|A Church terrier, or Glebe terrier is specific to the Church of England and is a survey or inventory of each parish church's assets giving details of land and property. These lands and property were held by the incumbent as part of the endowment of his benefice providing the income with which he could support himself and his church. Some churches were wealthier than others and those not well-endowed relied on income from tithes. Typically the glebe would consist of the rectory or vicarage, fields, the church building itself, its contents and the churchyard. In many cases the incumbent would not farm the land himself but would receive rental from tenants.
From 1571 a full list of the glebe holdings of each parish was required, unfortunately not many still survive for our local parishes. There is a microfilm at the Essex Records Office of terriers in 1887.
Turning to Richard Newcourt's Repertorium Ecclesiasticum parochiale Londinense Volume 2 published in 1710 (An Ecclesiastical Parochial History of the Diocese of London) we find details from the 1610 terrier for most of our local churches. Below are the entries for Great and Little Wigborough.
Terrier 1610: A Parsonage-H[ouse] with Orchard Garden and Yards, two barns and one Stable, and about 91 Acres of Glebe, besides Portions of Tyths, lying out of this Parish, viz of 60 Acres Pasture, call'd Haynes in Layer-Merney; of 30 Acres Pasture, belonging to a Farm of Brian Tuke Esq; of 40 Acres Pasture and Wood belonging to a Farm called Rockingham, in Layer-Merney; of 60 Acres Pasture called Leebells and Bishops-field in Tolleshunt Knights; of four Acres Wood call'd the Kingswood, abutting upon Leebells; of 6 Acres of Land in Verley, of 8 Acres Pasture call'd Longlands belonging to Verley Hall; of seven Acres Pasture, called Boors-croft in Layer-Britton; of four Acres of land, call'd Fenners, in Layer-Merney; of 10 Acres of Land belonging to Peldon-Hall; of two Acres of Land, call'd Billets in Peldon.
1611 This Mannor, with the Adv[owson] was purchased by the Governors there [Charter-House] and in their Rental, is among those Purchases, valu'd in Farm-Rents, at 200l [£200]per ann[um] and in them the Patronage still continues.
Terrier 1610: A Dwelling-House, with other Buildings thereto belonging, as a Barn and Stable; also a Garden-Plott, and an Orchard, several Acres of Glebe but the Numbers of them are so sully'd, that they cannot be read; also several Portions of Tyths, out of this Parish; viz of a Field, call'd Copt Hall, of seven Acres; of another Field call'd Billets, of six Acres; of two other Fields call'd Skippets, one of 15 and the other of 12 Acres; of another Field call'd Copt-Hall, of 30 Acres of a Sea-Water Corn- Mill, call'd Salcot-Mill, of 80 Acres of Ground, belonging to a House in Salcot-Virley-Parish, call'd Virley-Hall, but what Portions of Tyths else, if any, belong to it, I cannot well discover, the Terrier having taken wet, and the writing thereby so sully'd, and worn, that it cannot be read.
St Stephen's Church, Great Wigborough