Place:Bocking, Essex, England

TypeCivil parish
Coordinates51.888°N 0.553°E
Located inEssex, England     ( - 1934)
See alsoBraintree Rural, Essex, Englandrural district of which it was part 1894-1934
Braintree and Bocking, Essex, Englandurban district in which it was located 1934-1974
Braintree (district), Essex, Englanddistrict municipality/unitary authority in which it has been situated since 1974

The parishes of Bocking and Braintree lie on the opposite banks of the River Blackwater with Bocking on the north bank and Braintree on the south. Bocking was always a smaller place, but it had a sizeable industry in the making of silk and other fabrics used in the 19th century. From 1894 until 1934 it was considered a civil parish within Braintree Rural District. In 1934 Braintree Urban District (which was independent of the rural district) expanded its borders and absorbed Bocking. The enlarged Urban District was renamed Braintree and Bocking Urban District and existed until 1974 when, in the nationwide reorganization of municipalities, it was abolished and the entire area including the outlying parts of Braintree Rural District became the Braintree District of Essex.

A nineteenth century description

A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Bocking from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:

"Bocking: a village, a parish and a [registration] sub-district, in Braintree, Essex. The village stands on the left bank of the Blackwater river, and on the Braintree railway, adjacent to Braintree; forms a suburb of that town; consists chiefly of one long street; and is a seat of petty sessions.
"A trade in baizes, called 'bockings', was at one time prominent; and a manufacture of silk and crape [crepe] is now carried on.
"The parish includes also Bocking-street and Bocking-Church-street, 3/4 and 2 miles distant from Braintree, both with post offices under that town, and the former situated on the branch Roman road from Chelmsford. Acres: 4,607. Real property: £15,156. Population: 3,555. Houses: 768. The property is much sub-divided.
"The Manor was given by Ethelred to the See of Canterbury; and belongs now to the corporation of the sons of the clergy. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Rochester. Value: £923. Patron: the Archbishop of Canterbury. The church is early English, had anciently 3 altars and 5 chantries, and contains some monuments and 2 brasses. There are: an Independent chapel, much improved in 1869; a charity school, with £50; and other charities, with £172. Dr. Dale, the author of 'Pharmacologia', was a native."

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