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Messing is a village and former civil parish, 14 miles (23 km) north east of Chelmsford, now in the parish of Messing-cum-Inworth, in the Colchester district, in the county of Essex, England. The village has a population of around 300. In 1931 the parish had a population of 929.
The village of Messing lies amongst picturesque countryside just 15 miles from Chelmsford and 1 mile from Tiptree. It is a small and charming village steeped in history, with a population of around 300 people and a few local amenities such as a pub and church. It shares its parish with the tiny village of Inworth, which has a population of around 100 people and is home to several small businesses. The village of Messing was named as Essex's Best Kept Village in 2007 and 2008 and the Essex Village of the Year in 2018. It was the birthplace of Reynold Bush, ancestor to former presidents of the USA, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
The village church, named All Saints' Church, boasts character and tradition and, apart from its brick clock tower, was built entirely of rubble that was taken from a nearby Roman villa. Dating back to the 14th century, the whole church was refurbished in 1840 and, in the process, was fitted with new features that still remain today, such as a paved chancel of black and white marble and a stained-glass window that represents the Acts of Mercy (St Matthew 25:35, 36), and in the top part – Faith, Hope and Charity. It is believed that this window may have originally been at New Hall School in Chelmsford, until it was carefully removed in 1648 during the siege of Colchester in the English Civil War. It was then hidden in the church’s great chest, together with other treasures, in order it preserve it from destruction.
Even though Messing is nestled deep within the Essex countryside, the small village has excellent links to London from the neighbouring town of Kelvedon, which is home to the nearest railway station. From here, the journey by train to London Liverpool Street takes 45 minutes. By car, the city of Chelmsford is located just 15 miles from the village, and Colchester, Britain’s oldest recorded town is 8.5 miles away. Stansted airport is a 40-minute drive away, with other London airports such as Heathrow, Gatwick and Southend each accessible by car in under 90 minutes.
Messing is situated just 1 mile from the village of Tiptree, which has been a regular contender for officially being named ‘the largest village in England’. The village is known worldwide for its jam, marmalades and preserves, sold by the company Wilkin & Sons. The Wilkin family came to Tiptree to start farming in the early 1700s and established the renowned company in 1885.
Supposedly a derivative from the Saxons, the name ‘Messing’ translates to ‘Mæcca's people’. Popular tradition relates this to a battle between the Romans and Queen Boudicca on a nearby site called The Rampart. The village itself holds a traditional fair every year on the first Tuesday in July, which features toy and cake stalls and crafts and activities.
The name "Messing" means 'Maecca's people'. Messing was recorded in the Domesday Book as Metcinges. On 24 March 1889 part of the parish was transferred to Birch parish, Quashey Corner was transferred from Great Wigborough parish and Kelvedon Road, &c Houses were transferred to Inworth parish. On 1 April 1934 part of the parish was transferred to Layer Marney and part became the new parish of Messing cum Inworth and part became the new parish of Tiptree. On 1 April 1946 the parish was abolished and the remaining 3 acres merged with Birch parish.
The history of Messing has been published twice, in Roger Carter’s Simply Messing and William Goldsborough Whittam’s The Story of Messing. The village is close to a site called ‘The Rampart’, which according to legend is where Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni, was defeated by the Romans.
Reynald Bush, the first ancestor of the American Bush family, immigrated to America in 1631 from this village on the ship Lyon.
St Albans Lodge on School Road was built in 1880 as a private residence, before being taken over by Essex County Council as a children's home and later a training centre. As of 2018 it has been restored as a residence.
Messing Primary School
There has been a school, of one sort or another, in Messing since approx. 1837. The current school was opened in 1914 and celebrated its centenary in 2014 with a number of celebrations for villagers and former pupils and staff. As part of this, a book celebrating the history of Messing School was written and researched by local historian Tony Tuckwell. It was expected to be published towards the end of 2014.
The current building in School Road was built in 1914 and serves the villages of Messing, Inworth and the wider community. The Edwardian school building consists of three classrooms, a library, an office, a medical room, a staff room, community room and a separate hall. There is also a new computer room to enhance the children's learning of ICT.
The community room is equipped with a kitchen and a toilet and has access to an outside play area. This room is currently used for Reception and Key Stage 1 pupils and provides them with an outside play space as well as additional space for art and ICT.
The school is situated in picturesque, rural surroundings. The pupils have their own playing field that is used for sports, outside activities, fêtes and events. The grounds are also home to a play area, sensory garden and outside classroom. The location is ideal for environmental and wildlife studies. The school has strong links with the village community, sharing social occasions with local groups. There is an active Parent and Friends' Association who receive excellent support from the local community.
Close links with secondary schools in the area, including Thurstable School in Tiptree, prepares pupils for a smooth transition to secondary education.
In 2013, Messing Primary School became an Academy, sponsored by New Hall School, a leading independent boarding and day school in Chelmsford.
As an Academy, the school has greater freedom to run the school as they think best, drawing on New Hall School's excellent educational record and sharing expertise and facilities. Pupils benefit through shared sporting, music and community ventures with New Hall School. There has been improved access to ICT resources during teaching and learning sessions, increased tracking as part of the continual assessment of each child and greater parental involvement. The partnership means pupils from Messing can use the outstanding facilities on offer at New Hall, including their 25-metre indoor swimming pool where they can receive swimming lessons, free of charge, from the dedicated swimming coaches at New Hall.
The current headteacher is Mrs Jackie Halliday.
- "Distance from Messing [51.835618, 0.750509]". GENUKI. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
- "About Messing Village". Messing Primary School. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
- "Population Statistics Messing AP/CP through time". Vision of Britain. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
- "All Saints, Messing Church, Essex". Essex Churches. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
- "About". The Old Crown Messing. 5 May 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
- "Messing Key to English Place-names". The University of Nottingham. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
- Eilert Ekwall, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names, pp.323 and 318.
- "Essex L-O". The Domesday Book Online. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
- "Relationships and Changes Messing AP/CP through time". A Vision of Britain through Time. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
- Messing-cum-Inworth Community Website: Messing Village Archived 30 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- Media related to Messing at Wikimedia Commons