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Wivenhoe is a town and civil parish in north eastern Essex, England, approximately 3mi south east of Colchester. Historically Wivenhoe village, on the banks of the River Colne, and Wivenhoe Cross, on the higher ground to the north, were two separate settlements but with considerable development in the 19th century the two have merged.At the 2011 census the town had a population of 7,637, compared with 7,221 in 2001.The town's history centres on fishing, ship building, and smuggling.Much of lower Wivenhoe is also a designated conservation area, with many streets being of particular architectural interest.EtymologyThe place-name Wivenhoe is Saxon in origin, deriving from the personal name Wifa's or Wife's spur or promontory (hoe). The place-name is now usually pronounced 'Wivvenho', but the Essex accent would traditionally have rendered it as 'Wivvenhoo'. According to folk etymology, the name derived from "Wyvernhoe", originating from the mythical beast called a wyvern and the previously mentioned ridge (hoe). The town's football team, Wivenhoe Town FC, is nicknamed 'The Wyverns'.HistoryWivenhoe is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Wiivnhou in the hundred of Lexden, when it formed part of the land of Robert Gernon, where there was a mill, 12acre of meadow and pasture for 60 sheep. The church of St Mary the Virgin is in the High Street and existed by 1254 when Simon Battle was the patron. The North and South aisles were built in 1340 and 1350, making it the oldest building still standing in Wivenhoe. It has a chancel with north and south chapels and a north vestry, an aisled and clerestoried nave with north and south porches, and a west tower on which there is an open-sided cupola added to the roof by 1734. The walls are of rubble, which includes some Roman tile, with ashlar dressings. Elizabeth de Vere (d. 1537), widow of John, 13th earl of Oxford, left Wivenhoe church the vestments and ornaments from her private chapel. The tower was plastered in 1563.Wivenhoe is in Colchester. Use our United Kingdom online day trip planner to plan your trip to Wivenhoe and other destinations in United Kingdom.
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