Great Burstead
Great Burstead is an urban settlement in Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 - it is contiguous with the town of Billericay
Billericay is a town and civil parish in the Basildon borough of Essex, England. It lies within the London Basin, has a population of 40,000, and constitutes a commuter town east of central London. The town has three secondary schools and a variety of open spaces...


By tradition, the origins of the church, St Mary Magdalene, at Great Burstead are linked to Saint Cedd
Cedd was an Anglo-Saxon monk and bishop from Northumbria. He was an evangelist of the Middle Angles and East Saxons in England and a significant participant in the Synod of Whitby, a meeting which resolved important differences within the Church in England...

. Cedd, a missionary monk and later Bishop of the East Saxons, was trained by the Celtic Saint Aidan
Aidan of Lindisfarne
Known as Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne, Aidan the Apostle of Northumbria , was the founder and first bishop of the monastery on the island of Lindisfarne in England. A Christian missionary, he is credited with restoring Christianity to Northumbria. Aidan is the Anglicised form of the original Old...

 at Lindisfarne
Lindisfarne is a tidal island off the north-east coast of England. It is also known as Holy Island and constitutes a civil parish in Northumberland...

. Cedd's original chapel at Bradwell-juxta-Mare
Bradwell-on-Sea is a village in Essex, England. The village is on the Dengie peninsula. It is located about north-northeast of Southminster and is east from the county town of Chelmsford. The village is in the District of Maldon in the parliamentary constituency of Maldon whose boundaries were...

 can still be visited. It is understood that at first he set up his wayside preaching cross by a well near the road between Tilbury
Tilbury is a town in the borough of Thurrock, Essex, England. As a settlement it is of relatively recent existence, although it has important historical connections, being the location of a 16th century fort and an ancient cross-river ferry...

 (another of his establishments) and Chelmsford
Chelmsford is the county town of Essex, England and the principal settlement of the borough of Chelmsford. It is located in the London commuter belt, approximately northeast of Charing Cross, London, and approximately the same distance from the once provincial Roman capital at Colchester...

, having converted Ebba, the Thane
The term thegn , from OE þegn, ðegn "servant, attendant, retainer", is commonly used to describe either an aristocratic retainer of a king or nobleman in Anglo-Saxon England, or as a class term, the majority of the aristocracy below the ranks of ealdormen and high-reeves...

 of Great Burstead. However, it is also reputed that the East Saxon
Kingdom of Essex
The Kingdom of Essex or Kingdom of the East Saxons was one of the seven traditional kingdoms of the so-called Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy. It was founded in the 6th century and covered the territory later occupied by the counties of Essex, Hertfordshire, Middlesex and Kent. Kings of Essex were...

 King Sæberht (d 616) was buried nearby, a convert under the earlier Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 mission of Mellitus
Mellitus was the first Bishop of London in the Saxon period, the third Archbishop of Canterbury, and a member of the Gregorian mission sent to England to convert the Anglo-Saxons from their native paganism to Christianity. He arrived in 601 AD with a group of clergymen sent to augment the mission,...

, the first Bishop of London
Bishop of London
The Bishop of London is the ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of London in the Province of Canterbury.The diocese covers 458 km² of 17 boroughs of Greater London north of the River Thames and a small part of the County of Surrey...

. The area first having been settled by the East Saxons around 527 AD. Later, around 680 AD, the cross was replaced with a wooden building by the Thane, Edwy, perhaps dedicated by Theodore of Tarsus
Theodore of Tarsus
Theodore was the eighth Archbishop of Canterbury, best known for his reform of the English Church and establishment of a school in Canterbury....

, Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...


Born in the area and later churchwarden
A churchwarden is a lay official in a parish church or congregation of the Anglican Communion, usually working as a part-time volunteer. Holders of these positions are ex officio members of the parish board, usually called a vestry, parish council, parochial church council, or in the case of a...

 at St Mary Magdalene was Christopher Martin who was one of the Pilgrims and a signer of the Mayflower Compact
Mayflower Compact
The Mayflower Compact was the first governing document of Plymouth Colony. It was written by the colonists, later together known to history as the Pilgrims, who crossed the Atlantic aboard the Mayflower...


Great Burstead was part of the Barstable hundred, and in 1841 had a population of 884 spread over 3620 acre (14.6 km²) of land. The complete census can be viewed, as can a listing of many of the historical public house
Public house
A public house, informally known as a pub, is a drinking establishment fundamental to the culture of Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. There are approximately 53,500 public houses in the United Kingdom. This number has been declining every year, so that nearly half of the smaller...


The Great Burstead parish, abolished 1934, also covered Billericay. The parish formed part of the Billericay Rural District
Billericay Rural District
Billericay Rural District was a local government district in Essex, England from 1894 to 1934.It consisted of the following parishes:*Basildon*Brentwood *Bowes Gifford*Childerditch*Downham*Dunton...

 from 1894 and Billericay Urban District from 1934. The district was renamed Basildon Urban District
Basildon Urban District
Basildon Urban District was a local government district in south Essex, England from 1934 to 1974.The district was created in 1934 consisting of the following parishes :...

 in 1955 and became part of the present-day Basildon district
Basildon (district)
Basildon is a local government district in south Essex in the East of England, centred around the town of Basildon. The district was formed under the Local Government Act 1972 on 1 April 1974 from the former area of Basildon Urban District and the part of Thurrock Urban District that was within the...

 in 1974.

The village has South Green as its main shopping district.

The Great Burstead cricket team was formed in 1956 has recently merged with East Hanningfield
East Hanningfield
East Hanningfield is a small village in south Essex, England. It is situated to the southeast of Chelmsford and to the northwest of South Woodham Ferrers...

CC but will continue to play in the T Rippon Mid-Essex League.

External links

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