Purleigh Village- Historical Jottings
Purleigh is a large village in rural farmland about 3 miles to the south of Maldon.
Prehistoric and Roman
There have been a few pieces of iron age and roman pottery found at Purleigh but there have not been enough finds to indicate extensive habitation in prehistoric or Roman times although given the finds in the surrounding area it is likely that the Roams would have farmed some land in the area and that the evidence has not yet been discovered..
Saxon and Medieval
Once again the archealogical evidence is small with only a few fragments of early Saxon pottery found in the East of the village but the Domesday book shows Purleigh to be well established although broken up into several manors that were part pasture and part woodland.
The population was 37 men and 7 slaves with 920 pigs, 853 sheep, 24 cattle, 8 cobs and 23 goats which meant that the village was comparatively well developed.
During Medieval times the woodland shrunk and the manors broke up into smaller farmsteads with tenant farmers
Few buildings of this time still exist with perhaps the best known survivor is the Bell Public House which was built in the 15th century as a pair of timber framed houses.
Sixteenth Century onwards
As the village grew hamlets developed on common land at Cock Clarks, How Green and Rudley Green.
The remaining common land was enclosed which removed the source of land for new buildings.
The coming of improved road surface provided a local answer as roads in the 17th century at Purleigh were quite wide.
The new roads were quite narrow that left plots of land available.
Even in modern times a visit to the Street will show a number of houses with little or no front or rear garden but with a long strip of garden to the side.