Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre
Dr Walkers School Foundation
Notice of Public Enquiry
The name derives from Saxon times from ‘the nook of the Willas people’ but Roman remains have also been found, including coins and a cinerary urn which is held at the British Museum, suggesting that Willingale may have had earlier occupation. Roman tiles were also used in building the Norman church, St Andrews and All Saints.
Modern Willingale is an amalgamation of four parishes each of which originally had a parish church:
Berners Roding, whose church is now in ruins;
Shellow Bowells whose church, St Peter and St Paul is now a residential property;
Willingale Spain named after the d’Ispania family mentioned in the doomsday book, which has the historically significant church of St Andrews and All Saints now under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust; and
Willingale Doe, after the d’Eu family which has the parish church of St Christopher’s in current use.
The two churches of Willingale are side by side in one churchyard. Whilst stories are told about two sisters who had an argument, the most likely reason is that during the 14th century with a prospering wool industry the church of St Andrews became too small and rather than demolish it, a second church was built. The Essex way runs through the churchyard on the old parish boundary demarked by a row of mature lime trees.
Another notable feature of Willingale is the remains of the World War Two American airfield. It was constructed in 1942 with the 387th Bombardment flying Martin B – 26B/C Marauders on 204 missions losing 10 aircraft during a period of eight months. It was returned to RAF bomber command in 1945 and eventually relinquished in 1959 when it reverted to agricultural lands. For a time Willingale was one of the shortlisted sites for what is now Stansted Airport, and a vigorous campaign was fought by local people to oppose it (successfully!).
Willingale has a long history of farming, although todays farming community is much reduced Willingale still is surrounded by agricultural farmland and has a a number of active farms, including an award winning piggery, a small cattle farm, and many acres of land cultivated for crops.
Parish Clerk -
Willingale has been affected by the demise of rural communities with the shop and school closing in the 1980’s and the last public house in the 2000’s. However, in the last decade the community has pulled together and is very active as can be seen from the parish church, the cricket club, the sports and social club and a village hall, which is in use daily.
Next meeting to be held on 10th July at 8pm at Willingale village hall.
Annual Parish Assembly held on 18th May 2018
Parish Clerk -
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