Facts about Coggeshall
Coggeshall dates back at least to an early Saxon settlement, though the area has been settled since the Mesolithic period. There is evidence of a Roman villa or settlement before then and the town lies on Stane Street, which may have been built on a much earlier track. Roman coins dating from 31 BC to AD 395 have been found in the area and Coggeshall has been considered the site of a Roman station mentioned in the Itineraries of Antoninus. Coggeshall is situated at a ford of the River Blackwater, part of another path running from the Blackwater Valley to the Colne Valley.
Coggeshall is mentioned in the Domesday Book as Cogheshal. The Manor of Coggeshall was owned by a Saxon freeman named Cogga, and at the time of its entry there was “a mill; about 60 men with ploughs and horses, oxen and sheep; woodland with swine and a swineherd, four stocks of bees and one priest”. William the Conqueror gave the Manor to Eustace, the Count of Boulogne. The modern history of Coggeshall begins around 1140 when King Stephen and his queen Matilda, founded a large Savigniac abbey with 12 monks from Savigny in France, the last to be established before the order was absorbed by the Cistercians in 1147.
Coggeshall is a small town of 4,727 residents in Essex, England, between Colchester and Braintree on the Roman road of Stane Street, and intersected by the River Blackwater. Although Coggeshall has a market and is a market town, the vast majority of the “villagers”, some of whom are third or fourth generation Coggeshall, insist on referring to it as a village. The population increased to 4,727 at the 2011 Census. It is known for its almost 300 listed buildings and formerly extensive antique trade.
A market has been run every week on Market Hill since 1256 when a charter to do so was granted by Henry III. Coggeshall won the Essex Best Kept Village award in its category in 1998 and 2001–03; it was named Eastern England & Home Counties Village of the Year in 2003. Official brown coloured sightseeing/tourist road signs on the entry to the town from the A120 road still show Coggeshall as “Village of the Year”.