In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Messing like this:
MESSlNG, a village and a parish in Witham district, Essex. The village stands 2 miles E of Blackwater river, 2¾ ENE of Kelvedon r. station, and 3¾ SE of Coggeshall; is supposed to have got its name from Saxon words, signifying "the field of trampling, ''in allusion to a battle between Queen Boadicea and the Romans; and has a post office under Kelvedon, and a fair on the first 'Tuesday of July. The parish comprises 2,549 acres. Real property, £4,217. Pop., 813. Houses, 164. ...
The property is much subdivided. The manor belonged formerly to the Luckyns, and belongs now to the Earl of Verulam. An ancient camp was on Harborough Hall Farm; and Roman pottery has been found. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Rochester. Value, £370. * Patron, the Earl of Verulam. The church is an ancient edifice, founded by Sir William de Messing; has been modernized and considerably enlarged; includes two new transepts, and a red brick and compo tower; and contains oak-panelling of the time of James I., a finely carved font, a piscina, and two brasses. There are a national school, and charities £4.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Messing has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Colchester. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Messing and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Messing, in Colchester and Essex | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 25th May 2013
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