Abbess, Beauchamp and Berners Roding
are to be found in the south west of Essex.
These Rodings are three of eight parishes that were created after the Norman Conquest.
The villages are situated on boulder clay in the valley of the River Roding and the soil, which is exceptionally fertile, is considered to be the best in Essex.
Although only 30 miles from London the Rodings are very rural, and are served by very few services. For civil purposes the three villages of Abbess, Beauchamp & Berners Roding have been united since 1946.
Abbess Roding has St Edmund's Church at its centre, and this central area is now officially a conservation area. There was a village school here until its closure in 1947.
Beauchamp Roding has no central village grouped around its parish church. St Botolph's is completely isolated and can only be reached by a field track. Most of the population is located to the east of the church at Bird's Green and along the road leading to it. The village school was closed in 1923 and now children of the three villages go to school either in Leaden Roding or Fyfield.
Berners Roding is a very isolated part of the area and most of it is reached by a single road. The church is not in use but is under the stewardship of the local farm.
Historically the area has been predominantly agricultural. However, more recently many residents commute to various towns to work including London, few work on the land. Indeed, much diversification has occurred on the farm sites as agriculture has diminished in economic importance.
A variety of light industrial units are to be found where previously farm machinery and grain would have been stored. There are now no public houses in the three villages. all of them are private residences. Apart from the Churches the only meeting place for villagers is the 'Room in the Rodings'. This was previously the Village Hall until 2005 and now operates principally as a wedding venue but is still available for villagers to use.
In the 21st century the charms of the three villages are in their quiet and rural character yet their close proximity to a variety of towns and the City of Chelmsford.
This quiet is increasingly threatened by Stansted Airport that lies approximately 7 miles away (as the crow or planes fly), as well as the general increase in traffic generated from the huge expansion of housing in the wider area beyond.