Pleshy is an Ancient Parish in the county of Essex.

Alternative names: Pleshey

Parish church: Holy Trinity

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1656
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1800

Nonconformists include:

Adjacent Parishes

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

PLESHEY, a parish, with an ancient village, in Chelmsford district, Essex; on a small affluent of the river Chelmer, 5½ miles NNW of Chelmsford r. station. Post-town, Chelmsford. Acres, 726. Real property, £1,365. Pop., 342. Houses, 80. The property is divided among a few. The manor belongs to the duchy of Lancaster. The castle of the High Constables stood here; was built by William de Magnaville; was the residence of the Duke of Gloucester, the youngest son of Edward III.; and the place of his arrest, in 1397, by Richard II.; was the scene, in 1400, of the beheading of the Duke of Exeter by the populace; went into decay soon after that event; was used as a quarry, about 1600, for building a lodge, which stood till 1767; and is now represented by a mound, great earthworks, two moats, and a curious bridge. A Roman camp previously occupied the same ground; was about a mile in circuit; and has yielded some relics, and left some remains. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Rochester. Value, £125. Patron, J. Tufnell, Esq. The church comprises a nave of 1708, a chancel of 1748, and the transepts and tower of a quondam fine cruciform double-aisled church of late decorated date, which belonged to a college for 9 priests, founded in 1393, by the Duke of Gloucester; and it contains mural monuments of the Tufnells, and fragments of several ancient marble tombs. Charities, £9.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

PLESHEY (Holy Trinity), a parish, in the union of Chelmsford, hundred of Dunmow, N. division of Essex, 6½ miles (N. N. W.) from Chelmsford; containing 337 inhabitants. This place was the seat of the high constables of England, from the institution of their office till nearly four centuries after the Norman Conquest; and from discoveries made, it seems to have been previously the site either of a Roman station or a villa. The village consists principally of one long street, and is surrounded by an intrenchment, inclosing also the keep mount of the Norman fortress, of which only a stone bridge remains, of singular construction, across the moat that separated the castle and its keep. The treacherous arrest of the Duke of Gloucester by Richard II. was planned while the former lay at this castle, from which the king himself decoyed him under the pretence of a friendly invitation to London. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £50; patron and impropriator, J. Tufnell, Esq. The body of the church was rebuilt of brick in 1708, chiefly by the munificence of Bishop Compton; but the tower which rose from the intersection of the ancient cruciform structure, remained in decay until renovated by the late Samuel Tufnell, Esq., who also added a handsome chancel. To the south of the church a college was founded about 1394, in honour of the Holy Trinity, by Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester, sixth son of Edward III., for a master, warden, eight chaplains, two clerks, and two choristers, whose revenue at the Dissolution was estimated at £143. 12. 7.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848

Parish Records


Poll Books


  • County: Essex
  • Civil Registration District: Chelmsford
  • Probate Court: Court of the Commissary of the Bishop of London (Essex and Hertfordshire Division)
  • Diocese: Pre-1846 – London, Post-1845 – Rochester
  • Rural Deanery: Pre-1845 – Dunmow, Post-1844 – Roding
  • Poor Law Union: Chelmsford
  • Hundred: Dunmow
  • Province: Canterbury

Similar Posts