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A Brief History & Timeline

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Ardleigh (Ergela) comes from two old English words - Ard (High) and Ley (Pasture). Archaelogical digs proved that the village had been settled since bronze age. In the days of Edward the confessor the land belonged to six freemen. Soon after it was owned by only two, Osbert and Scapie. The Saxon landowners were turned out of and the parish was divided among four of William 1 followers. Their names were Roger de Ramus, Hugh de Gurnai, Robert Gurnon and Geoffery de Magnaville. Roger de Ramis owned the Manor of Piggots, where Ardleigh Hall stood. Hugh de Gurnai owned Bovills Hall and the land surrounding, Robert Gernon owned Moze Hall and its land. Geoffrey de Magnaville owned where Martells Hall stood. Ardleigh is one of the largest parishes in Tendring Hundred. The village lays four and a half miles north of Colchester and about four and half miles from Manningtree. The parish contained 4,905 acres and was forty miles in circumference containing four manors. Four of the Manors are Piccotts, Bovills or Bradvills, Mose and Martell's Hall. On the parish boundary were some areas that were unenclosed heathland. They were on most part too low -lying for easy drainage or covered with clay which was too hard from farming. Small settlements had developed on these heaths. The heaths were: to the north Dedham Heath (now called Ardleigh Heath), to the west Skipping Street Heath or Cock Common which was on the main Ipswich Road on the Langham border, to the south-west Beggar.  In Ardleigh there was an annual Garden Show, in Newth Meadow, it was a big event , the railway used to run special trains and farmworkers had a day off. There were marching bands, displays, athletics and a horticultural competition. A fair was held on the 29th September. The bakery was one of the last coal-fired bakeries using traditional methods and was closed in 1986.

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Picture: Elm Park, Ardleigh - Taken in 2002 by Melanie


 

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