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Langdon Hills
The Summit, Langdon Hills
Basildon District (now Borough) boundary at Crown Hill in 2002

Langdon Hills Land Sale 1897

Langdon Hills

The Parish of Langdon Hills was once part of Orsett Rural District. The Orsett Rural District was formed in 1894 and survived to 1936. In 1934 parts of Langdon Hills were removed and became part of the new Billericay Urban District. The remainder of Langdon Hills, in 1936, became part of the newly formed Thurrock Urban District, now known as Thurrock, a unitary authority with borough status.

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales by Rev. John Marius Wilson

The Reverend John Wilson edited these impressive topographical volumes between 1870 and 1872. They included a brief description of Langdon Hills.

LANGDON-HILLS, a parish in Orsett district, Essex; 2¾ miles N by W of Stanford-le-Hope r. station, and 5½ S of Billericay.

It takes its name from one of the highest hills in the county, commanding a splendid view over the Thames; and it includes the hamlet of West Lee, which was anciently a separate parish.

Post-town, North Ockendon, under Romford.

Acres, 1,775. Real property, 1,782. Pop., 289. Houses, 56.

The manor belonged formerly to the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's.

The living is a rectory in the diocese of Rochester. Value, 400.* Patrons, the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's.

The church stands on the W side of the hill; and comprises nave, chancel, and N chapel.

White's gazetteer and directory

In the 1800s the publisher William White of Sheffield produced a small history of Langdon Hills in his yearly gazetteer and directory.

Reproduced here is the entry information for Langdon Hills from the 1848 edition.

LAINDON HILLS, or Langdon Hills, a scattered village and parish, on a lofty eminence, 5 miles South of Billericay, and 8 miles North of Tilbury Fort, has 288 inhabitants, and 1775 acres of land.

The hill on which this parish stands is about a mile in length and breadth, and its summit commands one of the finest prospects in England, extending over the vale of the Thames from London to the Nore. From the north, the ascent of the hill is gradual, but its other sides rise abruptly. Pleasure parties from the metropolis and other places often assemble round a large tree at the highest point, to enjoy the extensive and delightful view, in which is seen the broad bosom of the Thames for a distance of nearly forty miles, thickly studded with steam and sailing vessels; and a wide range of country in this county and Kent.

The manor of Laindon was held at the Conquest by Suene of Essex, and afterwards passed to the Langedon and Sutton families, but reverted to the Crown in 1382. It now belongs to the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, London, together with the manor of West Lee, which was anciently a separate parish, but was united to this parish in 1432, and the site of its church is now unknown.

West Lee belonged to Edeva, before the Conquest, and to the Canons of St. Paul's at the Norman Survey. Edward II. granted to it the immunity that no King's purveyor should take any corn within its precincts. An estate here was given by Thomas White, D.D., as an endowment of the five scholarships and the professorship of moral philosophy, founded by him at Oxford, in 1621.

The manor of Goldsmiths, in Laindon Hills, is held by Mrs. Baker, and was formerly held by the Malgrave, Archer, Andrews, Askham, Cotton, and Hatton families. In the parish is a large wood, belonging to Mr. Dimsdale.

The Church (St. Mary and All Saints), stands on the western side of the hill, and has a nave, chancel, and north chapel.

The discharged rectory, valued in K.B. at 10.3s.9d., and in 1831 at 255. is in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of St. Pauls, and incumbency of the Rev. R.C. Packman, B.A.

The inhabitants of note are listed as:

James Cockerell, blacksmith
Rev. Robert Collier Packman B.A., rector (and minor canon of St. Paul's)
James Ramplee, victualler, Crown Inn


James Buckenham
James Cockshead
James Ely
John Giblin
Joseph Kirkham, Malgraves
William Parker
Thomas Sadler
Samuel William Squier
Samuel Westwood

Source: William White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Essex 1848

White's Directories
The publisher William White of Sheffield issued a yearly series of gazetteer's and directories covering the United Kingdom. These began in 1826 in partnership with William Parson, but from 1831 were solely the work of White. William White continued to produce these until 1898 when his company was absorbed into Kelly's (Frederic Festus Kelly) trade directory, which continued into the twentieth century.

Kelly's Directory of Essex, 1894

LANGDON (Laindon Hills or Langdon Hills) is a village and parish, beautifully situated on one of the highest hills in the county, commanding a splendid view over the Thames and the rich landscapes of Essex and Kent, with a station one mile south on the Tilbury and Southend railway, 31 miles from London, 9 north-east from Tilbury Ferry, 4 north-east from Orsett and 9 south-east from Brentwood.

It is in the South Eastern division of the county, Barstable hundred, Orsett union and petty sessional division, Brentwood county court district, and in the rural deanery of Orsett, archdeaconry of Essex and diocese of St. Albans.

The old church of St. Mary the Virgin and All Saints, situated on the west side of the hill, consists of chancel, nave and north chapel, but is now used only as a mortuary chapel.

The parish church of the same name, built in 1877, on the top of the hill, is an edifice of Kentish ragstone with Bath stone dressings, in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, nave, north aisle, divided from the nave by an arcade of three bays, south porch and a massive western tower containing 6 bells: the east Window and two others are stained: there are 230 sittings. The register of baptisms and burials dates from 1686; marriages, 1690.

The living is a rectory, average tithe rent-charge 304, net yearly value 223, with 30 acres of glebe and residence, in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, to whom the parish anciently belonged, and held since 1886 by the Rev. Alfred Poole M.A. of St.Edmund Hall, Oxford.

Joseph Dimsdale esq. Frederick Morley Hill esq. Thomas French esq. and Oxford University are the principal landowners.

The subsoil is clay, gravel and sand. The chief crops are wheat and beans.

The parish contains 1,800 acres; rateable value, 1,201; the population in 1891 was 213.

Sexton, George Burr.

Post Office.-William Tween, sub-postmaster. Letters from Romford, through North Ockendon, arrive at 8 a.m. by rural messenger & by rail at 9 a.m. & dispatched at 4 p.m. Letter Box in school wall cleared at 4.10 p.m. ; sundays 11 a.m.

The nearest money order & telegraph office is at Horndon-on-the-Hill. Postal orders are issued here, but not paid.

Parochial School (mixed), for 60 children; average attendance 25; John Nettlingham, master

Allen Mrs
French Thomas
Hill Fredk. Morley F.S.S. Northlands
Murrell Thomas, Dry street
Parker William
Poole Rev. Alfred M.A. Rectory


Clewlow Charles, farmer, Wesley Hall
Hockley Samuel, shopkeeper
Raynor Hannah (Mrs.), Crown inn
Page John, farm bailiff to Edward Parker esq
Tinworth William, shoe maker, Dry st.
Tween Wm. shoe maker, Post office
Wheaton John, farmer, Hall farm
Wrigglesworth William, farmer

West Lee

WEST LEE (or Leigh Chapel), 1½ miles east, anciently belonged to Editha, daughter of Godwin, Earl of Kent, and queen of Edward the Confessor: it was formerly a distinct parish, but in 1432 was united with Langdon Hills, of which it has become a hamlet.

The chapel has long since disappeared.

This article is used in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales.

Text written 2002.
Copyright © 2002, Basildon History Online. All rights reserved.
Page added: 2001
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