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VS # 707-Peldon
Peldon is a village and civil parish in the Colchester borough of Essex, England and forms part of the Winstred Hundred parish council. Other nearby villages include: Little Wigborough and Langenhoe. The parish church is dedicated to St Mary the Virgin and is a grade I listed building.
During the iron age and roman periods the marshes around Peldon were home to a thriving salt-production industry, and red hills created by this process can be found around the village. Peldon was originally around 2,200 acres of land, equating to approximately 8.9 square kilometers. This land was established by William the Conqueror in 1086 and was later passed on to Sir Thomas Darcy by King Henry VIII. The land was later owned by various local families.
The strongest earthquake to ever strike the UK occurred on the 22nd April 1884. It measured to a 5.1 magnitude on the Richter scale and rendered much of the area around and including Peldon badly damaged. In total, it damaged around 1250 buildings including churches, houses and cottages. It was reported at the time that every single building in Peldon was damaged in some way, including the local church, causing heavy financial ramifications for the local area. The Peldon Rose, the village's 15th century inn, rumored to have been connected by a smugglers tunnel to nearby Ray Island still exhibits earthquake damage. In 1984 a village festival was held at Kemps Farm, Peldon, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the earthquake.
Peldon was also affected by world war one. On September the 24th 1916, German Zeppelin L33 was damaged during a bombing attack on London, and later crashed at New Hall Farm, Little Wigborough, only twenty yards from a nearby house.
The occupants of the house, the Lewis family, ran for their lives as the airship hit the ground. The crew ran from the craft and shortly after it exploded. The crew of the aircraft thought that landing in the sea would be far too dangerous, prompting the decision for them to travel further inland.
In the 1870s, Peldon's parish church was described as: "The church stands on an eminence, with commanding view; is later English, with a tower; and was restored in 1859, and then found to include remains of an early Norman church