Joscelyne Chase

Gosfield Area Fact File

Joscelyne Chase | 06/12/17   Jasmine Snelling MNAEA

Gosfield is located in the northern part of Essex, approximate 4 miles from Braintree Town. The village currently has approximately 400 houses.  The name of the village is thought to transcend from the Saxon words health, juniper or a field. Another possibility is from Goosefield, Gods’ field.

 

GOSFIELD HISTORY

Gosfield’s first church was built in 1190 by Aubrey de Vere who was also the owner of Hedingham Castle. At Gosfield a silver star can be seen, painted on the corner buttress. It is the de Vere star or mullet of the Earls of Oxford. When the buttress was rebuilt in 1560, de Vere had just paid for a new roof so as a gesture to him the star was placed on the corner so that the connection between the de Veres, Hedingham and Gosfield is remembered.

Back in 1890 Gosfield was a quiet rural village with inhabitants mainly in agriculture and was mostly dominated by the two large estates of Gosfield Hall and Gosfield Place.

Gosfield Hall was built back in 1545 by Sir John Wentworth who was a member of Cardinal Wolsey’s household. It was visited by the Queen Elizabeth I and her grand advisors throughout the middle of the 16th Century.

Later on in 1807-1809, during the French Revolution King Louis XVIII and his Queen Marie-Josephine- Louise fled France and the guillotine and Gosfield Hall became their home. 350 courtiers and staff were in attendance.

Samuel Courtauld actually purchased Gosfield Hall with the wealth he had made from weaving silk, he intended to provide new housing for his workers and clearing away some old cottages in the process. The new houses he built are now known as Park Cottages. As well as this he also built a Primary school, coffee shop and reading rooms.

In the 1930’s Gosfield saw the arrival of electricity however the depression saw a lot of homes become inhabitable. Then the Second World War also meant house building and repairs stopped for six years and Gosfield Hall fell into disrepair.

In 1943 RAF Gosfield was opened and was used by both the Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Forces. During the war it was used primarily as a combat airfield with fighter and bomber units stationed there. It was closed in 1955. Today it is being used as agricultural fields. 

In 1945 Gosfield underwent a transformation, the parish council required new housing in the village and meant council houses were built at The Limes and The Cedars in the 1950’s and any derelict cottages were cleared away.

The parish council went on to buy part of the Gosfield estate as a playing field for the village; Gosfield Hall was renovated into a nursing home and then finally used as a wedding venue.

The 1960’s saw the arrival of large quantities of new homes including roads such as Nuns Meadow, Higlands and Greenfields. At the time this more than doubled the population of Gosfield, meaning more people could enjoy the village lifestyle with only a short drive to local towns. 

GOSFIELD TODAY

In Gosfield there is a range of amenities within the local area including Gosfield Lake Golf Club which is set on 230 acres of rolling parkland featuring two golf courses. Members and visitors can enjoy the idyllic setting.

Nearby is Gosfield Lake Resort which offers a wide range of activities from fishing and water ski-ing to a children’s play and picnic area. The annexe provides double or twin bedroom accommodation with lake views.

Activities within the village include a game of tennis at the tennis courts, two greens bowls clubs and carpet bowls.

The Kings Head is situated in The Street, Gosfield which is an award winning Tudor village pub. They provide a varied food menu and regularly host events such as  a monthly whisky club and the occasional beer festivals.

Gosfield offers a community primary school which serves the village and surrounding areas. It’s a small school with around 140 children, 20 in each year. The school benefits from very extensive grounds. There is also St Margaret’s Preparatory School which is a co-educational independent primary and nursery school for children aged 2 - 11 years.

Gosfield Hall is a beautiful Georgian Manor house and is now used as a wedding venue. There are 23 bedroom suites and newly added in 2016 is the Lady’s chamber cottage for the bride and her bridesmaids the night before the wedding.

Gosfield shopping village offers a selection of independent shops selling various antiques, gifts, original arts and homemade crafts etc. They are all undercover and set around an old fashioned courtyard.