Ancient Parish History

The history of the Parish is on record from pre-1046 for the Church and in the 1086 Domesday Summary.  Much of this ancient History was ably assembled and summarised in 1979 by the late Mrs Eileen Judson who was resident in the village for many years and long-time member of the Parish Council.

(The Judson family lived in both The White House and Wainsford Farm).

There is extensive coverage of the history of St Katharine’s Church, Little Bardfield Hall and the Alms Houses as separate sections.

The more recent history has been gleaned from various sources including local people’s memories, including photos from the 1920’s and happenings in WW2.

This will be covered, as relevant, in the three areas of the Parish including Buildings of Interest.

  River Pant:  About 800BC-400AD, the word Pant was used to describe a hollow.
1046 The tower and nave of St Katharine’s Church were in existence.
1066 William the Conqueror was crowned King William I of England on the 25 of December.
1086 In the Domesday Book the area is entered as Berdefelda or Birdefella which translated to Bardfield.  The people count at that time included several slaves. Although the two parishes of Great and Little Bardfield were recorded as one community, they were separate as indicated by the histories of the two churches.
1537 St Katharine’s Church records of marriages and deaths existed.
1539 Henry VIII granted the Burgh of Bardfield to his Queen, Anne of Cleaves. Later, Little Bardfield Parish was given by the Earls of Colne to the Abbey of Bec in Normandy. Later, it was given by Charles I to the Haberdashers Company in London.
1653 The original Little Bardfield Hall was re-built as a Manor House
1725 Some of the farms were included in a purchase by Guys Hospital.
1774 Sarah Bernard, widow of the Rev. Thomas Bernard, created funds in her Will to build a school and five terraced Alms Houses.
1777 Early maps clearly show Little and Great Bardfield, Hawkspur Green and Oxen End.
1805 A First Series Ordnance Survey Map shows all four locations with shading to indicate changing elevations.
1834 Under the Poor Law, Little Bardfield became part of the Great Dunmow Union and the associated workhouses.
1842 The plant name “Bardfield Oxlip” was established.  This is one of the few plants/floras to carry the name of an English Village
1910 The Brother of St Paul Theological College formed in the Rectory
1936 Hawkspur Green “Q” Camp established.
1938 The Parish was featured on British Pathe News at the Spread Eagle Pub.
1942 Little Bardfield Hall was used by Dr Barnardo’s Homes for young children
1950’s Little Bardfield Hall and Barn became a Night Club, Blues Club and Concert venue
2009 Village Design Statement was constructed polling the views of the residents and considering relevant Planning Regulations regarding any future housing developments.
2011 Emergency Response Plan established covering local knowledge and equipment to co-ordinate with the professional Emergency Services in the event of a major incident.
2019 New Parish Website created for current events and the Parish History since 1046.


For further history information, please follow these links:

Little Bardfield Village

Hawkspur Green

Oxen End