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Belchamp Walter

Belchamp Walter is a village on the Essex Suffolk border. It is most famous for the location of Lovejoy's Workshop and the home of Lady Jane Felsham in the '80s TV series Lovejoy.

Belchamp Walter

A slideshow of Belchamp Walter from the air.

Much has changed in Belchamp Walter, the map below shows what it was like in 1897,
and in 1923.
An interesting article from the Halstead Advisor, 1973 describes the village as it was neary 50 years ago. Names of residents of the time are there.

Belchamp Walter, the village pond
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Seeing that no one seems to be interested in this
website the images have been renamed. If you are looking at the cached version of the original page,
then you will have to work out what they are named now

The History of Belchamp Walter.

Please also visit my page on St. Mary's Church.

The settlement of Belchamp Walter (Walter Belchamp) was recorded in the Doomsday Survey, William the Conqueror's massive stock-take of his new lands.

From 1066 to the present time some is known about the village particularly after the Raymond family purchasing the Manor in 1611. Prior to that time, in the years between Conquest and the 17th Century, the information is, like a lot of British history a little sketchy.

The oeriod before the Norman Conquest, in the years of Edward the Confessor (1042 - 1066), the settlement was under Saxon control. William allowed Ulfwine/Ulwine/Ulwin, a Saxon noble to remain or he assigned it to one of his compatriots that assisted him at the Battle of Hastings. He evEvnentually William gave the manor to the de Veres. Alberic de Vere was related to William the Conqueror but is not found in any records of the Conquest. This Alberic de Vere waa Sheriff of Beckshire and Chamberlain to William 1 and resident of Earls Colne was in control of the region. Robert Malet was possibly the first to "hold" Thunderlow but possibly had it confiscated as he "took-up" with Robert Curthose, William's oldest son.

The 16th Century manor house was replaced by the current Belchamp Hall in 1720/1721 by John Raymond III. The manor house was probably built prior to when it "came to" John Wentworth in 1539 and was probably of Vernacular architectural design. A few other such structures still exist in the village.

The photograph of the crossoads shows a view taken from the "Old Bake House" looking West towards the pond. The "Smithy" is on the left and the houses on the other side of the pond are no longer there and were possibly a work house complex.

The crossroads, the pond and the Forge are shown below. The brick wall had a circular structure, possibly the remains of the forge fire pit, behind it. As recently as 2015 you could see this structure which looked like a pond. This has now been redeveloped.

Belchamp Walter, The Crossroads and Pond around 1950

The current village, the cross-roads and duck pond, are relatively modern. I believe that the original village centred around the church and Belchamp Brook, south of what is now Belchamp Hall. The brook and the flood plain berween Belchamp Walter and Bulmer/Gestingthorpe were probably used for farming and possibly the location of the vineyard. The brook had been diverted at one point to serve as a mill race for the water mill that is now Lovejoy's Mill. The water mill was not listed and was converted to a holiday rental in 2009. However, the structure does still contain remnants of the original.

Belchamp Mill

See page on Belchamp Walter, the Water Mill

The Village Sign

The village sign that is to be seen at the pond at the crossroads and designed by villager Nigel for the Millenium celebrations 2001.

Belchamp Walter, Millenium Sign

The date of 904AD, and its relevance, is yet to be established. There is a date of 940AD, taken from Birch’s Cartularium Saxonicum, (1885-1893)

School House

The village Hall

Belchamp Walter, Village Hall

tempusfugit.me.uk is no longer the webmaster of the Village Hall website. The ownership has been transferred to a Village Hall Committee member.

8 Bells Pub

Now a private house. It is now callede Bell House and is located on Bells Road, Belchamp Walter.

Belchamp Walter, 8 Bells

The pub was named after the 8 Bells in St. Mary's Church.

1923 Map

map_1923

P. H. Reaney says about Belchamp Walter and its inhabitants/Major dwellings:

EYSTON HALL is Eston 1199 FF, Eston Belcham 1231 ib., Eston(e)halle 1321, 1345 FF, 1463 Pat, Easton-hall 1768 M. 'East farm.' v. tun.

NORTHEY'S FM (6") is Northey(e) 1254, 1255 Ass (p), (wood) 1277 Ipm, 1777 C. 'North woodland enclosure.' v. (ge)hæg.

ST MARY HALL is La Marie Halle 13th AD. The church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Sometimes called Merry Hall (M ii, 329).

SEVEN FARMS (local) is Seven Formes 1777 C. This is where the brook crosses the road from Belchamp Walter to Borley through a brick culvert. Formerly there was a washway which in flood-time had to be crossed by pedestrians over seven plank stools or forms (ER x, 60-1). Cf. Four Fourmes Pasture and Lower Fourmes infra 629.

CLARK'S FM, LARGESS FM, LARRETT'S FM (6") and PUTTOCK END are probably to be associated with the families of Richard le Clerk (1265 FF), Andrew Large (1319 SR), Richard Lariot (1503 Deed) and Peter Puttok (1255 Ass).

CROW'S FM and FISHER'S FM (6") are Crows and Fishers 1777 C. HOPKIN'S FM is Hopkins 1768 M. WAIT'S FM is Wights t. Jas I ChancP.

Seven Farms

The 1777 Chapman and Andre map shows Goldington, Smeeton and Kitchins.

Copyright and License

I have reproduced postcards and maps on this on other pages on this website. I have tried to adhere to both copyright and licensing issues. Please let me know if I am in violation and I will remove these images.

This website is totally non-commercial and the Creative Commons SA (CC-by-SA) licence often is valid but in some cases assumed.

March/April 2023 - This page is being updated.

It should be the "entry point" for anyone who is actually interested ib Belchamp Walter, I admit that I have been spending most of my time updating the ancient history of the village and the Wall Paintings in the Church in particular.

Roads

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