News: Now available. Proceedings of the Chelmsford Conference £15. A review of recent archaeology in Essex. Our Annual Report 2014 may be viewed online. Members of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History may subscribe to digital downloads of our back catalogue of publications. Use Contact Form for more information.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Environmental Planning Advice: Bernard Jenkin MP replies


17th October 2016 

Mr Adrian Corder-Birch 
President The Essex Society for Archaeology & History

Our Ref: MA/Corder-Birch 

Dear Mr Corder-Birch 

Further to my previous correspondence please find enclosed a letter I have received from Gavin Barwell MP, Minister of State for Housing and Planning and Minister for London at the Department for Communities and Local Government. 

The Minister assures me the National Planning Policy Framework will not restrict local planning authorities to propose measures to protect important heritage concerns. If you have any other questions you wish for me to raise with the Minister please do not hesitate to contact me again. 

Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. 

Yours sincerely 

Bernard Jenkin

Tel: 020 - 7219 4029 
Fax: 020 - 7219 5963 

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Environmental Planning Advice: ESAH President sends letter to Gavin Barwell MP

The Essex Society for Archaeology & History 

Mr. Gavin Barwell, M.P., 
Minister of State for Housing and Planning 
Department for Communities and Local Government, 
Fry Building, 
2 Marsham Street, LONDON SW1P 4DF 

15th October 2016 

Dear Mr. Barwell, 

Sir Simon Burns has forwarded to the Essex Society for Archaeology and History a copy of your letter of 24th August regarding possible adverse impacts of the new Neighbourhood Planning Bill on historic environment provision. It is welcome and reassuring to read that it is not the Government's intention to curtail the use of planning conditions to ensure that necessary archaeological work is undertaken. 

However, what is intended and what actually occurs are sometimes rather different things; great care will be needed in drafting the Bill to ensure that historic environment provisions are not impaired. The draft Bill confirms the intention to introduce new provisions which seek to limit the use of pre-commencement conditions, giving power to the Secretary of State to prohibit particular types of pre-commencement condition and changing the way in which conditions are attached to grants of planning permission, requiring them to be first agreed by developers 

Such conditions are vitally important to ensure the sustainability of development proposals with respect to impact on archaeology. Since the Bill appears to leave room for archaeology, and wider heritage protections to be exempted from new provisions; we trust such exemptions will indeed be applied to historic environment issues. 

In any case, the Bill's provisions will place additional pressures on Local Authority Historic Environment advisors. As you will be aware such advice is non-statutory and there has been a steady decline in its provision over the last few years. Accordingly we wonder what provision the Bill will make to ensure that Local Authorities have access to adequate specialist advice to ensure that necessary pre-commencement conditions are identified, and agreed with developers in a timely manner. 

Yours sincerely, 
Adrian Corder-Birch, 
Essex Society for Archaeology and History 

PATRON: THE LORD-LIEUTENANT OF ESSEX President: Adrian Corder-Birch D.L.
Registered Charity No. 213218 

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Environmental Planning Advice: Essex County Councillor replies

An apology and a response ...

Essex County Council 
Cabinet Office 
County Hall 
Chelmsford Essex CM1 1QH 

Adrian Corder-Birch 
Halstead Essex 

Dear Mr Corder-Birch, 

Re: Historic Environment Services

10th October 2016 

Thank you for your correspondence of 4th August 2016 and I would firstly like to apologise for not getting a response back to you sooner. Before addressing your query I would first like to register my appreciation for the valuable work that The Essex Society for Archaeology and History continue to do in developing our understanding and raising awareness of our county's rich and diverse heritage. 

I am proud of the reputation that Essex County Council (the Council) has built over a number of years in terms of Historic Environment services. The Council remain at the forefront of protecting and managing the county's historic environment, maintaining a team of specialists (, and the Essex Historic Environment Record, to ensure that changes to the heritage of the county can be properly considered by local planning authorities in Essex. Place Services also advises other teams within the Council, such as Country Parks, which have a role in managing heritage sites that are within its ownership, and continues to work closely with external organisations, like Historic England and the National Trust, to influence the positive management of other local heritage sites in Essex. 

The Council's specialist planning advice services were brought together in a single, multi-disciplinary team, Place Services, in 2012 to continue to deliver advice to local authorities in support of the planning process, and since 2014 have been successfully operating as a Traded Service, delivering a surplus that can be directed to support front line services. We continue to work with and on behalf of the District, Borough, City and Unitary authorities to provide a cost neutral service for the County Council that delivers economy of scale, and avoids the need for duplication of services in each local planning authority. Importantly, this approach has allowed a critical mass of staff to be maintained with a full range of professional expertise, helping to ensure that decisions affecting our heritage, are based on sound and well-informed information and advice, and that limited resources are targeted in the most effective way possible. Within Place Services, we have archaeologists and historic buildings specialists who are employed to provide specialist historic environment advice. 

Although the changes we have introduced over the last few years have not been without their challenges, the Council remains committed to the sustainable management of the county's heritage. As you note in your correspondence Castle Point District Council have made the decision not to utilise the historic environment expertise within Place Services, although they have accessed the service on a couple of occasions to provide ad hoc advice as required. It is not clear what alternative arrangements they have in place to deal with planning applications affecting the historic environment of their local authority area; an issue which I note you are following up with them directly. However, the Place Services team is continuously looking for opportunities to grow our historic environment services, where these can be developed in a way that remains cost neutral to the Council, and the team has been successful in securing new Service Level Agreements for the provision of our specialist advice elsewhere in the county e.g. Thurrock, and beyond. 

I hope the above provides a useful overview of how the Council is actively supporting a positive strategy for supporting conservation of the historic environment. Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss further. 

Yours Sincerely 

Cllr Simon Walsh Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste
cc. Cllr John Spence, Cabinet Member for Finance, Housing and Planning 
Cllr David Finch, Leader, Essex County Council 

Environmental Planning Advice: Jackie Doyle-Price MP replies


Dear Mr Corder-Birch 

30 September 2016 

You recently contacted me about the Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill. 

Protecting our countryside, wildlife and historic sites from excessive and damaging development is a priority for this Government. Pre-commencement planning conditions provide an important fortification against overzealous developers. However, many councils are attaching conditions to planning permission with little regard to the reasonableness of the conditions. This is adding additional costs and delays. Developers are less likely to build out planning permissions if conditions are used at every opportunity to delay construction. Residents also suffer from uncertainty and frustration particularly if they have contributed to the local plan. The measures in the Neighbourhood Planning Bill will ensure that planning conditions are only imposed where absolutely necessary and councils will still be able to request archaeological and wildlife surveys. This will help tackle housing shortages by reducing delays in the delivery of new homes. 

In most cases the applicant and local planning authority will reach agreement on what pre-commencement conditions should be imposed. In the unlikely event that an applicant refuses to accept a necessary pre-commencement condition, the local planning authority can refuse planning permission. It is important to note that the final decision on an application remains with the local planning authority. 

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR THURROCK Essex, C09 2QL Telephone: 020 7219 7171 Facsimile: 020 7219 4924 Email: 

Monday, 10 October 2016

Environmental Planning Advice: Sir David Amess MP replies

Member of Parliament for Southend West 

Mr Adrian Corder Birch D.L 
President Essex Society for Archaeology & History 

Our ref: SW2267 

30 September 2016 

Dear Mr Corder-Birch, 

Thank you for email yesterday regarding the impact of planning policy on the historic environment. 

I will certainly send a copy of your letter to Gavin Barwell MP, Minister of State for Housing and Planning at the Department for Communities and Local Government and ask him to comment. As soon as I receive a response I will contact you again. 

Yours sincerely, 

Sir David Amess MP 
Telephone 020 7219 3452 
Fax 020 7219 2245 Email 
Constituency Office 01702 472 391 

Surgeries: The First and Third Fridays in each month Iveagh Hall, 67 Leigh Road, Leigh—on—Sea SS9 1JW 9:00 — 12:00 No need to book — meetings on a first come, first served basis 

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Welcome Extended to Former Members of 'Essex Congress'.

The following letter has been sent to all current institutional members of the former Essex Archaeological and Historical Congress.  ESAH invites all to join to enhance the love of history and archaeology in the county of Essex.

The Essex Society for Archaeology & History

29th September 2016

Dear Member,

Dissolution of the Essex Archaeological and Historical Congress ("Congress") and merger with the Essex Society for Archaeology and History ("E.S.A.H.")

I refer to Martin Stuchfield's letter of 4th August 2016 regarding the dissolution of Congress and its merger with ESAH. I am now writing to inform you that the dissolution process was completed on 20th September 2016 when Congress was formally removed from the Central Register of Charities. Congress was in existence for just over fifty years and I should first of all like to pay tribute to the good work undertaken by its officers during that time. ESAH has agreed to absorb the work of Congress. This includes the provision of the Panel of Speakers, which is extremely valuable to Programme Secretaries and the continuation of Archaeological and Local History Symposia. Your organisation is very welcome to join ESAH as an institutional member to continue to benefit from the services previously provided by Congress. ESAH has two levels of subscription for institutional members, which will be payable from 1st January 2017. A £25 annual subscription for organisations who require a copy of ESAH's annual Journal (Transactions) or a special reduced rate of £10 if the Transactions are not required. The Transactions comprise about three hundred pages of original research relating to the history and archaeology of the historic county of Essex (including the five London Boroughs). In addition, quarterly newsletters are sent to members at no extra cost. ESAH also offers a programme of excursions and lectures, with opportunities to meet like-minded people. Free membership is extended to the Essex Industrial Archaeology Group for those interested in industrial archaeology. Members are also entitled to visit the ever growing, ESAH Library at the University of Essex with its extensive resource covering the history and archaeology of Essex, including all the major archaeological journals in Britain. Members may apply for a reader's ticket giving access to the remainder of the University's collection.

ESAH, which was founded in 1852, is the oldest and major society in the county for those interested in its history and archaeology. I trust you will agree that the Society has much to offer and I hope your organisation will benefit from membership. Individual members are also very welcome to join ESAH as individual members. I enclose a membership form, which upon completion should be sent directly to our Membership Secretary, Mrs. Tracy Hunter at 19 Jackdaw Drive, Stanway, Colchester CO3 8WD, with a cheque for the appropriate subscription payable to 'Essex Society for Archaeology and History'. If you require more copies of the membership form please do not hesitate to let Tracy or myself know. I hope your organisation will accept this invitation to join ESAH and if you have any queries please do not hesitate to email me on Adrian [at]

Yours sincerely,

Adrian Corder-Birch, President

President: Adrian Corder-Birch D.L. • Rustlings • Howe Drive • Halstead • Essex C09 2QL • Adrian [at]
Registered Charity No. 213218

Newsletter (Autumn 2016)

Members of ESAH as well as former institutional members of Essex Congress may have been surprised this week to have received a fourth Newsletter this year (NL179).  There is so much happening, especially within the Society, that one was considered essential.
Items this time include:
- From The President, in which Adrian Cord-Birch reflects on the past AGM at Colchester Castle, and the forthcoming Essex Place Names Conference
- the absorption of Essex Archaeological and Historical Congress into ESAH
- The Essex Place Names Project, supported by ESAH
- The Planning System: Making the Case for the Historic Environment
- St Osyth Planning Application Objection
- Britain and Europe in the Bronze Age
- European Route of Industrial Heritage
- The Society Archives: Essex Churches Then and Now
- Stondon Massey rectory
- The Society Archives: Items placed on permanent loan
- Website News
- Family History Open Day at Galleywood, 18 June 2016
- Schoolmasters and Teaching in Seventeenth Century Chipping Ongar
- Judge Sir Nicolas Tindal and 'wager of Battle'
- Three Strange Wonders
- 'A Common Ale-house Haunter and Drunkard'  The scandalous career of John Woolhouse, Vicar of West Mersea 1630-1642
- Restoration of a church monument
- Laindon & District Gas Light Coke and Water Company
- Events in Essex
- Essex Seen From Elsewhere
- Readers Letters
- Book Reviews  

Historic Fortnight for ESAH

Lead officers of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History have been very busy over recent weeks with several projects to bring to wider attention the history and archaeology of the county.  Within the past fortnight the following things have happened:
- formal proceedings to dissolve Essex Congress are now complete with the work previously undertaken being absorbed into the Essex Society for Archaeology and History
- groups and societies once belonging to Congress have been invited to join the Society
- a fourth Newsletter has been sent to all members, including all former Congress members
- our new website is being tested with a plan to launch the first of three phases in mid November
- items recently placed on permanent loan at the Essex Record Office have been assigned an accession number
- plans are in progress to place our older back catalogue of Transactions online to allow the public to learn more about Essex's history and archaeology
There is no better time to join us.

Documents Recently Deposited at the Essex Record Office

The Essex Society for Archaeology and History has placed the following items of its property on permanent loan at the Essex Record Office.  In doing so this enables the public access these documents for the first time ever.  These are the first fruits of work carried out by the Library and Archives Committee in recent times, and follows a long history of depositing important Essex documents for safe keeping.
(27)  Agreement for the Custody of Records. A14458. Ref ERO D/Z 183 addl. 27.5.2016. Records of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History being the Grant of Arms to the Society.  Deposited by A. Corder-Birch, President.
(28) Agreement for the Custody of Records. A14508. Records of ESAH deposited 19.7.2016.  Box 1. S/LIB/9/8 ‘Papers read by Sperling: Gainsborough’s Countryside; Hedingham Castle; Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford (3 parts)’.  S/LIB/9/9 ‘Sperling Correspondence’ contains letter from TDS Bayley related to returning books; papers related to Symonds and extended family pedigree and research [1930s]; letter related to bells at Debden Rectory, Saffron Walden, 1932; postcard of Debden Church; black and white photograph Debden Church.  S/LIB/9/16 ‘Pedigrees etc of Charles Partridge (1927)’ contains letter concerning research queries with pedigrees for various families.  S/LIB/9/17 ‘Sperling Index of Essex Churches’ containing brief details of history of church. Also loose handwritten notes and map of Essex with villages underlined.  S/LIB/9/20.  ‘Family Pedigrees – compiled by Sperling’.  S/LIB/9/19.  Notebook of handwritten notes taken from the Parish Book of Holy Trinity, Colchester (D/P 323/8/1).  S/LIB/9/18 ‘Sperling MSS – To be preserved, Heraldic Correspondence between the Rev HL Elliot and CFDS [Sperling], 1907-1918’ contains letters related to research written to Sperling from various authors mainly Henry Elliot of Gosfield Vicarage, Halstead, 1902-1919.  S/LIB/9/10-15. Bundle of handwritten notebooks which appear to include research notes taken from parish records, 6 volumes.  S/LIB/9/26. ‘The Will of Christopher Urswick died 1522’ handwritten copy by unknown author.  S/LIB/9/40 Typed copy of ‘Book of the Half-Yearly Visitations of The Archdeacons of Colchester’ with pencil annotations covering 1587 and 1588. Taken from original Visitations book, D/ACV1.  S/LIB/9/29 ‘Miscellaneous Unrelated Items’ contains Colchester rail, motor bus and motor coach time table, 1936; letter related to right of way at Thorrington, 1939; letter related to use of Frating Memorial Hall as Polling Station, 1939; pamphlet ‘Sunday Gas Work, Carbonizing on the Lord’s Day, Can it be diminished?’, 1879; ‘Junior and Senior Teachers World and Schoolmistress’, May 1940; flyer issued by Ministry of Supply related to collection of old iron [1940s].  S/LIB/9/30 Photograph album with unlabelled and undated black and white photographs showing pets, men in uniform, nuns, children, nurses [c1910s].  S/LIB/9/39 Handwritten extracts from ‘Guide to Heraldry and Genealogy’ by George Gatfield.  S/LIB/9/32 ‘Index to list of Essex entries in the De Banco Rolls (from 1273 – in National Archives), Handwritten list of names and places with page number.  S/LIB/9/35 ‘Essex Brasses’ contains handwritten list of locations in Essex and nationwide entitled ‘Montagu Benton’s papers. Donated by British Museum on behalf of Mr Percy Thompson whose [brass] rubbings they are’, [1974].   S/LIB/9/36 ‘Little Parndon: Notes on Parish Records’ contains handwritten notes.  S/LIB/9/37 ‘Session Rolls’ contains typed extracts covering 1536 to 1565.  Box 2. S/LIB/9/1 ‘Sperling Notabilia Quodam I’ contains indexed handwritten notes by CFD Sperling dated 1892 related to various Essex and nationwide churches, houses and Halls, such as Stansted Hall, Dynes Hall and Alphamstone Church. Includes cuttings, rubbings, photographs and sketches. 1 volume.  S/LIB/9/3 ‘Sperling Notabilia Quodam III 1894’ contains indexed handwritten notes by CFD Sperling related to various Essex and nationwide churches, houses, and Halls. Includes cuttings, photographs and sketches. 1 volume.  S/LIB/9/4 ‘Sperling MS Notes IV 1895’ contains indexed handwritten notes by CFD Sperling related to various Essex and nationwide churches, houses and Halls. Includes cuttings, photographs, letters (1901-1913) and sketches. 1 volume.  S/LIB/9/33 ‘Student’s notebook on archaeology ‘Settlements and Societies’, handwritten notes by unknown author.  S/LIB/9/44 ‘Manor of Dedham Hall, Rental Ladyday 1762’. Notebook containing handwritten transcription.  Box 3. S/LIB/9/5 ‘Sperling Notes 1898-1902’. Indexed volume V including various Essex and nationwide locations, contains cuttings, sketches, rubbings and photographs.  S/LIB/9/6 ‘Sperling. Essex churches, 1902-1910. Indexed volume VI including various locations, contains cuttings, sketches and rubbings.  S/LIB/9/31 ‘Philip Laver, Miscellaneous papers and notes’ contains letters and handwritten notes related to research, 1920-1925.  Box 4. S/LIB/9/28 ‘Notes and gleanings – Glascock, 1882-1925’ relates to locations in Essex and Hertfordshire and contains handwritten notes, sketches and cutting.  S/LIB/9/27 Volume ‘The Development of Armour and Costume from the XIVth [14th] century to the XVIIth [17th] century as illustrated in the memorial brasses of Essex by AC Edwards’.  S/LIB/9/45 ‘King Cole and his Kingdom, TS Draft’, unpublished volume written by RJ Appleby.  S/LIB/9/41 ‘[Essex] book plates’ collected for the Essex Archaeological Society by PG Laver during the 1920s and 1930s. Includes handwritten list and small volume of contents with nine packets of bookplates and one packet of letterheads.  S/LIB/9/34 ‘Transcription Cambridge University Library Add MS6149’ contains handwritten notes by unknown author.  S/LIB/9/38 ‘Minchen’s Farm, Great Dunmow’ contains handwritten notes, letters (1912-1918), pedigrees and photographs related to the Glasscock family and Minchens Farm.  S/LIB/9/42 ‘Wax Seals’. Seven seals with handwritten list.  S/LIB/9/46 ‘Particulars of sale of property’ contains Budds Farm, Highwood near Chelmsford, 1930; ‘The Roses’, Station Road, Tolleshunt D’Arcy, 1964; 82 Broomfield Road, Chelmsford, 1955; Grey Goose Farm, Stifford Clays, 1973; The Elms Estate (Broomfield), 1937; Valuable Freehold Building Land, Tiptree, Essex, 1964; Benyon Estates near Romford, Hornchurch, Dagenham & the Thames-Side Industrial Areas, 1937; Also photocopy of Manning Farm & The Cedars or Dairy Farm, Frating, 1921; The Manor, Tendring, 1923.  Box 5.  S/LIB/9/47 Letter and extracts from parish registers related to birth defects in Colchester St Peter, 1687 (ERO D/P 178/1/2); Colchester St Mary Walls, 1742 (D/P 246/1/5); and, Colchester St Mary Walls, 1738 (D/P 246/1/5).  S/SEC/4/1 ‘Parish Register Enquiry and Replies 1858’ contains material that appears to have been sent to Rev EL Cutts including handwritten extracts from Navestock registers with related letter from possible author, William Stubbs, letters concerning research with related papers including transcriptions of parish register, 1858-1869.  S/LIB/9/50 Removed from box labelled ‘Parish Register Transcripts and Indexes’ includes transcriptions of Essex Parish registers and monumental transcriptions with related letters.  Box 6. S/LIB/9/51 ‘Some Essex Closing Rings, Photographs by Fred Brand and SE Lloyd 1935’ which also includes sketches. 

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Revd. Philip Morant. 316th Birthday

The Society's 'Morant Lunch' commemorating the eighteenth century historian Philip Morant will be held on Sunday 16 October 2016 at The White Hart, Braintree

High Country History Group. 'Following In Pevsner's Footsteps'. Thursday 27 October 2016

Dr. James Bettley, author of the updated ‘Buildings of England’ series for Essex, East Suffolk and West Suffolk, with Hertfordshire in preparation, will be the speaker at the High Country History Group on Thursday 27 October, 8pm, at Toot Hill Village Hall near The Green Man, Stanford Rivers.  The leading architectural historian’s subject will be ‘Following in Pevsner’s footsteps: Essex and Beyond’.  It promises to be an excellent evening.  As usual refreshments afterwards, and a bookstall with donations to the Group.

£1 members. £3 visitors.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Doddinghurst. 'Turmoil and Intrigue'. Sunday 6 November 2016

Caroline Seville will be giving a talk entitled 'Turmoil and Intrigue' at All Saints Church, Doddinghurst, on Sunday 6 November 2016 at 2pm to raise funds for the conservation of our 16th century processional cross - about Doddinghurst and All Saints' Church from early times to about 1580 when Richard Stonley became Lord of the Manor. Much of it concerns the Earls of Oxford and what they got up to. There will be an accompanying slide show.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Waltham Abbey. King Harold Festival. September to December 2016

King Harold Festival September - December 2016

A special programme of events taking place in Waltham Abbey marking the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.
Epping Forest District Council

Saturday 17 September - Monday 21 December
Harold II: the life, legend and legacy of England's last Anglo-Saxon King. 
This exhibition tells the story of Harold's rise to the throne of England and investigates the growth of the legends surrounding his death. Epping Forest District Museum, 39-41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL Admission: Free

Thursday 6 October
The 1066 March from York to Hastings
An event arranged by English Heritage will see a march undertaken on horseback and on foot, covering over 300 miles. The march will arrive via the Town Lock and on to the Waltham Abbey Gateway at approximately 5.15pm. Come and welcome the men at arms and their horses. An evening event will follow in the Cloisters area of the Abbey Gardens.

Saturday 8 October, 10.30am - 4pm
King Harold Day 2016. 
This is a very special year for Waltham Abbey's Medieval Festival as it's the 950th anniversary of the Coronation of King Harold, the three great battles of 1066 and King Harold's death. As our tribute to the last Anglo Saxon King of England, we shall have The Feudals with 11th century historical re-enactments and a living history village showing medieval life; the beautiful and amazing birds of prey from Coda Falconry; Trouvere Medieval Minstrels will be playing and singing Saxon and Norman music; an art exhibition on the 1066 theme by the town's primary schools; a craft fair; Morris dancers; archery; a music recital in the Abbey Church; and much more. At noon a procession of the costumed performers and traders will make its way from Epping Forest District Museum to the Abbey Churchyard where a flower placing ceremony will be held at the King Harold Memorial Stone. Abbey gardens, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 1XQ Admission: Adults £5; Senior Citizens £3; Accompanied Children free of charge.

Tuesday 25 October. 12noon - 3pm
Anglo-Saxon Treasure children's craft workshop
Fun family drop in craft session inspired by the current exhibition. Epping Forest District Museum, 39-41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 1EL Activity cost: £1.50

Wednesday 26 October, 10.30am - 12.30pm
Be a graphical art novelist
Create your own short comic strip to tell a graphic story of your own, drawing from our exhibition on King Harold II and the Bayeux Tapestry. Led by graphic novelist, Merlin Evans, this immersive session will demonstrate professional techniques inspired by the first ever graphic novel, the Bayeux Tapestry. Epping Forest District Museum, 39-41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL £8 per person, 7+ years Booking: or 01992 564226 (Monday - Friday 10am - 4pm)

Friday 28 October 6 - 9pm
Medieval Museums at Night.  
Epping Forest District Museum is staying open late for its first Museums at Night. Join us for a medieval evening and dress up in medieval costumes, play period games and much more. Epping Forest District Museum, 39-41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL Admission: Free

Saturday 12 November 10am - 4.30pm, drinks reception 5 - 7pm
Celebrating the 950th anniversary of the reign of King Harold II: A major one day conference with talks by leading experts 
This conference brings together subject experts to mark the 950th anniversary of the reign of King Harold. Speakers will include Simon Keynes, Elrington and Bosworth Professor in the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic at Cambridge University, Dr Michael Lewis, Head of Portable Antiques and Treasure at the British Museum and Gail Owen-Crocker, Professor Emerita, and former Professor of Anglo-Saxon Culture and Director of the Manchester Centre for Anglo-Saxon Studies at The University of Manchester. Waltham Abbey Town Hall, Highbridge Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1DE Tickets: £20/£18 for Epping Forest District Museum members and students (including lunch, refreshments, evening drinks reception) Booking: or 01992 564226 (Monday - Friday 10am - 4pm)

Thursday 24 November 2pm - 3pm
As part of a special programme of events marking the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, this talk will explore the subject in more depth. Epping Forest District Museum, 39-41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL Tickets: £5 (refreshments included) Booking: or 01992 564226 (Monday - Friday 10am - 4pm)

Museum Opening Times: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10am - 4pm Saturday 10am - 5pm 
twitter @EFDMuseum

Monday, 26 September 2016

ERO Conference: Saturday 1 October 2016

Norman Essex: What did the Normans do for us?

Join us to mark 950 years since the Battle of Hastings with talks from experts on how the Normans shaped life in Essex over the following decades. The long term effects of the Norman conquest can still be identified today, from the language we speak to the castles which punctuate our landscape. Find out more with talks from:
  • Prof David Bates, University of East Anglia – 1066 in 2016
  • Dr Jennifer Ward – Religious Life in Norman Essex
  • Peter Berridge – The Norman construction of Colchester Castle
  • Katharine Schofield, Essex Record Office – Essex in Little Domesday Book
Saturday 1 October, 10.30am-3.20pm

Tickets £20 including refreshments and lunch, please book in advance on 033301 32500

Friday, 23 September 2016

L32 Zeppelin Comes Down in Flames at Snails Hall Farm, Great Burstead: 24 September 1916

Snails Hall Farm, Great Burstead
Snails Hall Farm, Billericay

Local historians interested in the events of the First World War will instantly recognise that Snails Hall Farm, South Green, Billericay was the location where, on the night of 23/24 September 1916, a fire-damaged enemy Zeppelin (L32) fell killing all the crew on board.

Very recently I was given for online publication an eye-witness account of John Maryon (1897-1975) whose father then occupied the farm.  In September 1916 John, who had been in training for military service, was discharged from hospital having had rheumatic fever.  His bed was needed for the injured from the Battle of the Somme.

“I was given 5 days’ draft leave, which I spent at home.  During the weekend a Zeppelin was brought down and the debris fell into one of our fields.  There were the [entire] crew of 26 men (all dead and mostly burned).  They were put in our adjacent barn, with a lane running hard by.  It was here I saw a disgraceful scene.  Thousands of people had come down by all means of transport, and they were standing 5 deep in the lane outside the barn, wherein lay the German dead.  The front rank had torn the boards off the barn to get a better view and a brisk trade started with the R.A.M.C. and the sightseers for parts of the airmen’s furlined clothing.  This was being cut off by the orderlies laying out the dead, in exchange for money.  My father had about 4 acres of potatoes, which were overrun and looted, and 9 acres of barley trodden flat, and for the remaining year of my father’s lease, he was mending fences to keep his cattle in.  Long after the war, he received a derisory sum in compensation from the government.

“And the next week I went to France on my nineteenth birthday, hardly recovered from my crippling illness …”.  He spent a year away, fighting at Passchendaele.

“I returned from this to my home in Billericay, to find my father was out of his farm, it having been sold over his head, with vacant possession.  In fact he had notice to terminate his year lease soon after the farm had become a shambles from German aircraft and attendant crowds the year previously.”

The events of the war, and the experience of his father, shaped John Maryon’s life.  His account ‘The Political Conversion of John Maryon’ can be read in full online.

Andrew Smith

Book Reviews: Zeppelins Centenary Marked

Familiar image of Zeppelin L33 at Little Wigborough
September 1916
Book Reviews

The Last Flight of the L32.  R. L. Rimmell.  Albatross Productions Ltd. 2016. 24 pages (A4 glossy format with appendices).  £10.00 (paperback)

Marking one of the major events of the First World War, this lavishly illustrated booklet tells the story of the enemy Zeppelin raids over Britain and, in particular from page 8, official and eye-witness accounts pertaining to the firing and destruction of the Zeppelin L32 which fell at Snails Hall Farm, Great Burstead, on the early morning of Sunday, 24 September 1916.  It had fallen victim to incendiary bullets fired by Lewis Gun from a small biplane flown out of Suttons Farm airfield Hornchurch to about 9000 feet by 2/Lt Frederick Sowrey.  All 22 on board captained by Werner Peterson perished as the 40 ton hydrogen-filled structure fell from 13000 feet to the ground burning for an hour.  The victims’ bodies were discovered in the immediate neighbouring fields and placed in a barn before burial at Great Burstead churchyard a few days later.  Farmhands were first on site in early morning collecting items strewn across the land.  Debris was found elsewhere.  The illustrations pinpoint the location of the Zeppelins fall; tell of the sightseers who came to the farm the following morning, and of the brisk trade in souvenirs including scraps of aluminium and portions of the crew’s clothing.  Those who had guarded the site – the Irish Guards, those from other regiments, policemen and fire officials – later turned many items into rings, discs and crosses and “were not short of cash for some while”.

The accounts of these Zeppelin raids over Essex have been of personal interest for some while and, in the course of research into the raid over Blackmore on 31 March 1916, I had the pleasure of meeting descendants of the Maryon family who farmed on the site of the L32.  I had expected that this pamphlet would add little to what I already knew but was proved wrong.  If there is one disappointment with the work it has to be the extremely small font size of the text which made it difficult to read.  The review copy will be added to our Library collection.

Zeppelin. Volume 2.  R. L. Rimmell.  Albatross Publications Ltd. 2008. 74 pages (A4 glossy format with appendices).  £25.00 (paperback)

Sent to us as a pair, this book details the German ‘R’ Class Zeppelins which attacked Britain beginning in the autumn of 1916.  L33’s one and only raid occurred on the night of 23/24 September 1916, and with the fall of L32 over Great Burstead the day became known as ‘Zepp Sunday’.  L33 was fired at from the biplane of Alfred de Bathe Brandon flown up from Hainault.  He managed to deflate but not ignite its airbags. The crew, led by Oberleutnant Bocker, landed their craft in a field at Little Wigborough.  The crew were picked up on the Peldon road and arrested by the local constabulary. The forced landing, and the fact that the crew were unable to successfully torch their craft, enabled the British to examine every part of the Zeppelin.

Andrew Smith

Aftermath of the Zeppelin L32

Blackmore Area Local History: Billericay: Aftermath of the Zeppelin: Photograph not published before. After the Zeppelin: Snails Hall Farm, Billericay On 24 September 1916 a German Zeppelin brought down at Snails Hall Farm, Great Burstead.

Zeppelins Over Essex

Blackmore Area Local History: Zeppelins Over Essex (1): Much is written elsewhere on the Internet about the Zeppelin raids during the First World War. L32 came down in flames at Snails Hall Farm, Great Burstead on the night of 23/24 September 1916, as did L33 at Little Wigborough.  Commemorations of both events this weekend at Billericay and Little Wigborough.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

London Archaeology Forum: Tuesday 28 November 2016

London Archaeology Forum
The next meeting will be held at the Museum of London at 6pm on 28 November.  Speakers yet to be confirmed but will include a presentation on the Holywell Priory excavation.  Further information will be posted on the CBA London website:

ESAH members are welcome to attend this free event.

Friday, 16 September 2016

'Norman Essex' Conference at Essex Record Office: Saturday 1 October 2016

The Essex Society for Archaeology and History will have a table at the forthcoming Conference hosted by the Essex Record Office.   

Details from poster:
Norman Essex: What did the Normans do for us? 

Join us to mark 950 years since the Battle of Hastings with talks from experts on how the Normans shaped life in Essex. The long term effects of the Norman Conquest can still be identified today, from the language we speak to the castles which punctuate our landscape. Find out more with talks from: 
• Prof David Bates, University of East Anglia - 1066 in 2016 
• Dr Jennifer Ward - Religious Life in Norman Essex 
• Peter Berridge - The Norman construction of Colchester Castle 
• Katharine Schofield, Essex Record Office - Essex in Little Domesday Book 

Saturday 1 October 2016, 10.30am-3.20pm 
Essex Record Office, Wharf Road, Chelmsford, CM2 6YT 
Tickets: £20.00 including refreshments and lunch, please book in advance on 033301 32500 

Tudor Bread Oven uncovered by Archaeologists near New Hall, Chelmsford

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Environmental Planning Advice: Bernard Jenkin MP replies


6th September 2016 

Adrian Corder-Birch DL 
President Essex Society for Archaeology and History 

Ref: ac/corder-birch 

Dear Mr Corder-Birch 

Thank you for writing to me regarding the Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill and its potential impact on the historic environment. 

I am most grateful to you for explaining your concerns in detail. We are very fortunate in having a rich historic fabric in Essex and everything must be done to preserve it. We must also allow appropriate conditions for archaeological investigation, as you suggest. 

I am forwarding your correspondence on to Gavin Barwell MP, Minister of State for Housing and Planning, who will be well placed to respond to your concerns. I will forward you my colleague's response as soon as I have received it. 

Thank you again for taking the time to write to me. 

Yours sincerely 

Bernard Jenkin

Tel: 020 - 7219 4029 Fax: 020 - 7219 5963 

Environmental Planning Advice: Rt. Hon. Priti Patel MP replies

Tel: 020 7219 3528 E-mail: Website: 

Mr Adrian Corder-Birch D.L. 
President of The Essex Society for Archaeology & History 

Our Ref: ZA41906 
1 September 2016 

Dear Mr Corder-Birch, 
Thank you for your recent email to my office, regarding The Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill announced in this years Queen Speech. 

I have noted your comments with interest and am supportive of the necessity for the finite areas of our nations cultural and historical to be suitably protected for the enjoyment of future generations, whilst safeguarding those areas which have not yet been thoroughly excavated and the possible discoveries such sites entail. 

Whilst I appreciate your current anxieties, I can assure you that the conditions you have noted as well as others included in the Bill are not in place to permit the disregarding of considerations for archaeological presence or historical significance to sites earmarked for future planning and development. As with any matter of planning, consultation procedures will continue to be fully carried out and the chance to raise any opposition, including on the aforementioned grounds, will always be given. 

I trust that this information will go some way to allaying your concerns in this matter. I would greatly appreciate if you could inform me of the proportion of members of the Society who reside in my constituency of Witham, so that I can further make them aware of this issue directly. Thank you again for taking the time to bring these concerns to my attention. 

Yours sincerely, 

Rt Hon Priti Patel MP Member of Parliament for Witham 
Putting the Witham Constituency, Essex and Britain first. 

Environmental Planning Advice: Douglas Carswell MP replies

Douglas Carswell MP 
Member of Parliament for Clacton 
House of Commons, 
London, SW1A OAA 

Adrian Corder-Birch 

31 August 2016 

Dear Adrian 

Thank you very much indeed for writing to me. I agree with you. I do think that there should be an onus on local plans to allow archaeological excavation work to be undertaken. 

I recognise that developers might not like it, because they will see it as an obstacle. However, I do think that you have a powerful point, and I agree with you. 

Warm regards, 

Douglas Carswell MP Member of Parliament for Clacton