1065 -Maplestead (origin)first appears as ‘ Mapeltrestede’ in a Saxon charter. The earliest reference to ‘Mapultrestede magna’ (Great Maplestead) comes from documents, dated 1220, of Cartulary of the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem. The rest is history!
1881 Great Maplestead experienced a deep agricultural depression - a result of importing cheap American wheat. Farmers had to economise.
1794 ‘Sunday School’ commences -earliest education provision
1865 House of Mercy (penitentiary for Fallen Women)- built and established -£10,000 cost provided by Miss E. Barter (inherited Mrs. Mary Gee’s fortune)
1863 Mrs Mary Gee of Earls Colne built Great Maplestead School (St. Giles - Anglican)
Between: 1881 - 1916 68%of village men employed in some part of agriculture
1917 - 1951 54% of village men employed in agriculture
1952 - 1986 26% of village men employed in some part of agriculture
1986 80% of the village worked elsewhere and less than 18 % were born in the parish
1780 two ‘shops’ in village (1 was White Horse) .....between 1769-1830 no Inn in village
1850 village had 3 butchers, a bakery and 2 ‘beer’ shops -one became the ‘White Horse’ Inn
Prior to the 1850’s Maplestead produced a speciality crop - Coriander and caraway - broadcast with teasel and cultivated for three years. Teasels were sold to Halstead’s cloth manufacturers . The herbs sent to London for drug making and flavourings.
1819 Great Maplestead known for its hop production (40 acres)
Great Maplestead - Past History
Other handicrafts and trades in the village around 1850 included:Thatcher,Carpenters (2),Painter/Glazier,Shoemakers (3), Broommaker,Smithy,Wheelwright,Basketmaker
1914 All handicrafts and trade gone - except for the Smithy and one carpenter
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