THE HISTORY ATTACHED TO STANSTED HALL:
The present Stansted Hall is built upon land that has been utilised by man for at least 2,000 years. In order to ascertain what has happened over the years, we have to look back into the history which is attached to the land upon which stands this beautiful building that we know and love as Stansted Hall.
The Church near to the present Hall stands by an even older neighbour, one which you cannot see at the present time, but one you can be assured is there. We are given to understand that some years ago it was discovered that under part of the land adjoining the church lie buried the remains of a magnificent Roman Villa. This villa is most likely part of a Roman settlement which incorporated the present village of Stansted Mountfitchet.
These Roman remains may have given rise to the Saxon name "Stansteda" meaning 'stony place'. The Saxons usually built their settlements in a wooded area, and the remains of a ruined Roman Villa or settlement may well have provided a landmark for easy reference to the village at the foot of the hill.
In 1066 when William of Normandy invaded England and became King, he had to settle his debts with those knights who had fought with him. He did this by giving them land and property in various areas.
William bestowed upon his nephew Robert Gernon, (or Robert Greno as he is referred to in the Domesday Book) the Duke of Boulogne, the Lordship of Stansted and several others in the County, together with the gift of various lands. Robert built his castle in Stansted on the site of which is thought to have been an Iron Age Fort, then a Roman Hill Fort followed by Viking and Saxon settlements. His castle was of the wood and bailey type and he made this his chief seat and head of his Barony.
In the Domesday Book compiled by William I it lists for the Hundred of UTTLESFORD the following information:-
"Robert holds Stansted (Mountfitchet) in lordship, which a free man held before 1066 as a manor, for 6 hides. Then 4 ploughs in lordship, later 2. now 3. Always 10 men's ploughs; 11 villagers; 1 priest. Then and later 4 small holders, now 18; then 8 slaves, later 4. now 3. Woodland, 1000 pigs; meadow. 20 acres; always 1 mill. Then 8 cattle, now 16; then 140 sheep, now 120; then 20 pigs, now 60; then 40 goats, now 24; now 2 cobs and 5 asses."