Layer de la Haye (often spelled Layer-de-la-Haye; locally known just as Layer) is a small village of around 2,000 people, measured at 1,767 in the 2011 Census, near Colchester in Essex, England.
The village is thought to have been founded in Saxon times, with its original name, Legra, meaning 'lookout'. Its elevation made it an ideal vantage point for the Saxons against raiding parties from the coast. Later its name changed to Leire or Leger, meaning 'mud'. A Norse word, this is likely to have referred to the soil and marshland around the village. During the time of the Norman Conquests, the village was "owned" by the de la Hayes, and its name thus changed to Layer de la Haye. Layer was ravaged by the Black Plague of the 14th Century. The Church became derelict until it was restored by monks.
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