Rayleigh in 1837
Raleigh or Rayleigh is in Rochford hundred, 34 miles from London. It was, at the time of the Domesday survey, one of the numerous lordships of Suene, who, having joined the Conqueror at an early period, was allowed to retain his possessions. He built a castle here, of which some earthworks yet remain, consisting of a mound with an oval base, surrounded by a double ditch and embankments. The village stands on an eminence, and has, at the upper end, the church, an edifice principally in the Perpendicular style, with some portions of an earlier date : the tower has a short spire and a staircase turret battlemented. The Baptists have a place of worship here. When Morant wrote, a weekly market was held at Rayleigh: it is now given up. There is a cattle fair. The population of the parish in 1831 was 1,339, chiefly agricultural. The living is a rectory of the yearly value of £774, with a glebe-house, in the archdeaconry of Essex.