Galleywood - A Brief History
Formed as the Ecclesiastical Parish of St Michael and All Angels in 1874, Galleywood has grown from a scattered group of dwellings, farm houses and beer houses into a well established and thriving village community of just under 6000 parishioners.
It still retains some lovely old character properties – Walters Farmhouse, the old Methodist Chapel (now a private house, the old village school (now the Galleywood Youth Centre) and many traditional rural Essex cottages and farm houses, with the names of many Galleywood's families and farms living on in the road names – Ponds Road, Pyms Road, Pavitt Meadow and Pryors Road, to name but a few.
Galleywood has an excellent network of footpaths, many hectares of Metropolitan Green Belt land and plenty of open countryside to explore. The Common was the historic home of a racecourse from 1759 –1935, made famous by the racehorse 'Golden Miller'. The area has more recently been designated as a Local Nature Reserve.
St Michael & All Angels Church was built in 1873 on a site 84 metres (277 feet) above sea level and is unique as the only church in the country to be built in the middle of a racecourse. The phrase Steeple Chase may indeed have come from the Galleywood racecourse.
Pipers Tye has a unique collection of old cottages surrounding it. On the Village Green there is a Village Pump, K2 Telephone Kiosk used as a book swop facility and one of two Village Signs. Just to the east of Pipers Tye lies Brook Lane which leads on to an ancient piece of woodland, The Spinney, off The Chase.
The Civil Parish of Galleywood was created in 1987 when Galleywood separated from Great Baddow Parish. The new Galleywood Parish Council was formed with nine Councillors. The Council Office being established at the Keene Hall.
The past is being kept very much alive in the village through the excellent volunteer work of the Galleywood Heritage Group in cataloguing, indexing, and publicly exhibiting the Ron White Photographic Archive, purchased by Galleywood Parish Council in 2004 and also by the well attended talks organised by the Galleywood Historical Society.
For further reading - 'Glimpses of Galleywood' may be downloaded here