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Aerial view of Ingatestone
Ingatestone is located in Essex
Location within Essex
OS grid referenceTQ645995
Civil parish
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtCM4
Dialling code01277
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°40′12″N 0°22′48″E / 51.670°N 0.380°E / 51.670; 0.380Coordinates: 51°40′12″N 0°22′48″E / 51.670°N 0.380°E / 51.670; 0.380

Ingatestone is a village in Essex, England. The population recorded in the 2011 census was 5,365. This rose to 5,565 according to a 2019 estimate.[1] To the immediate north lies the village of Fryerning and together the two form the civil parish of Ingatestone and Fryerning. Ingatestone lies within the Metropolitan Green Belt, 20 miles (32 km) north-east of London. The built-up area is situated largely between the A12 trunk road and the Great Eastern Main Railway Line. Today, Ingatestone is an affluent commuter village, considered as one of the best places to live in the UK in 2020 by the Sunday Times.[2]


Ingatestone village sign

Ingatestone was established in Saxon times[3][4] on the Essex Great Road (now the A12) running between the two Roman towns of Londinium (London) and Camulodunum (Colchester).[5] The name means "Ing at the Stone", the affix distinguishing it from various nearby settlements that also formed part of the manor of Ing. It is first recorded in 1283 as Gynges atte Ston.[6]

Stone is not prevalent in the local geology making the village's stone, deposited by glacial action, unusual for the area. A large Sarsen stone can still be seen, split into three pieces, with one being located by the west door of the St Edmund and St Mary's parish church and one each side of the entrance to Fryerning Lane.

Ingatestone belonged to Barking Abbey from about 950 AD until the Dissolution of the Monasteries, when it was purchased from the Crown by Sir William Petre. Petre, originally a lawyer from Devon, had risen to become the Secretary of State to Henry VIII. He built a large courtyard house, Ingatestone Hall, as his home in the village, along with almshouses which still exist today as private cottages in Stock Lane.

By the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, Fryerning and Ingatestone (Inga) were recorded as being in the Hundred of Chelmsford and part of the land of St Mary of Barking with a value of 60 shillings (£3), which was held by Robert Gernon in demesne.[7]

By the 18th century Ingatestone had become a major coaching centre, but the advent of the railway saw its prominence decrease and a decline in business along the Essex Great Road. In 1889, the parishes of Ingatestone and Fryerning merged, now covering almost 4,000 acres (16 km2).[5] Ingatestone grew further during the 20th century as commuters, attracted by the surrounding countryside, moved into the area.

Plans to bypass the narrow Roman road through the village were first drawn up before the Second World War, but construction of a dual-carriageway bypass did not begin until 1958.[8] Further dual-carriageway sections of the A12 trunk road were added in the 1960s, to bypass Brentwood and Chelmsford.


Ingatestone lies just to the north of the southernmost limit of glaciation in the British Isles. Surface deposits over much of the area consist of boulder clay and it is only to the north-east that there are more sandy deposits. Geologist Ciara Lovatt conducted several rock mineral experiments on deposits within Ingatestone in the 1980s. The glacial deposits overlie London clay, which can be seen occasionally in the bed of the River Wid and its tributaries.

The geology of the area is responsible for the landscape and the character of farming in surrounding area. Crop farming is the typical use of boulder clay lands. The sandy deposits to the north-east of Ingatestone are a contributory factor in the greater incidence of woodland and non-arable land in this area.

Places of interest[edit]

Ingatestone Hall: seat of the Petre family since Tudor times.

Ingatestone Hall has been the home of the Petre family since the 16th century, who reside there to this day. The location was chosen due to the similarity of the village's Latin name with their own. A tomb monument to members of the family is located in the parish church of St Edmund and St Mary's.

The hall is currently open as a tourist attraction. It largely retains its Tudor appearance following restoration carried out between 1915 and 1937, and is set in formal gardens surrounded by eleven acres of grounds. Inside is a range of antique furniture, paintings and other historical artefacts. Queen Elizabeth I spent several nights at the hall on her Royal Progress of 1561. St. John Payne, one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, resided at Ingatestone Hall in the late 16th century as chaplain and steward for Lady Petre. He was martyred at Chelmsford in 1582. The smallpox inoculator, Daniel Sutton, made his base on Ingatestone High Street in Brandiston House, and carried out much of his work here.


Ingatestone has over a hundred shops and businesses. Among the retail outlets there are two small supermarkets (Budgens and Coop), a baker, a butcher, a delicatessen, a chemist, an ironmonger, a travel agency, an electrical shop, a video shop, several clothes shops, a hairdressers' shop, a garden centre, several estate agents, a post office and several specialist shops.

The businesses represented include accountants, solicitors, insurance, architects, information technology, engineering, chartered surveyors and education.[9]

Public houses[edit]

The Bell public house

There are two public houses in the village, both located in the High Street. The tiny Star Inn is the older, dating back to the 15th century. It features low-beamed ceilings and a large, open log fire. The Bell is a conventional pub in an old-fashioned style, with a substantial Elizabethan brick fireplace in the lounge bar. A third pub, The Crown, was shut down after a police raid in 2011 discovered cannabis being grown there. It has now become the Crown Mews development.


High Street, Ingatestone

Ingatestone has over 40 clubs and societies, ranging from arts and sports clubs to charitable societies. These include the Ingatestone and Fryerning Dramatic Club, which was founded in 1947; the Ingatestone Musical and Operetta Group, founded in 1970; the Ingatestone Choral Society, which is 70 years old; and the Ingatestone and Horticultural Society, which is affiliated to the Royal Horticultural Society and was formed in 1963. There is also a Community Association, which meets at a large hall in High Street. Other amenities include a recreation ground, a sports field and bowls and tennis clubs.[5]

The Rotary Club is active in Ingatestone and sponsored a war memorial in 2005 to mark the movement's centenary. The memorial, located in the village's Anglican churchyard, is dedicated to the memory of the men of Ingatestone who served and fell in the two world wars.

There are two parks. One is currently called Seymour Field, having been renamed after 'Skip' Seymour, a former headteacher of a local school, in 1977. It was previously known as Transport Meadow, having been donated to the village by the Ministry of Transport after the construction of the first A12 bypass in 1959. The other park is the Fairfield, a historic site of village fairs, which is privately owned by the Petre family and leased to the parish council.

There are four churches within Ingatestone: Anglican, Roman Catholic, Elim Pentecostal, and United Reformed.

The local community comes together for key annual events, including a Victorian-themed Christmas evening on High Street and a free annual firework display on the Fairfield on New Year's Eve.

Ingatestone has its own community magazine called the Ingatestone Journal. Delivered to residents of Ingatestone, Stock and Margaretting, it covers local issues and events, and provides a means for businesses to advertise their services.

The novelist and musician Alice Diehl lived in Ingatestone shortly before her death.[10] Sound poet and musician Henri Chopin lived in an old house by the railway station in the 1970s and 1980s. The actress Sarah Miles and her director brother, Christopher Miles, were born in Ingatestone. The noted naturalist and entomologist Sheffield Airey Neave lived in the village following retirement. Historian and author Ian Yearsley was born in Ingatestone.

Local government[edit]

The civil parish for the area is governed by Ingatestone and Fryerning Parish Council. Since 1974, the village has formed a part of the Borough of Brentwood, although the parish was previously part of Chelmsford Rural district, Chelmsford Rural Sanitary District and Chelmsford Poor Law Union.

The village lies within the Chelmsford Hundred.

Ingatestone has two conservation areas, one covering the railway station and Station Lane, the other protecting the central shopping area of High Street.


Ingatestone has three schools:

  • Ingatestone Infant School, teaching children between the ages of four and seven.
  • Ingatestone and Fryerning Church Of England Voluntary Aided Junior School, teaching children between the ages of seven and eleven from years 3 to 6.
  • The Anglo European School, a self-governing state school for children aged from eleven to nineteen, specialising in language study. It was the first state school in Britain to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma [5] and the first to become a Language College.


Ingatestone and Fryerning Cricket Club plays in Division 2 and 6 of the T.Rippon Mid-Essex League and celebrated their 160th anniversary in 2018. The village also has two football teams: Redstones Football Club and Stones Athletic Youth Football Club.


The M25 motorway is 7 miles (11 km) away by car. The A12 has been improved over the years and the original bypass has now also been bypassed to the north of the village, providing access to London, Chelmsford, Colchester, Ipswich and Harwich.

Ingatestone railway station on the Great Eastern Main Line is served Monday to Saturday by an off-peak service of two Greater Anglia trains an hour to London Liverpool Street, and one each to Clacton-on-Sea and Braintree. Rush-hour trains to London are more frequent. On Sundays there are hourly trains to Liverpool Street and Ipswich.[11]

Bus services are operated by First Essex and NIBS Buses.[12]


  1. ^ City Population site. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  2. ^ Times, The Sunday. "Ingatestone, Essex — Best Places to Live in the UK 2020". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  3. ^ "Ingatestone (Christianised Site) | UK". The Modern Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  4. ^ "Ingatestone Village". Archived from the original on 16 April 2016. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d Jarvis, Joanne (February 2009). "It's all action in Ingatestone". Essex Life. Archant Life.
  6. ^ Hanks, Patrick; Hodges, Flavia; Mills, A. D.; Room, Adrian (2002). The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: the University Press. p. 1080. ISBN 0198605617.
  7. ^ Ann Williams; G H Martin, eds. (2003). The Domesday Book: A Complete Translation. London: Penguin Classics. pp. 982, 1019, 1020, 1347.
  8. ^ Bypass opening 1959 Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  9. ^ Parish Council site Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Alice Diehl, musician and novelist". Thurrock Borough Council. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  11. ^ As at end August 2018.[1]
  12. ^ Bus times Retrieved 29 August 2018.

External links[edit]