Corbets Tay is a village located south of, and contiguous with, Upminster.
Corbets Tey is first mentioned in 1461 as Corbinstye
. The medieval manor of Gaynes occupied most of the southern Upminster area and some of its land has been under cultivation for over 2,000 years. On Corbets Tey Road
, the rubble-walled tower of Upminster’s parish church of St Laurence dates from the early 13th century.
There was a tannery at Corbets Tey from 1573 to 1635 and gravel extraction took place in the vicinity from the 18th century. The most notable survival at the centre of the old village is High House, a tall farmhouse built around 1700 and still possessing a virtually complete original interior.
During the 1770s Sir James Esdaile commissioned a manor house at Gaynes, with a 100-acre park created from the surrounding farmland – but within about 50 years most of the mansion had to be demolished to make the property affordable to a new buyer. Esdaile also built Harwood Hall in 1782, and its distinctive castellations were added a century later. It is now Oakfields Montessori school.
The surviving east wing of the manor house at Gaynes stood until 1929, when it was pulled down to make way for what the architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner called “singularly unexciting straight streets of dull houses” – but a small part of the grounds was retained as parkland.
Corbets Tey has some early weatherboarded and half-timbered cottages – notably on Harwood Hall Lane