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Once upon a time in... Chigwell

PUBLISHED: 13:21 17 April 2009 | UPDATED: 15:56 20 February 2013

Chigwell School, c1904

Chigwell School, c1904

Chronicled by Charles Dickens, Chigwell's popularity is as unmistakeable as the landmarks in these images chosen by Deborah Peers of the Essex Record Office

CHARLES DICKENS described Chigwell as, 'the greatest place in the world' and it seems that many would still agree with him. But the village, still counted among the most sought-after places to live in Essex, has a history that stretches back long before Dickensian times. Chigwell is recorded in the Domesday Book, however, the Anglo-Saxon roots of its name point to an earlier existence and evidence of Roman occupation has been found by archaeological digs conducted in the area.

Chigwell's economy was largely based on farming and forestry, although other trades, such as watch-making, pottery and brick-making, also contributed. A number of fine houses were built in the area from the 1600s onwards, although only a few survive today.

Despite its proximity to London, Chigwell did not embrace the London day-trippers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries with such gusto as its neighbour, Loughton. Nevertheless a trip to the famed King's Head
was increasingly enjoyed as roads improved and remains popular
even to this day.


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