West Bergholt – The Village
The village of West Bergholt, formerly Bergholt Sackville (adding the Lord of the Manor’s family name to the Saxon original in 1119), dates back to mediaeval times. The village, centred around a triangle of roads; Colchester Road, Chapel Road and Lexden Road is near the Suffolk border. The village falls into the Colchester Borough Council ward of Lexden & Braiswick. It is within the Anglican Chelmsford and Catholic Brentwood dioceses. Read more about the village’s history here.
The village is well served by local shops and still retains a Post Office, Doctor’s Surgery and Pharmacy as well as a number of ‘social’ outlets and churches. At the centre of the village is Heathlands Primary School, so named as it was originally built on part of the ancient heath. The school is still set on the edge of what remains of this heath.
The village boasts numerous playing fields and green open spaces and is surrounded by farmland and large areas of woodland. The most well-known of these is Hillhouse Wood (or Bluebell Wood) owned by the Woodland Trust. The bluebell displays in the wood every spring are renowned. It is probable that the wood gave the village its original name since the Saxon word Bergholta means “wood on a hill”.
Under devolved local government, West Bergholt has an active Parish Council. This council is responsible for administering a significant budget for the benefit of the local community. The Parish Council has powers to provide local infrastructure and services such as allotments, play areas and village halls; by being closer to the local community, it can more easily meet local needs. Importantly the Parish Council is also entitled to be consulted on any planning applications that affects West Bergholt. It is responsible for the existing Parish Plan and the Neighbourhood Plan, both of which are key reference documents for Planning Officers.