In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Springfield like this:
SPRINGFIELD, a suburb and a parish in Chelmsford district, Essex. The suburb stands on the river Chelmer, adjacent to Chelmsford; communicates with that town by two bridges, crossing two branches of the river; takes its name from numerous springs, falling into the Chelmer; contains wharves, gasworks, and the county jail; and has a post-office under Chelmsford. The jail was built in 1825, at a cost of £56,000; and has capacity for 330 male and 42 female prisoners. The parish comprises 2,878 acres. ...
Real property, £13,300; of which £786 are in canal-cuts from the Chelmer. Pop. in 1861, 2,566; of whom 242 were in the jail. Houses, 536. The property is much subdivided. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Rochester. Value, £1,016.* Patron, the Rev. A. Pearson. The church was erected in 1867. A chapel of ease was built in 1843. Charities, £42. Goldsmith resided sometime at S., and is supposed to make allusions to it in his "Deserted Village." Strutt, the author of "Sports and Pastimes,'' was a native.
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 Springfield has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Chelmsford. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Springfield and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Springfield, in Chelmsford and Essex | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 24th April 2014
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