Woodham Ferrers

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Woodham Ferrers
Church Cottages, Woodham Ferrers - geograph.org.uk - 1347477.jpg
Church Cottages, Woodham Ferrers
Woodham Ferrers is located in Essex
Woodham Ferrers
Woodham Ferrers
Location within Essex
OS grid referenceTL7963100050
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtCM3
Dialling code01245
AmbulanceEast of England
EU ParliamentEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°40′12″N 0°35′53″E / 51.67°N 0.598°E / 51.67; 0.598Coordinates: 51°40′12″N 0°35′53″E / 51.67°N 0.598°E / 51.67; 0.598

Woodham Ferrers is a small village about 7.5 miles (12 km) southeast of Chelmsford, located between South Woodham Ferrers and Bicknacre in the county of Essex, England. The village is often shortened to Woodham by those in the area. The village is sometimes erroneously referred to as North Woodham due to its geographical relationship with South Woodham Ferrers.


Originally a hermitage during the reign of Henry II the name Woodham was adopted in 1175 when it became a priory, including 60 acres (240,000 m2) of forest stretching towards Danbury.[1]

In the late 13th century the manor of Woodham Ferrers passed briefly to the Scottish noble house of Douglas by virtue of the marriage of William the Hardy, Lord of Douglas to Eleanor de Lovaine, the widow of William de Ferrers of Groby. Eleanor was a ward of Edward I, and had her late husband's manors of Stebbing and Woodham Ferrers made into a dowry for a future re-marriage. Douglas absconded with Eleanor, when she was attending to her late husband's estates in Scotland, and married her c.1288. Douglas, a significant figure on the Scottish side during the First Scottish War of Independence, had his English manors finally forfeited by 1298 when he died of mistreatment in the Tower of London. His son Hugh Douglas having been captured previously at Stebbing in 1296, by the Sheriff of Essex.[2]

There is a residence in the village that was once owned by the Bishop of York and was attacked during the Peasants' Revolt in 1381.

At the turn of the 16th century, the convent was used as a hospital until being returned to the church in 1540.[1]

Due to the proximity of both the Marconi Company and North Weald Airfield, the village was in the flight path for a number of air-raids during World War II; however it was not a direct target itself.[3]

The village was the centre of national media attention in July 2011 when some 4,000 gypsies arrived there for the Christian Light and Life Festival nearby. Local residents were angered by vandalism and litter which occurred after the gypsies arrived; local crime subsequently doubled and an extra 40 police officers were put on patrol to deal with it.[4]


The village is served by St. Mary's C of E primary school.

Religious sites[edit]

St Mary's Church, situated at the south end of the village, was recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086.


  1. ^ a b "Houses of Austin canons - Priory of Bicknacre or Woodham Ferrers". Retrieved 13 July 2008.
  2. ^ Fraser, Sir William. The Douglas Book, Edinburgh 1885. vol i, pp. 75,78, 93, 100,104
  3. ^ "War Around Woodham Ferrers". WW2 People's War. BBC. Retrieved 13 July 2008. External link in |work= (help)
  4. ^ Pollard, Chris (29 July 2011). "The only way is Essex for big fat gypsy knees-up". The Sun. London. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 6 August 2019.

External links[edit]

Media related to Woodham Ferrers at Wikimedia Commons