History of Myland

The Parish of Myland lies to the North of the Town of Colchester in Essex. The Council came into being on the 1st April 1999 created under legislation The Colchester (Parish) Order 1999 (S.I. 1999 No. 194).  Therefore, in historical terms, Myland is a relatively new Council but has become one of the largest urban Parishes. In February 2011 the Council voted to designate itself as Community Council in recognition of the large and increasing population within the Parish and has 17 elected Councillors. Myland Parish covers an area that stretches from Braiswick to Mile End and Highwoods. Of our Councillors 13 represent Myland Ward, which lies within Mile End Borough Ward and 4 represent Myland East Ward, which lies within Highwoods Borough Wards of Colchester.

Myland’s origins appear to stem from a small settlement which lay 1 mile to the north of Colchester Town, hence the name Mile End or Myland as it came to be known. By 1254, when the original church was established, it became a separate Parish. In the middle ages’ settlement occurred in many of the unwooded areas including Tubswick, recorded from 1295 and Braiswick, which seems to have originated as a medieval freehold.

Myland was mainly woodland and heath although much had been cleared by the end of the 11th Century. All of the Parish was subject to royal forest jurisdiction. Kingswood and Kings Wood Heath, later known as Severalls and Mile End Heath, also formed part of the Parish along with the ancient wood of Cestrewald or Chesterwell. The farm at Tubswick became known for the presence of Daniel Defoe author of Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders.

In modern times the Severalls Estate became the renowned Myland Asylum and later Severalls Hospital, unique for the ‘echelon design’ of the buildings enabling staff and patients to move round the site without going outside. An isolation hospital was built on part of the Severalls Estate nearby in 1884 and subsequently became known as Myland Hospital. It was demolished to make way for housing for the ‘Romans Estate’ sadly, the only remaining part of the hospital which is the preserved is Mill Road Water Tower. During World War 2 Severalls Hospital was mistakenly bombed by the Luftwaffe and 38 patients were killed. A memorial commemorating this event was erected and placed in a garden in front of the Administration Building.

Severalls Hospital was closed in the 1990s and sold for residential development. The development was named Kingswood Heath, thereby perpetuating local ties. The old Severalls Hospital Administration Building and several of the Echelon Buildings have been saved for specialist restoration along with the original Water Tower. The memorial in front of the Administration Building will be replaced in its original location once building work is completed

Myland Community Council continues to work with our local community to preserve what we can of the past and build for the future. This work is exemplified by the agreement to create a Village Green for Myland residents. Furthermore the adoption of our Neighbourhood Plan was a significant achievement. It became a document that was required to be consulted by all planners and those seeking to build within our community.