Manuden

Manuden
Manuden’s sign features leather as an emblem, once an important craft here

Manuden, once Manewdon, wins a mention on this blog for several reasons, not least for what it did in 1888. The National Boundary Commission wanted to move the county line and reclassify the villages of Manuden, Ugley, Farnham, Elsenham and Stansted as Hertfordshire. The villagers put up a fight to remain in Essex and won their battle.

St Mary the Virgin church and the old cottages backing onto its graveyard
St Mary the Virgin church and the old cottages backing onto its graveyard

A rural village in the Stort Valley, Manuden has evidence of settlement dating way back. Coins and pottery have been found from the Bronze and Iron Ages as well as Roman times. The name itself is Saxon. The flint-clad church in the photo is 12th century in origin, but rebuilt in the 1860s. Backing onto its graveyard are Benrose Cottages; constructed in the 16th century they are probably the oldest domestic buildings in the village. Also worth checking out are some listed buildings including Cleeve Hall, the Ice House and Manuden House. Yews were once common in the village, their wood a popular choice with fletchers, and the name of the village pub The Yew Tree Inn, which itself dates back to the 15th century, reflects this.

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