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St. Mary the Virgin church, Kelvedon
Kelvedon shown within Essex
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The existing village of Kelvedon has been a settlement since the early Middle Ages, though it stands near (and partly on) the site of a Roman settlement, probably Canonium. Kelvedon expanded significantly in the Victorian era. The reason was the Norwich - London railway, making it a place to live yet get to work as train was the only fast method of transport. Victorian Kelvedon was set along one street - The High Street. In the 1930s, with the advent of the car, the High Street became the A12, the main road through Essex. Ribbon development saw houses sprawl along the road for miles. The village suffered major congestion until the bypass was built in the 1960s. Suburbanization started to take place in the 1980s - a large development called Riverside Park was constructed containing hundreds of homes.
Kelvedon is situated next to the village of Feering and is separated from it by the River Blackwater. The River Blackwater was spanned by a packhorse bridge, built around 1750, which was an essential part of the main road carrying traffic from Norfolk and Suffolk to London and this feature was significant in making Kelvedon an important staging post on the main route to London, as could be seen from the numerous inns and hostelries which served the area.
In the late 19th Century, Kelvedon became famous for seed growing and the firm of Kings Seeds, now part of Associated British Foods, became famous for the production of flower seeds, notably sweet peas, and vegetable seeds. Perhaps the most recognisable vegetable seed developed by and still produced by Kings Seeds is the Kelvedon Wonder Pea.
The village is bounded to the north by the river Blackwater where the adjacent village of Feering starts. Kelvedon contains a school called Kelvedon St Mary's. The original school (Ayletts Foundation School) in Kelvedon was founded by Thomas Aylett in Maldon Road, Kelvedon in 1632 when he bequeathed the property along with £10 per annum to provide a salary for a master. The school closed in 1944 and was replaced by the Kelvedon St Mary's School located on the corner of High Street and Easterford Road (now the Kelvedon and Feering Health Centre) which was in turn replaced in 1977 by a new school located in Docwra Road. The Ayletts building still stands today and houses the Kelvedon Library and Museum. There are many lanes and roads in Kelvedon which mean it branches out and contains room for a number of people.
Kelvedon railway station is on the London Liverpool St. line with trains approximately every 20 minutes. Bus services are provided by the 71 First Bus service Chelmsford–Colchester route and the Hedingham & District 91 service from Tollesbury–Witham. The A12 has links with the rest of East Anglia and the North.
- C.H. Spurgeon, known as the "Prince of Preachers", was born in Kelvedon on 19 June 1834. Charles Spurgeon was a powerful preacher of the Victorian era and boasted the largest congregation in London, to the extent that his weekly sermon was printed and sold in thousands. The Metropolitan Tabernacle was built for him. Charles Spurgeon never returned to Kelvedon to preach although he was invited in 1853 to do so in the new Independent Chapel built in the village, an invitation which he refused. There is a blue plaque on a building in Kelvedon High Street commemorating the place of his birth.
- Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Parish Headcounts : Braintree Retrieved 2009-11-24
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