Manuden is a small nucleated village about four miles north of Bishop's Stortford in Essex, lying at about 70m OD on the west side of the valley of the upper reaches of the River Stort. The existing settlement is arranged either side of lanes running approximately north-west to south-east along the valley bottom, with some clustering of settlement at the point where these roads meet others crossing the valley. Around 500m north-west of the church an additional area of settlement is of mostly modern origin. At the centre of the present village, near the church, the road system diverges markedly from its linear valley-side route, kinking towards the river, possibly to access a ford or bridge or possibly to respect the site of the church and/or associated earlier complex. Although small, Manuden is the largest focus of settlement in the parish, which extends west from the river valley and includes a number of dispersed elements, including a number with ‘end’ place-names (Little Croft, Mallows Green, Upend, Maggots End), most of which today survive as single farms with occasional tiny hamlets of three or four cottages. The area has a number of woods, and several ‘ley’ place names attest to the area having been even more wooded in the past.
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