Great Totham

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Great Totham
Great Totham Village Sign - - 1776476.jpg
Great Totham
Great Totham is located in Essex
Great Totham
Great Totham
Location within Essex
Population2,930 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceTL862122
Civil parish
  • Great Totham
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townMaldon
Postcode districtCM9
Dialling code01621
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
WebsiteGreat Totham online
List of places
51°46′45″N 0°42′04″E / 51.779167°N 0.701111°E / 51.779167; 0.701111Coordinates: 51°46′45″N 0°42′04″E / 51.779167°N 0.701111°E / 51.779167; 0.701111

Great Totham is a village and civil parish in Maldon district, Essex, England, and midway between Chelmsford and Colchester. The village includes the Island of Osea in the Blackwater estuary and is separated into two parts, north and south. The north side and the south side are about a mile and a half apart, distributed along the B1022.[2] The parish contains the hamlet of Totham Hill.


According to the old maps, before the time of the enclosures, the outskirts of Great Totham North were part of Tiptree Heath, which was then a haunt of smugglers, attested in the name of a house in Mountains Road called Spirits Hall. The 'mountain' in question is Beacon Hill which at 272 feet (83 m) is one of the highest points in the county and probably the original place of settlement, giving the name Totham, this possibly derived from the Saxon, meaning look out or hill top dwelling.[3]

South of the village of Great Totham is St Peter's Church which dates to Norman times. There is also the thatch-roofed Barn Chapel. This became a chapel in 1822 when an Isaac Foster donated the barn to be a place of worship for non-conformists.[3]

The ancient road to Colchester by Tiptree Heath led through the parish of Great Totham, which in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558–1603) was held of the Queen’s manor of East Greenwich by William Beriff, an Alderman of Colchester, as her sub-tenant.[4]

Great Totham village school's centenary was in 1977, but by that time the Victorian building, now demolished, had been replaced by a larger modern school on a different site. Honeywood School, a Grade II listed building, is a church school which was founded by the Honywood family of Marks Hall at Coggeshall in the mid-19th century, which had inherited the manor of Great Totham. This is still in use as the church hall and meeting room.[3]

In the north of Great Totham there is a United Reformed Church dating to 1871. Recently refurbished, it is used for services and activities including a pre-school playgroup. Nearby, and adjoining the small village green, is the Compasses public house which dates to the late 17th century.[3] The Prince of Wales pub in Totham South was gutted by fire in 1990 with loss of historic features, but it has been rebuilt and reopened.[3]

Trades and crafts at Great Totham either died out or have been brought up to date.[how?] There are no longer walking stick makers, brickworks or saddlers. Old gravel pits have become recreation areas for fishing lakes.[3]

Village plaque

Great Totham has a village sign. A plaque, dated October 2002, attached to the village sign of the north area reads:

On 17 October 1952, two Gloster Meteors of No 72 Squadron, Royal Air Force, crashed nearby killing both pilots. F/O Charles Muldownie from Rotherham and P/O Ian Carmichael from Devon. Two local people were injured and many were affected by the accident.

Local people assisted at the time and this village green became the base for recovery operations by RAF personnel. This plaque is in memory of the pilots and for all those involved.


The population of the electoral ward was 3,660 at the 2011 Census.[5] Elected representatives at different levels of government act for Great Totham and surrounding villages.[6] Two elected district councillors represent the parish on Maldon District Council. Great Totham is part of the Witham parliamentary constituency, and is represented in the House of Commons by Priti Patel of the Conservative Party.[6]


St Peter's Church, Great Totham

St Peter's Church on Church Road was Grade II listed in 1959, and dates to the 13th century.

The nearest NHS (National Health Service) hospitals are Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford[7] and Colchester General in Colchester.[8]

Great Totham Primary School is in Walden House Road, Great Totham. The school is divided into 14 classes, two per year group. The school's motto is "Enjoy, Respect, Achieve".[9] In its Ofsted inspection in October 2007, the school received an overall rating of Grade 2, 'Good'.[10]

The closest National Rail service is in Witham or Hatfield Peverel, operated by Abellio Greater Anglia, with destinations including London Liverpool Street and Ipswich, Clacton, Harwich, Braintree and Norwich via the Great Eastern Main Line.[11] The nearest London Underground line is the Central line at Newbury Park.[12]

The Witham South District of Girlguiding UK comprises two Rainbow packs for girls aged 5–7 years old, three Brownie packs for girls aged 7–10 years old, a Guide unit for girls aged 10–14 years old and a Ranger unit for girls aged over 14 that live in Wickham Bishops, Great Totham and the surrounding villages.


In East Anglia, the warmest time of the year is July and August, when maximum temperatures average around 21 °C (70 °F). The coolest time of the year is January and February, when minimum temperatures average around 1 °C (34 °F) East Anglia's average annual rainfall is about 605 millimetres , with October to January being the wettest months.

Climate data for East Anglia (1971–2000 averages)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 6.7
Average low °C (°F) 1.1
Average rainfall mm (inches) 53.4
Source: Met Office



  1. ^ "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 22 September 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ (TL862122)
  3. ^ a b c d e f ISBN 978-1-85306-685-6, The Essex Village Book, The Essex Village Book, accessed 24 May 2012
  4. ^ England’s Gazetteer – An Accurate Description of All the Cities, Towns, and Villages of the Kingdom, vol.ii, London, date unclear but circa 1590. Under page “TO”.
  5. ^ "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 22 September 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ a b Great Totham find your local MP, WriteToThem. Retrieved 10 May 2012
  7. ^ Broomfield Hospital, Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  8. ^ Colchester General Archived 23 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Colchester Hospital University NHS Website. Retrieved 10 May 2012
  9. ^ [1], Great Totham Primary, accessed 24 May 2012
  10. ^ Ofsted Report, Current Ofsted Report. Retrieved 24 May 2012
  11. ^ Greater Anglia, Greater Anglia Website. Retrieved 10 May 2012
  12. ^ [2], Transport for London Website. Retrieved 10 May 2012
  13. ^ Met Office Archived 29 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Met Office Climate Data,accessed 10 May 2012

External links[edit]

Media related to Great Totham at Wikimedia Commons