


Former Chapel of St Helen – one of the oldest surviving buildings in the east of England

Originally, Wicken Bonhunt may have been two separate communities, and the name possibly derives from old English for dairy farm (wic, pl. wicum) and huntsmen liable to be summoned (bann-huntan).[2]

Wicken Bonhunt is listed in the Domesday Book as the manors of 'Wica' and 'Banhunta', with 23 households, nine villagers, 11 smallholders and three slaves.[2][3] In 1238, it is referred to in subsidy rolls as 'Wykes Bonhunte'.

Signs of this early settlement include the 10th- or 11th-century former Chapel of St Helen in the grounds of Bonhunt Farm close to an M11 motorway flyover.[2][4] It is believed to be one of the oldest surviving buildings in the east of England, and an annual service is held at the site.[5]

A middle Saxon settlement of some size was excavated in the fields close to the Chapel in the 1970s, during the construction of the M11, with signs of an early settlement having been spotted in 1967 by a local archeologist.[5] Excavations found evidence of around 30 structures, including a long room, and artefacts retrieved from the site led archeologists to believe this could have been a royal manor.[2]

Parts of the Parish Church of St Margaret, including the chancel, are early 13th century, but there was extensive restoration and rebuilding in the 1850s in 14th-century style. It is a Grade-II* listed building. The interior includes a font that is thought to date from the 12th century.[6][7] Other listed buildings in the village include the Grade II* 16th-century Brick House.[8]


Thatched cottage at Wicken Bonhunt

Wicken Bonhunt's public house, formerly the Coach & Horses, reopened in 2012 as a Thai food pub serving real ales.[9]

A former young people's residential study centre at Wicken House was sold to property developers in 2009, having closed a year earlier.[10] In February 2012, a new village 'hub' community centre was opened at St Margaret's Church. The £200,000 project, assisted by grants from Essex Council, is designed as a new focal point for youth and community events following the closure of Wicken House.[11]


  1. "Parish population 2011". http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/LeadKeyFigures.do?a=7&b=11130626&c=CB11+3UE&d=16&e=62&g=6426299&i=1001x1003x1032x1004&m=0&r=0&s=1443267012541&enc=1. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Local history of Wicken Bonhunt village in Essex". Recordinguttlesfordhistory.org.uk. http://www.recordinguttlesfordhistory.org.uk/wickenbonhunt/wickenbonhunthistory.html. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  3. "Wicken [Bonhunt] | Domesday Book". Domesdaymap.co.uk. http://domesdaymap.co.uk/place/TL4933/wicken-bonhunt/. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  4. Good Stuff IT Services. "Former Chapel of St Helen at Bonhunt Farm - Wicken Bonhunt - Essex - England". British Listed Buildings. http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/en-415785-former-chapel-of-st-helen-at-bonhunt-far. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Recorders report 2008". Recordinguttlesfordhistory.org.uk. 23 April 2009. http://www.recordinguttlesfordhistory.org.uk/wickenbonhunt/Recorders%20report%202008.html. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  6. "Wicken Bonhunt | An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 1 (pp. 341-343)". British-history.ac.uk. 22 June 2003. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=122490. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  7. Good Stuff IT Services. "Church of St Margaret - Wicken Bonhunt - Essex - England". British Listed Buildings. http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/en-415772-church-of-st-margaret-wicken-bonhunt-ess. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  8. Good Stuff IT Services. "Listed Buildings in Wicken Bonhunt, Essex, England". British Listed Buildings. http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/england/essex/wicken+bonhunt. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  9. Sergio Manini. "Essex village pub sold to new owners - News". Saffron Walden Reporter. http://www.saffronwaldenreporter.co.uk/news/essex_village_pub_sold_to_new_owners_1_1345710. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  10. "Wicken House sold to developers - News". Saffron Walden Reporter. 1 April 2009. http://www.saffronwaldenreporter.co.uk/news/wicken_house_sold_to_developers_1_379277. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  11. "Community rejoices as £200k village church is revitalised - News". Saffron Walden Reporter. 23 February 2012. http://www.saffronwaldenreporter.co.uk/news/community_rejoices_as_200k_village_church_is_revitalised_1_1217538. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 

Outside links

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about Wicken Bonhunt)