The name is derived from an Anglo-French combination meaning "bad water".
At the heart of the old village there are over 30 listed buildings. The village has been the site of a Marconi factory for many years, and major development started in the fifties with the building of the Rothmans Estate for workers at Marconi's and English Electric Valve Company in Chelmsford. During the 1960s the local council had multi-storey housing, shops, and offices built on the Vinyards, a country house turned hotel. These were voted the most ugly buildings in the area in about 2000.
According to information in the village church of St Mary, the rebel leader Jack Straw led an ill-fated crowd (the "men of Essex") from the churchyard to London, in one of the risings in the 1381 Peasants' Revolt.
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3 See also