Birch is an Ecclesiastical Parish in the county of Essex, created in 1813 from Great Birch Ancient Parish and Little Birch Ancient Parish.
Alternative names: Little Birch, Great Birch, Great and Little Birch
Parish church: St Peter
Parish registers begin:
- Parish registers: 1560
- Bishop’s Transcripts: 1800
- Layer Breton
- Layer Marney
- Layer de la Haye
- All Saints in Stanway and Lexden
The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870
BIRCH, a parish in Lexden district, Essex; 3½ miles SE of Marks-Tey r. station, and 5 SW of Colchester. It comprises two ancient parishes, Great Birch and Little Birch; and has a post office under Colchester. Acres, 3,069. Real property, £4,318. Pop., 940. Houses, 189. The property is divided among a few. Birch Hall is the seat ofG. Round, Esq. There are remains of a small castle. The living is a double rectory in the diocese of Rochester. Value, £469. Patron, alternately the Bishop of Rochester andG. Round, Esq. The church of Great Birch is good; and that of Little Birch is in ruins.
Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].
A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848
BIRCH, GREAT AND LITTLE (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Lexden and Winstree, Colchester division of the hundred of Lexden, N. division of Essex, 5¼ miles (S. W.) from Colchester, containing 794 inhabitants. The parish is supposed to have derived its name from the Saxon signifying a bridge, in reference to a bridge over a brook, now called Hickford bridge. It comprises 3028 acres, by measurement; the soil is various, consisting of dry loam resting on clay marl of a whitish colour, and of heavier mould resting on brown clay. Birch Castle was fortified against Henry III. by Sir Ralph Gernon, then lord of the manor: there are still some remains. The living is a rectory, with that of Little Birch (formerly a parish valued in the king’s books at £5. 6. 8.) united, valued in the king’s books at £11, and in the gift of the Bishop of London, and C. Round, Esq.: the tithes of Great Birch have been commuted for £574, with a glebe of 57½ acres, and those of Little Birch for £210, with a glebe of 14½ acres. The church is a small edifice, with a spire of shingles. When the church of Little Birch became a ruin, several of the monuments in it were removed to Earl’s Colne.
Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848
The following records are available free online.
Poorhouses & Poor Law
- County: Essex
- Civil Registration District: Lexden
- Probate Court: Court of the Archdeaconry of Colchester
- Diocese: Pre-1846 – London, Post-1845 – Rochester
- Rural Deanery: Pre-1847 – Lexden, Post-1846 – Coggeshall
- Poor Law Union: Lexden and Winstree
- Hundred: Lexden
- Province: Canterbury