The Future Development of Transport in the United Kingdom:

South East


Stansted Airport (The Parish of Takeley)

Page 67

Paragraph 9.23

The heritage of Takeley has been grossly understated in the Department of Transport Consultation Document. In reality the parish is renowned for the number of Grade II listed buildings to be found within its boundary. Only one paragraph in the Report is given to the devastating effects that expansion will have on the heritage of Takeley and the surrounding area.

The history of Takeley is a reflection of the history of England.

When the last glaciers melted they left behind fingers of sand and gravel interspersed with boulder clay. The higher, drier land to the north of Takeley was successfully colonised by Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age man.

This is the beginning of the History of Takeley .

Recently excavated remains from the Bronze Age and Iron Age are particularly impressive; Romano-British, Anglo-Saxon and Medieval man then occupied the same sites.

Other sites in the parish show clear signs of Roman occupation, evidenced by the numerous tile and brick fragments scattered all over the fields. This is hardly surprising as the important Stane Street route forms the southern boundary of the parish. The recent work on the eastern boundary has again thrown up the presence of a Romano-British population.

To the west of the parish, towards the River Stort, was the border of two ancient tribes; this was also the boundary between the Anglo-Saxon kingdom and the Danelaw. It is now the Hertfordshire-Essex border.

The parish has an Anglo-Saxon name (settlement-next-to-open-forest); the evidence suggests that this was an area of early Anglo-Saxon colonisation. Certainly by the time of the Norman Conquest there were four established manors in Takeley.

By the Tudor period Takeley had become prosperous and had recovered from the losses of the Black Death in the 14 th century, as shown in the Patent Rolls. This prosperity is born out by the wealth of beautiful houses to be found throughout the parish. These listed buildings (over 60 of them) are protected by law from inappropriate change and destruction, but not apparently from the acquisitive arm of Department for Transport.

The hamlet of Mole Hill Green is rich in heritage with many Grade ll buildings; it is a village in its own right with the 19th century village school still serving the village as its hall and meeting place. The local inn, The Three Horseshoes, is an integral part in village life.

Waltham Hall is attached to the hamlet of Mole Hill Green, which is proposed for annihilation. The green or ‘manorial waste' was probably the site of the ‘Fair and Market' granted by Henry III. It still has a rich selection of medieval field names as well as houses of the period. The last remaining manor, of Waltham, has close associations with the ancient abbey of the same name. This site is also destined for destruction.

Bambers Green is a very old hamlet with numerous Grade ll listed houses. It is also the site of an ancient ‘by way', Cobbs Lane. The proposals mean that Bambers Green will become uninhabitable.

The whole area has an enormously rich history .

The indications are that there is more archaeology to be uncovered within the area of the proposed expansion. This archaeology, once found, would like other sites be covered by Airport facilities, obliterated and lost to the nation.

Warish Hall Manor is one of the sites proposed for destruction; this is the last remaining Domesday site in the parish, (two other Domesday manors, Colchester Hall and Bassingbourne Hall, have already been sacrificed, being demolished during the last Stansted Airport expansion).

William the Conqueror chose Warish Hall, (or St. Valery as it was originally called), as the site for a priory attached to St. Valery in Picardy (Northern France) to commemorate his successful crossing of the Channel.

The 12 th century church of Holy Trinity lies half a mile from the end of two proposed runways. Aircraft noise from the proposed expansion would render it unusable.

Takeley is the story of the ordinary men and women who made this country great and prosperous. It has no Audley End or Hatfield House and people did not take part in major disturbances. Apart from the occasional stealing of wood, linen or money it had no major criminals until the advent of the Elsenham Gang in the 19 th century and even then only one of the gang (a woman) was from Takeley. The records suggest that Takeley probably sent archers to the great battles of Crécy and Agincourt, and men to defend the right of freedom of speech during the Civil War. It was, and still is, a community that supports law and order.

The modern day parish of Takeley has continued to evolve and is today a close knit and vibrant community. It is not a dormant commuter village. Takeley now has three schools, village shops, public houses and many village organisations catering for all ages, all of which are well supported.

The very assumption of the Consultation Document for the proposed expansion of Stansted Airport denies the existence of Takeley and its place in English History.

A country's heritage is the soul and consciousness for future generations. By destroying your history you deny your heritage.



Copyright © Takeley Local History Society