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HENHAM (or Henham-on-the-Hill) is a parish 1 ½ miles north-east from Elsenham station on the Great Eastern (Cambridge) railway, 6 north-east from Bishops Stortford and 34 from London, in the Northern division of the county, Clavering and Uttlesford hundreds, Saffron Walden petty sessional division, Bishops Stortford union and county court district, and in the rural deanery of Newport, archdeaconry of Colchester and diocese of St. Albans.
The church of St. Mary the Virgin is a large and ancient building of stone in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave of four bays, aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower with short spire, containing 5 bells and a very fine clock, placed in 1887 by Salisbury Baxendale esq. as lord of the manor, together with about 400 other contributors, including the school children: there are two piscinae, an ancient octagonal font and an oaken pulpit, the sounding board of which has been taken down and converted into reading desk: an ancient oak screen divides the chancel and nave: in the chancel is a marble monument to Samuel Feake esq. formerly president and governor of Fort William, Bengal, whose family held the estate of Henham Hall in the 18th century; Walter, 5th Baron Fitzwalter, who died in 1407, was buried here. In 1897 a sum of £600 was expended in opening out the original oak roof, reseating the nave, enlarging the organ &c.; there are 400 sittings. The register dates from the year 1539. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value, £290, with 10 acres of glebe and residence, in the gift of and held since 1896 by the Rev. Joseph Monk M.A. of St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge.
The Congregational chapel was erected in 1864, at a cost of £1,000, left by will for this purpose by the late Edward Sandford esq. of Bollington Hall, in the parish of Ugley, who died in June, 1863: it will seat 500. There is also a room, opened at the same time, used for lectures and a Sunday school.
Charities amounting to £30 yearly are distributed in kind.
William Fuller Maitland esq. of Stansted Hall, who is lord of the manor and lay rector, & Sir Walter Gilbey bart, of Elsenham Hall, who is lord of the manor of Pledgden hamlet, are the principal landowners.
The soil is chiefly a strong clay and loam; subsoil, clay. The crops are wheat, oats, barley and roots. The area is 2,992 acres; rateable value, £8,988; the population in 1901 was 700.
Pledgden Green, 2 miles south-east from Henham, has a few cottages.
A School Board of 5 members was formed 27 July, 1874, for the united district of Henham & Chickney; H. Baker, Bishops Stortford, clerk to the board.
Board School (mixed), built in 1875, for 170 children; average attendance, 117—33 boys, 31 girls & 53 infants.