New Hall Vineyards
Producers of Fine English Wines Since 1969


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History of English Vineyards

and 2000 Years of


English Wine Production

Grape Vines were first planted in this country by the Romans in 55BC, presumably because their supply of native wines to took so long to arrive. Even though many more vineyards each year were planted, the demand for these wines outstripped the supply. So much so, that in 280AD Emperor Probus issued an edict giving permission for native Britons to plant more vineyards to increase production.
English vineyards took another surge of growth in 1066 when the invading Normans brought with them an order of Monks who planted more vineyards in their monasteries to provide wine for their daily use. Many of which can be found recorded in the Doomsday book of 1086 as being owned by the Crown.

All Saints Church Purleigh, Essex.

The first English Vineyard in Purleigh was planted back in 1120 and according to the local Parish records only 500 yards from where New Hall Vineyard is today. It covered about three acres of land on the southern facing slopes next to All Saints Church in Purleigh. Where George Washington's great great grandfather, the Reverend Lawrence Washington became Rector in 1633, until removed from office by the Puritans for tippling to much of the local brew. In 1163 news of the flourishing Purleigh Vineyard reached London and was then taken over by the Crown and commissioned to supply its wines back to London. Except in 1207 when its recorded that two barrels of Purleigh wine were ordered by the Crown (at a cost of 18s 6d each. less than a 1p per bottle) to be sent to Bury St Edmunds instead, in readiness for the arrival of King John.