Maldon Archive
Keeping the Past Alive

Hazeleigh, Mundon and Purleigh

Hazeleigh  is a village and civil parish on the Dengie peninsula in the English county of Essex. It lies 2.6 miles south-west of Maldon. Hazeleigh and the neighbouring village of Woodham Mortimer share a joint Parish Council which meets monthly at Woodham Mortimer Village Hall.  Hazeleigh’s original timber-framed Church, St. Nicholas’s, was located in an isolated part of the village, next to the Old Hall, but by 1900 had fallen into disuse. Due to its size and lack of windows it was known locally as "the meanest church in England". It was pulled down in about 1922, although the last service had been held several years earlier, in 1906. One of the reasons it fell into disuse was that an iron church was built in a more populous part of the village by the late-Victorian vicar, Rev. William Stuart (brother of Robert Stuart and father of William Horwood Stuart, both diplomats). This iron church was later demolished as well, though, and the parish of Hazeleigh is now incorporated into that of Woodham Mortimer.

Mundon  is a village and civil parish on the Dengie peninsula.  It lies 3 miles south-east of Maldon. The manor of Munduna passed from the king's thegn Godwin to Eudo Dapifer at the Conquest. Until the Dissolution of the Monasteries it formed part of the estates of St Johns Abbey, Colchester; it passed to Thomas Cromwell before being returned to the Duchy of Lancaster, which held the right of presentation to the vicarage until the 20th century. The 14th-century timber-framed Church of St. Mary,

built within the remains of the moat of Mundon Hall, and likely on Saxon and Norman foundations, has been disused since the 1970s, but is currently in the care of Friends of Friendless Churches, supported by English Heritage. Following a long period of remedial work, the church once again re-opened to visitors in August 2009. The entire church was underpinned, and much structural work was carried out by Bakers of Danbury. The church was re-glazed, and now, internally, appears lighter than it has in recent years. Mundon Hall is now represented by an 18th-century farmhouse of rendered and whitewashed brick.

Purleigh  is a village on the Dengie peninsula about 4 miles (6.4 km) south of Maldon in county of Essex. The village is part of the Purleigh ward of the Maldon district. At the time of the Domesday survey of 1086, the manor of Purleigh was held by Eustace II, Count of Boulogne (d.1087).  Having previously been possessed by the Grey and Capel families, in the late 15th century the manor was acquired by Hugh Denys (d.1511), Groom of the Stool to King Henry VII (1485–1509). He died without progeny and bequeathed the manor to his younger half-nephew John Denys of Pucklechurch, Gloucestershire, in which family, having modernised the spelling of its name to "Dennis", the manor remained until the early 18th.century.