Stebbing, like many villages in this part of North West Essex, has escaped wholesale modernisation and retained much of the fabric of the past in its church and heritage assets. This visual link to its history represents both its charm and heritage.

The village lies in the south west corner of the old Saxon Hundred of Hinckford. Stebbing Brook marks the western boundary of the Hundred. The name Stebbing, which is Saxon, was written in the Doomsday book in a Latinised form as ‘Stibinga’ and ‘Stabinga.’

Prehistoric finds have been relatively few and scattered. The first settlements can be traced with certainty are Roman. In 1950 Roman remains were found in a large field forming part of Porters Hall Farm. Excavations revealed a complex of buildings and ditches including workshops and a bath house. Half a mile to the south east the remains of a small Roman Villa was discovered near Boxted Wood and in 1988 adjoining the villa the remains of a Roman Malt House was excavated and recorded by Essex County Council. These and potentially other undiscovered Roman remains lie beneath what would now be the area around Anderewsfield.

When the Normans arrived in 1066 the village had probably been in existence for three or four hundred years and was held by Siward, a Saxon Thegn. It is almost certain that by this time the settlement pattern of housing and fields were already established. By 1086 two Norman Lords, Henry de Ferrers and Ranulf Peverell are recorded in Little Doomsday as holding the village between them.

A weekly market and annual fair were granted to Henry de Ferrers by Edward III in 1338. The market does not appear to have been successful for long, but the fair survived in to the 20th century

The present parish church, dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin, was built almost entirely in the 14th century on the site of a much older church building. It forms the cover of this Plan. It is a fine example of the decorated style of architecture and contains what is almost a unique feature, a carved stone rood screen of which there are only 3 in the world.

In the late 13th and early 14th centuries, the manor of Porters Hall was built up by the local Porter family, but by the 15th century its lands had passed to the Capel Family who became the Earls of Essex. So by the middle of the 16th century there were three Manors: Stebbing Hall, Porters Hall and Prior's Hall. Stebbing Hall was by this time held by the Earls of Essex, who remained the major landowners in the parish until 1901. Prior’s Hall was owned by the Knights Hospitallers.

The cloth industry seems to have been one of the key factors in the wealth of the parish from the 15th to the 18th centuries. Many listed buildings that survive in the village owe their birth to the wealth this industry created and their preservation to the poverty that followed its decline. The cloth industry often provided employment for several members of the same family so its demise at the end of 18th century left agriculture as the main economic generator. Today, arable agriculture remains an important feature of the landscape and is an activity conducted by farmers mainly owning or operating large scale units, principally using contracted labour and very modern equipment.

By 1862, there was a National School (Anglican) and a British School (Non Conformist) in the village. In 1876 the Stebbing School, administered by a School Board, opened its doors to all the children of the Parish and continues to thrive as a Primary School, albeit currently at full pupil capacity.

There are 152 listed buildings in the parish, most are grade II, only one is Grade I, the church of St. Mary the Virgin, and six are grade II*, namely the old manor houses of Prior’s Hall, Porters Hall and Stebbing Park, the Friends’ Meeting House, Town Mill, and Tan Office Farmhouse.

The Mount, situated at Stebbing Park (known historically, in manorial terms, as Stebbing Hall), is classified as a Scheduled Monument (SM), being a Norman Motte with surrounding moat. The moated sites of Holt’s Farm and Porters Hall are the other two SMs in the Parish.

There was little new building in the 19th century, thus preserving the 16th and 17th century houses, and only a limited amount in the first half of the 20th century. One item of historical significance in the 20th century was the building of Andrewsfield Airfield in 1941. It is the only surviving Second World War airfield still in operation. At its height in 1942/43 over 800 US airmen were stationed around the airfield and it was the home of the iconic Flying Fortress and Marauder US bombers. Later in the war it housed both RAF and Polish air squadrons.

After the war the gradual spread of commuting, started in the 1960’s, by new residents who were to earn their living outside Stebbing that created housing demand and the growth of speculative development that led to the introduction of the modern estate housing that currently exists at Garden Fields, Bran End Fields, Brookfields, Marshall’s Piece and more recently Ploughmens Reach.