Ruins of St Peter's Church
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|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||East of England|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
Alresford (// (listen) or //) is a village and electoral ward in Essex, England. It is centred 9 km (5.6 mi) southeast of Colchester and is 39 km (24 mi) northeast from the county town of Chelmsford. The village and its civil parish are the district of Tendring. The local primary school is Alresford Primary School (~150 pupils, ages 4–11) and the village has a pre-school and church.
According to national census figures for April 2001, there were 2,125 inhabitants in 842 households, with an almost even gender balance. The percentage of the population above the age of 45 is higher than the national average. The population of the parish reduced to 2,009 at the 2011 Census.
The village's railway station usually sees one service per hour to Walton-on-the-Naze and Colchester. There are also some peak-time services to Clacton-on-Sea and London, operated by Abellio Greater Anglia.
The village is on the 62 and 98 bus routes. Services are provided by First Essex.
White's Directory of Essex 1848 described the village as "..ALRESFORD is a pleasant village and parish, on the eastern side of the vale of the river Colne, 5½ miles South East of Colchester, containing 289 souls, and 1427A.2R.25P. of land, watered by two rivulets, which fall into a creek of the Colne, on the south side of the parish. The creek is fordable at low water; and from this ford, and the alders still growing near it,the parish had its name.
At the Norman Survey, it belonged to the Earl of Boulogne. It is in two manors, Alresford and Cockayne, both now held by Mrs. Mary Higginbotham, of London, and formerly by the Fercle, Staunton, Tabor, Cockayne, and other families. Most of the soil belongs to other proprietors, the largest of whom is W.W. Hawkins, Esq., of Alresford Hall, which stands on an eminence, and has lately been mnch enlarged. Mr. Hawkins is the lessee of the manors.."<White's Directory of Essex 1848>
The village contains the ruins of an old Anglican church (St Peter's), has an inscription from about 1300, by Anfred de Staunton, "..This is probably the date of most of the structure, but the Roman brick quoins of the N.W. angle of the Nave are of the 12th-century, and the corresponding quoins of the S.W. angle have been recently exposed, showing that the 12th-century building was 21¾ ft. wide externally. The church was drastically restored in the 19th century, when the Chancel appears to have been partly rebuilt, the South Vestry, South Aisle and North Porch added, and the bell-turret rebuilt.." St Peter's burnt down in 1971, replaced by the 1975 essex-barn style church of St Andrew's.There is a thriving congregation of 70 adults with a children's and youth ministry. This is also used by local groups, including scramblers (for toddlers), Razmatazz (for 5 -11) and XGFC (teenagers). The Rector is Rev Pauline Scott (since July 2009). St Andrew's is also the home of P@STA - Alresford's own puppet company.
Close to the church is the Village Hall that is used for many other local activities including the local Scout Group, indoor bowling, weddings, photographic club,luncheon club and for elections. This was extended in 2015. Behind the church and village hall is the recreation ground, with a children's playground and space for football pitches used by Alresford Colne Rangers F.C. who have a club house with changing rooms attached to the Village Hall. There are also two bookable, flood-lit all-weather pitches.
A mile to the south of the village, past the ruins of St Peter's, is the picturesque Alresford Creek. Here are fifty yacht moorings managed by Alresford Creek Boat Owners. (The ford is no longer passable by 4x4 vehicles due to the amount of mud at the bottom of the creek. Although it is still marked as fordable on GPS and paper maps.)
In 2008 Alresford made the news when it was reported that its residents were unhappy with the rising levels of crime. In response to this, on top of their normal taxes the villagers paid an additional £13,000 so that the local Essex Police could have an officer assigned to specifically patrol the village. The appointed Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) was seen as a success by the villagers and was credited in an overall reduction of crime in the village. Despite the large amount spent on having her specifically patrol the village residents voted eight to three to keep her post. Official figures show that since the deployment of a dedicated PCSO for the village crime has been reduced including criminal damage and anti social behaviour, which was previously increasing in the village before the PCSO was appointed. The cost of PCSO is now shared with a neighbouring village, Great Bentley.
- G.M. Miller, BBC Pronouncing Dictionary of British Names (Oxford UP, 1971), p. 4.; note /s/, not /z/
- National Statistics Online: statistics for Alresford
- "Alresford Ward (as of 2011) Local Area Report". nomis official labour market statistics. Office of National Statistics. 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2019 – via Durham University.
- Ltd, swlines. "Realtime Trains | Departures from Alresford (Essex)". Retrieved 29 June 2016.
- "Alresford". An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 3, North East. London: British History Online. 1922. p. 5.
- St. Peter's Church, 1969
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