Clavering, Essex

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Clavering Essex village sign.JPG
Clavering is located in Essex
 Clavering shown within Essex
Population 1,238 (2011)[1]
OS grid reference TL473318
District Uttlesford
Shire county Essex
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district CB11
Dialling code 01799
Police Essex
Fire Essex
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
List of places

Coordinates: 51°57′54″N 0°08′42″E / 51.965°N 0.145°E / 51.965; 0.145

Clavering is a village and also a parish in north-west Essex in England. The name 'Clavering' means 'place where clover grows'.[2]

Location and local area[edit]

Fordkeeper's cottage in Clavering

Clavering is situated 20 miles (32 km) south of Cambridge on the River Stort, close to the border with Hertfordshire. It is one of over 100 villages in the district of Uttlesford. Local towns are Saffron Walden, which is just over six miles north-east of the village, and Bishop's Stortford, eight miles to the south. The closest railway stations are Newport and Audley End. Clavering is located 10 miles from Stansted Airport.

Today Clavering is a large and scattered village community that encompasses seven 'greens' and three 'ends', which are: Hill Green, Stickling Green, Starlings Green, Roast Green, Sheepcote Green, Birds Green, Deers Green, Mill End, Ford End and Further Ford End. It retains many old timber-framed and thatched buildings. The oldest remaining parts of medieval Clavering's village centre are located at Church End and Middle Street, close to the church and the river.[2]

Village amenities[edit]

Footbridge leading into Simon's Wood

The village has a large playing field, called Jubilee Field, with bowls and tennis facilities and children's play area. Adjoining Simon's Wood provides access to many countryside walks. The area has several accessible fishing lakes, which attract keen anglers. These include Clavering Lakes – a series of five purpose-built lakes created in 1991.[3] Clavering has a primary school and large village shop with post office on Stortford Road, and there is a long-established garden centre/nursery on Hill Green called FW Whyman.

Village clubs and societies include Clavering Players, an amateur drama company that began life in 1945 as Cheerio's Concert Party.[4] Clavering Cricket Club plays on Hill Green and has done so since the turn of the 20th century. The pavilion was built in 1950 and features seating from Lord's, the home of English cricket.

Chef and TV presenter Jamie Oliver comes from and lives in Clavering. His father Trevor runs one of the two village pubs, The Cricketers.[5] The Fox and Hounds[6] is located at the other end of the village opposite the River Stort. Both the Fox and The Cricketers attract people from nearby villages such as Arkesden, Wicken Bonhunt and Langley Upper Green as well as Clavering residents.

Places of historic interest[edit]

Notable sites in Clavering include Clavering Castle and the former Clavering guildhall – now known as The Bury. The remains of the castle are now just ringworks and earthworks. The castle is believed to date from pre-Norman times. The former guildhall is a medieval Grade II* listed building.[7] Constructed in the early 14th century, it was restored following a fire in December 1991.

The parish church of St Mary & St Clement is largely 15th century, but contains some features from a pre-medieval church that stood on the site. Notable objects include the carved Elizabethan pulpit and stained glass.[8] There is a memorial in the church to Mary Wales, whose brother Charles Green and husband William Wales sailed on Captain James Cook's first and second voyages.[2]

Two other church buildings stand in Clavering. There is a brick built Primitive Methodist chapel (now a private home), dating from 1877–8 on Hill Green.[2] Clavering Christian Centre, now an ecumenical church/community centre, is on Stortford Road in a building that originally housed a Congregational church.[2]

The Moat Farm Murder and 'Sally Arsenic'[edit]

Two notorious murder cases are part of the village's history. The Moat Farm Murder in 1903 attracted scores of sightseers after the body of Camille Holland was dug up in the grounds of Moat Farm.[9] Some 50 years earlier Sarah Chesham (known locally as 'Sally Arsenic') was hanged for the murder of her husband. Previously she had been tried and acquitted for the murder of her two sons. This case influenced a change in the law on selling arsenic – requiring vendors to make a note of the purchaser's name, address and reason for needing poison.[10][11]


An electoral ward in the same name exists. This ward had a population of 1,461 at the 2011 Census.[12]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Local History". Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "Home : Clavering Fishing Lakes & Lodge, Essex". Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "Welcome Page". Clavering Players. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  5. ^ "The Cricketers, Clavering". Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  6. ^ "The Fox and Hounds". Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Clavering Local History Essex". Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  9. ^ "Retrieved 24 February 2013". Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  10. ^ "Retrieved 24 February 2013". Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  11. ^ "Retrieved 24 February 2013". Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  12. ^ "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 26 September 2015. 

External links[edit]