Genealogy Notes for the Village of Great Bardfield, Essex
A miscellany of pictures and data arising out of research into the KIRBY's family trees (but not all linked to them). This is a work in progress so please treat the data with appropriate caution. For related information see List, Place Index and Wills Index

Location and general description Oxlip emblem of Great Bardfield

A village in North Essex. The village has taken as its emblem one of the local specialities, the Bardfield Oxlip (Primula elatior). This plant at one point became the centre of intense debate amongst botanists and so put Bardfield on the map.

The village has many fine architectural details. One of the most interesting being the Pargeting, or patterned decoration of plaster walls. Many further examples can be found in other local villages such as Stebbing, Essex.

thumb_3545.jpg  Pargeting decoration on a town house frontage  Pargeting 


Church of St Mary the Virgin

St Mary the Virgin, Great BardfieldStained glass in St Mary the Virgin, Great BardfieldThis parish church is, like many others in this area, set on the outskirts of the village. It has been suggested that this is partly due to the strong local history of non-conformism, with non-conformist places of worship springing up some way from the parish church and the village centre then migrating nearer to them.

Friend's Meeting House

Friend's Meeting RoomsThe village has a neat Friend's Meeting house. The adjacent burial ground contains the graves of members of the local landowning families of SMITH and HICKS (by far the majority are SMITH).


The HICKS family

It looks likely that my HICKS ancestors descended from a wealthy Quaker, George HICKS (1764-1839). There are several HICKS grave markers, all probaly relating to this family, in the Burial Ground adjacent to the Friend's Meeting house (which is behind a locked gate so only accessible when there is somebody at the Meeting House).
Hicks headstones in the Friend's burial ground. Left: George HICKS (born 1764 in Saling, Essex), inscribed 'GEORGE HICKS DIED 11th MONTH, 11, 1839 AGED 75 YEARS'
Right: George HICKS (probably the son, born in 1793, of the above George HICKS ), inscribed 'GEORGE HICKS DIED 3th MONTH, [11?], 18[00?] AGED 7 YEARS'
Henry HICKS monument Left: Henry SMITH (no known relation), inscribed ''HENRY SMITH DIED 11th MONTH, 28th, 1864 AGED60 YEARS ELIZABETH ANN SMITH DIED 12th MONTH 31st 18[87?] AGED 7[4?] YEARS'.
Right: Henry HICKS (1796-1818) another son of the above George HICKS, inscribed 'HENRY HICKS DIED 4th MONTH, 27, 1818 AGED 22 YEARS
HN HIC grave marker Middle: Probably John HICKS of Great Bardfield (1779-1854), brother of the above George HICKS, as he appears to have been the only Quaker John HICKS to attend that meeting in about the era of these stones. Surface badly spalled, all that survives of the inscription is 'HN HIC' at the extreme top.

The entry for Great Bardfield in the 1848 White's Directory of Essex lists one John HICKS, gentleman. 


The 1841 Census for Great Bardfield gives christian names for only the first listed member of a family. For example :-

Henry Wiffen 37   Ag Lab
             d.o.   38
             d.o.  6

Related links

A selection of links to other sites with information about this place


Any transcripts and images on this page are Copyright R I Kirby 2008 unless stated otherwise.