Boreham as it is Today
Until the main drains arrived in the late 1960s, Boreham remained a small agricultural village to which some Council houses had been added. Then the middle part of the triangle, between the main road and the Church, which up to then had been allotments and orchards, was filled in with an estate of 216 houses known as Boreham Village Garden Estate. By 1971, the A12 bypass had been built which, unlike the railway, severed the footpaths and other accesses thus further isolating the northern part of Boreham, which by then had fewer inhabitants. Porters, Boreham’s oldest house and part of Porters Park were destroyed. However it was the widening of the old A12 in 1937 that had an even more devastating effect. Many old houses and trees were lost at that time including the Water Mill. Reminiscing, H.L.Yonge, the vicar's son, wrote: “It would be hard to picture to the rising generation the great beauty of the mill pond with its ‘island’ covered with pink and white flowering chestnut trees dripping into the water ......”
No matter how you approach the Village of Boreham, whether by some form of transport or on foot, and no matter from which direction, you do so through green fields bounded by hedges, trees or both. The Village sits almost in the centre of a very rural parish that is no longer the agricultural community it once was, but shows its agricultural heritage in the legacy of its buildings and environment. Although much of the Parish land is still used for agriculture many areas have, and will be for the foreseeable future, excavated to gain access to the rich seam of gravel that runs under the Parish. Much of the land dug for gravel has been left as lakes, some of which are used for leisure pursuits and this may well continue to happen while other excavated areas will return to farmland.
The Village has a long and chequered history with changes to its appearance being noted in single, often large, dwellings until the twentieth century culminating in the rapid expansion of the nineteen-sixties. If you take a gentle stroll around, you can wallow in the history of the Village depicted by its buildings dating from the 10th century until the more recent past.
Boreham is a thriving community, with an array of shops and services, that has adapted and changed over a thousand years. Boreham Parish is mostly used for cereal farming although there are a few woods and an Osier bed. A stream skirts the Village and flows into the Chelmer River. There are some fine walks in the countryside immediately outside the village some of which provide links to North Springfield, Little Baddow and Hatfield Peverel.
Boreham Airfield was built for the US Air Force in 1943 and was subsequently used for car and motor cycle racing. The airfield is in the north of the parish and is currently being excavated for gravel which is expected to continue for another 15 years. At the end of this period, the current approval requires the land to be reinstated for recreational purposes. Part of the airfield is currently used by the Police and Essex Air Ambulance Service as a base for their helicopters.
Visitors to the Village mainly approach from the Boreham Interchange on the A12 to the west. The land then falls away before rising back up into the Village and the predominant building is Boreham House, an impressive building with its long lake and tree lined drives behind iron railings and gates.
As you arrive into the Village, the visitor is greeted by a mix of the older village building such as Lionfield Cottages, The Limes and the Red Lion. The heart of the Village is the area around the church which is a very attractive Conservation Area. A second Conservation Area is to be found around the junction of Main Road and Plantation Road which includes the Six Bells public house and several older houses which include the Clockhouse, Maltings House and Cottages and Smiths the butchers.
Boreham Village has a Village Hall and recreation ground, a parade of shops and post office, a primary school, a doctor’s surgery, a fitness centre, several other shops including a fine butchers shop and four public houses the oldest of which is the Cock Inn.
There are allotments and a bowling green in Waltham Road.
Near the Boreham Interchange there are two hotels, a petrol station and a fast food outlet. Boreham is ideally situated for commuting by rail or road to London or indeed anywhere else with easy connections to the motorway system and is close to Chelmsford for shopping.