This chapter describes the Oxford estates. The lands that supported the Oxford earldom lay not in Oxfordshire, but in Essex, just east of London and its adjoining county of Middlesex. The principal Oxford properties lay along the River Colne, which, rising east of Ridgwell, flows south–east through or near Great Yeldham, Castle Hedingham (left bank), Sible Hedingham, Halstead, Colne Endgaine (left bank), Earls Colne (right bank), White Colne (left bank), Wakes Colne, Colchester (tidal), Wivenhoe (left bank), and thence to the sea. Castle Hedingham remains among the most magnificent and best–preserved Norman keeps in Europe, its attendant village among the most charming in England.
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