infobox UK place
country = England
latitude= 51.670
longitude= 0.380
official_name= Ingatestone
population = 4,504
shire_district= Brentwood
shire_county= Essex
region= East of England
civil_parish= Ingatestone and Fryerning
constituency_westminster= Brentwood and Ongar
post_town= INGATESTONE
postcode_district = CM4
postcode_area= CM
dial_code= 01277
os_grid_reference= TQ645995

Ingatestone is a small town in Essex, England, with a population of about 4500 people. To the immediate north lies the village of Fryerning, and the two form the civil parish of Ingatestone and Fryerning.

Ingatestone sits within an area of green belt land, twenty miles north-east of London. The built-up area is largely situated between the A12 and the Great Eastern Railway. Today it is a commuter village. Due to its rural yet well-serviced setting, the demographic is a mixture of young and old, skilled and unskilled, with a lure for the commercial and agricultural worker.


Ingatestone was established in Saxon times on the Essex Great Road (A12) that runs between the two Roman towns of London and Colchester. The name (originally "Ging ad Petram") means "settlement at the stone". Stone is not prevalent in the local geology, making the village stone—deposited by glacial action—unusual for the area. The stone can still be seen, split into three stones, one by the west door of the church and one each side of the entrance to Fryerning Lane.

By the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, Ingatestone ("Inga") was listed as a settlement of 430 acres and a dozen peasants "belonging always to St. Mary at Berking" (Barking). Ingatestone belonged to Barking Abbey from about 950AD until the dissolution of the monasteries, when it was purchased from the Crown by Sir William Petre. Petre, originally a lawyer from Devon, had risen to become the Secretary of State to Henry VIII. He built a large courtyard house, Ingatestone Hall, as his home in the village, along with almshouses which still exist today as private cottages in Stock Lane.

By the 18th century Ingatestone had become a major coaching town, although the coming of the railway saw a decline in business along the Essex Great Road, and Ingatestone again became a village. During the 20th century Ingatestone again grew as commuters moved to the area attracted by the surrounding countryside.

Due to congestion on the narrow Roman road, plans to bypass the village were first drawn up before the Second World War, but it was not until 1958 that construction commenced on a dual-carriageway bypass of the village. In the 1960s further sections of dual-carriageway were added to by-pass Brentwood and Chelmsford, to form the current A12 trunk road.

Places of interest

Ingatestone Hall has been the home of the Petre family since the 16th century, who chose the location due to the similarity of the village's Latin name with their own.

The Hall is today open as a tourist attraction, and inside is a range of antique furniture, paintings, and other historical artefacts. Queen Elizabeth I spent several nights at the Hall on her Royal Progress of 1561, and the Petre family reside there to this day. The Hall largely retains its Tudor appearance following restoration carried out between 1915 and 1937, and is set in formal gardens surrounded by eleven acres of grounds.

St. John Payne, one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, resided at Ingatestone Hall in the late 16th century as chaplain and steward for Lady Petre. He was martyred at Chelmsford in 1582.

The great smallpox inoculator, Daniel Sutton, made his base on Ingatestone High Street in Brandiston House, and carried out much of his work here.

The Anglican church dates from the 11th century, but was extensively modified in the 17th century. The tower is the dominant feature of the building. This is described by Simon Jenkins in his 1999 book "England's Thousand Best Churches" as 'magnificent, a unified Perpendicular composition of red brick with black Tudor diapering. Strong angled buttresses rise to a heavy bettlemented crown, the bell openings plain.'


There are three schools – infants, junior and the secondary school.

The junior school is a voluntary-aided church school with close links to the parish church. In recent years the number on roll has been increasing and is now over 170. ICT is a particular strength.

The Anglo European School is a self-governing state school for boys and girls of all abilities, with 1,277 students aged 11 to 19. It was the first state school in Britain to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma and the first to become a Language College.


The M25 motorway is 10 minutes away. The A12 by-passes the village to the north, and provides access to London, Chelmsford, Colchester, Ipswich and Norwich.

Ingatestone railway station also gives access to these same towns. The service to London is hourly off-peak, and more frequent during rush-hour. The Victorian station is unusual in having been built in a Tudor style of red bricks with black diapering.


There is a community association at which there is a large hall, and both bowls and tennis clubs. Ingatestone also has cricket and football teams. In addition there are a range of clubs and societies covering such diverse interests as history, photography, bridge and opera.

There are two village parks, "Seymour Field" (named in 1977 after 'Skip' Seymour, a former headteacher of a local school, and previously known as "Transport Meadow", having been donated to the village by the Ministry of Transport after the construction of the A12 bypass in 1958-59), and the "Fairfield" (historic site of village fairs, and still privately owned by the Petre family and leased to the parish council).

There are four churches within Ingatestone – Anglican, Roman Catholic, Elim Pentecostal, and United Reformed Church (URC).

The village community come together for key annual events, including a Victorian-themed Christmas evening on the High Street, and a free annual firework display on the Fairfield for New Year's Eve.


Ingatestone has recognisable urban functions; there are over one hundred shops and businesses.

Amongst the retail outlets are two small supermarkets, a baker, a butcher, a chemist, an ironmonger, an electrical shop, several clothes shops and hairdressers, a garden centre, several estate agents, two banks, a post office, and several specialist shops. Of particular note is the only Highland clothing and supplies shop in southern England.

There is an Italian restaurant named "Piero's". The building has a culinary tradition dating back to the time of Elizabeth I, and was formerly known as "Fifty One", after its street address number in the High Street, "Little Hammonds", and prior to that as "The Haunt". The restaurant is claimed to be one of the most haunted places in Essex.

The businesses represented include accountants, solicitors, insurance, architects, information technology, engineering, chartered surveyors and education. Ingatestone used to have a large employers in the printing and wheat industries, but both businesses have relocated elsewhere due to the high costs and limited space available in the village.

Public houses

There are four public houses along the High Street, although originally there were several more.

"The Star Inn" is the oldest, and dates back to the 15th century. It is tiny in size, with low-beamed ceilings and a huge open log fire. Attached to the beams are berets, helmets and ceremonial hats from various military divisions, alongside other old novelty headwear. "The Star Inn" is reputed to be haunted by the ghost of a dog, Toby, who belonged to the current landlord Roger Smith and was subsequently stuffed and mounted above the bar in the early 1980s.

"Stocks Bar" (formerly "The Anchor") on the corner of Stock Lane has more of a wine bar appearance.

The remaining pubs, "The Bell" and "The Crown", are of a conventional old-fashioned style, without the quirkiness of "The Star Inn", though "The Bell" boasts a substantial Elizabethan brick fireplace in the lounge bar.

Local government

The civil parish for the area is governed by Ingatestone and Fryerning Parish Council. Since 1974 the village has been within the Brentwood borough, although in earlier times the parish was (in order) part of Chelmsford Rural District, Chelmsford Rural Sanitary District, and Chelmsford Poor Law Union.

The village lies within the Chelmsford Hundred.

Ingatestone has two conservation areas, one covering the railway station and Station Lane, and the other protecting the central shopping area of the High Street.


Ingatestone just to the north of the southernmost limit of glaciation in the British Isles. Surface deposits over much of the area consist of boulder clay and it is only in the north-east of the area that there are more sandy deposits, though still of glacial origin.

These glacial deposits overlie London clay. London clay may actually be seen occasionally in the bed of the River Wid and its tributaries.

The geology of the area is responsible for the landscape and the character of farming in surrounding area. Crop farming is the typical use of boulder clay lands. The sandy deposits to the north-east of Ingatestone help explain the greater incidence of woodland and non-arable land in this area.


Ingatestone & Fryerning Cricket Club is celebrating its 150th year in 2008. In the first week of July a "cricket week" will be held in celebration against a number of sides, including a side organised by former England captain Graham Gooch.

Ingatestone is also home to Redstones Football Club who play in the Pope & Smith Football League.

ee also

*Ingatestone Hall

External links

* [ Ingatestone & Fryerning Community Association]
* [ Anglian Church of St Edmund and St Mary]
* [ Ingatestone Elim Pentecostal Church]
* [ Anglo European School]
* [ Ingatestone Musical and Operetta Group]
* [ The Megalithic Portal and Megalith Map] Ingatestone Standing Stones
* [ MilestonesWeb] Milestone on B1002 Ingatestone High Street
* [ Rotary Club of Ingatestone]

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