The main settlement of the Village of Elsenham lies approximately one and a half miles from Stansted (London) Airport as the crow flies. The main runway however is side-on to village; therefore the residents suffer from little disturbance from overflying Aircraft. The M11 Motorway is just to the south; houses that are close to that can experience some noise. It is probably the close proximity to that motorway and the fact that Elsenham has its own mainline Railway Station that has led to the expansion of the village from a population of 1217 in 1971 to in excess of 2000 to date. The great rush of new building was of course accelerated by the arrival of main drainage in mid-1970.
We can trace our origins back over 1000 years, indeed we even have a mention in the Domesday Book. (roughly once a year I get told I’ve miss-spelled this but I haven’t. The root of the word is “domestic” not “doom” and I don’t care that American based spell checkers say otherwise) Much of the “older” part of the village remains unchanged. If one travels from the Mini-Roundabouts that replaced the cross-roads in the middle of the village up the “High Street” to “The Crown” Public House little has changed for over a century. Closer examination would reveal new estates built off the main road. The Village Hall has been rebuilt as a joint funding venture between school and village with the Church contributing the land. These three parties now share the facility by way of a legal sharing agreement. Even more estates have their access to Station Road and a large number of houses have been constructed adjoining Stansted Road.
Significant building of new houses has more or less ceased of late due to extreme congestion of our main access route via Grove Hill and water pressure can sometimes drop almost to zero. Our electricity supply is also vulnerable as it comes in via poles. We do now have main gas supplies however.
The Village School has been expanded and a large playing field has been acquired for school use and is accessible from the rear playground. The major change to the village in recreational terms was the purchase of a playing field in the centre of Elsenham in 1970 and the construction of “The Elsenham Community Centre” which opened in 1988. Since that time much has come to the village. We have a flourishing Tennis Club with two courts on the Playing field. A Bowls Club with licensed premises an excellent green and a large membership. The Elsenham Community Association is ongoing, with fundraisers still running many village events and helping the many clubs and organisations with their activities.
Much may have been lost over the years, but Elsenham still retains a lot of its rural charm. We may have lost our Blacksmith and one of the two Public Houses may have closed but you can still enjoy a pint in the “Crown” We also lost our Fish and Chip shop but gained an Indian takeaway (that does fish & chips) a Mini-Supermarket, Sub-Post Office and Hairdresser Salon completes our shopping amenities. Why not visit our Village; take a look at the fine Saxon or very early Norman Church (it seems to have developed in stages). You can see Elsenham Hall once the home of Sir Walter Gilbey (now private apartments). He created “The Elsenham Jam Company,” which is known worldwide but has now been sold and the products made elsewhere. The site of the old jam factory is now part of an industrial estate (one of two) The Gilbey family however is mainly famous for gin but that was not distilled in the village. The village well and pump house was built by him in honour of his wife, he built well and its still here and used in our village logo (see banner above)
A monthly (and award winning) Newsletter is distributed without charge to all the residents. It keeps the inhabitants informed about Elsenham, you can learn more about our village from this Web Site. Most of the local organisations have pages and the editors attempt to keep major local issues covered.