St Bartholomew's Church, Wickham Bishops
Wickham Bishops is a village and parish in the Thurstable hundred of Essex. It is located around three miles north of the town of Maldon and around two miles south-east of Witham, in whose post town it lies.
The place-name 'Wickham Bishops' is first attested in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it appears as 'Wicham', meaning 'dwelling place with a (dairy) farm'. 'Bishops' refers to the fact that the land belonged to the Bishop of London.
Wickham Bishops is located close to the A12 road, while the nearest railway station is Witham on the Great Eastern Main Line.
The village once had a railway station of its own on the Witham–Maldon branch line, which opened in 1848 and closed in 1964.
Wickham Bishops has a village hall (reconstructed in 2005), playing fields, a library, tennis courts, a hairdresser, health food shop, estate agent, a One Stop local shop/off licence and two pubs, the Mitre and the Chequers.
There is a small library which is located in the old school building in School Road.
The Anglican parish church is St Bartholomew's. The clock on its steeple was converted to an electronic mechanism in June 2008 (previously being wound by hand). The church was built on the western side of the hill on which the village stands. It is a Victorian replacement for the medieval St Peter's Church, which stands alone in the fields to the west near the River Blackwater, and beyond the disused railway line to Maldon.
The redundant Church of St Peter was probably built as a private chapel for the bishops of London who then owned the village. Since 1975 it has belonged to the Friends of Friendless Churches.
The village’s drama club, named 'Wickham Bishops Drama Club', first performed in 1928 with a production of HMS Pinafore. Since then the club continues to perform various productions throughout the year featuring both their adult group and Junior Workshop. The club rehearses twice a week, Mondays and Thursdays 8–10 pm, all year round currently producing 4 shows a year – the pantomime, the summer production, a spring play and an entry for the Gimson One Act Play Festival.
Witham South District of GirlGuiding UK is made up of two Rainbow packs for girls aged 5–7 years old, three Brownie packs for girls aged 7–10, a Guide unit for girls aged 10–14 and a Ranger unit for girls aged 14+ who live in Wickham Bishops, Great Totham and the surrounding villages.
England cricket captain Alastair Cook lived in Wickham Bishops as a boy.
- "Civil Parish population 2015". http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/LeadKeyFigures.do?a=7&b=11130630&c=Wickham+Bishops&d=16&e=62&g=6425513&i=1001x1003x1032x1004&m=0&r=1&s=1443004853796&enc=1. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
- Eilert Ekwall, Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names, p. 516.
- Alastair Cook, Starting Out – My Story So Far, p.1.
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