Dengie Hundred in 1594

Author and mapmaker John Norden paid a visit to Essex in 1594 and wrote a description of his visit in Speculi Britanniae Pars

Some revealing extracts dealing with Eastern Essex are reproduced below.

  • I cannot comment the healthyness of it especially near the sea coasts, The Dengie Hundereds and other low places about the creekes gave me a most cruel quarterne fever but the many and sweet comodities counteract the danger.

  • The Hundred of Dengie yields  milk, butter and cheese in admirable abundance and in those parts are great and huge cheeses made wondrous  for their massiveness and thickness.

  • Some of the sea shore of Essex yields the best oysters in England called Walflete Oysters.So called because of a place in the sea although which place is subject of some dispute. By the circumstances that I have observed in my travels I take it to be the shore which lies between St Peters Chapel and  Crouch Creeks the breadth of the Dengie Hundred through which on the very shore was ereceted a wall for the preservation of the land.

  • The Dengie Hundred is very ill watered having no springs, having only standing waters which is bad for winter and worse for summer.

The guide identified the villages of the Dengie Hundred as:-  Ashildon, Burneham, Cricksey, Denge, North Fambridge, Lawlinge, Lachendon, Mayland, Mundon. Norton, St Peters on the Wall, Purley, St Lawrence, Southminster, Stansgate Monastery, Steple, Stow, Tillingham, Woodham water and Woodham Mortimer.