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.

Monday, 29 August 2016

'Essex Churches Then and Now': High Country History Group. 27 April 2017

‘Essex Churches: Then and Now’ will be a one-hour PowerPoint presentation featuring a selection of Victorian photographs from the two volume collection of churches (S/LIB/9/48-49) plus modern pictures taken on church bagging expeditions by Andrew and Elaine Smith during 2016.  The inaugural presentation will be given on behalf of the Society on Thursday 27 April 2017, 8pm, at the High Country History Group, who meet at Toot Hill Village Hall, Toot Hill, Stanford Rivers, near the Green Man public house.  (Illustration: Hammerbeam roof at Great Bromley.)

Saturday, 27 August 2016

St Osyth: President of ESAH sends Planning Objection


The Essex Society for Archaeology & History
FORMERLY THE ESSEX ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY FOUNDED 1852

The Chief Planning Officer,
Planning Department,
Tendring District Council,
Town Hail,
Station Road,
Clacton-on-Sea,
Essex.
CO15 1SE

24th August 2016.

Dear Sir,

Planning Applications: 16/00656/FUL and 16/00671/FUL

I am writing on behalf of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History (formerly Essex Archaeological Society), established in 1852 with around 450 personal and institutional members. The Society has a long record of interest in the preservation of historic sites in the county of Essex, and our members have studied and visited St Osyth Priory many times in the last century and a half.

On this occasion, we write to formally object to planning application 16/00656/FUL for the revised plans for a building estate of 72 houses in West Field (behind Mill Street, St Osyth) and planning application 16/00671/FUL for the revised plans for 17 properties to be built in the ancient parkland (off Colchester Road, St Osyth).

The Society's objections to the proposed schemes are as follows:
1) That both the proposed developments only provide a relatively small net sum towards the total conservation deficit for the preservation of St Osyth  Priory, do not approach the minimum required, and therefore do not secure the long-term future of the Priory as an enabling development should.
2) Furthermore, the proposed developments will materially harm the heritage value of the site by building upon the priory's highly significant listed parkland (16/00671/FUL) and part of the priory's ancient demesne (home) farm behind Mill Lane (16/00656/FUL).
3) Overall, the developments to do not satisfy most, if not all, of the criteria stated in Historic England's (formerly English Heritage) policy document Enabling Development and the Conservation of Significant Places.

In particular, the proposed developments are unacceptable because they would materially harm the heritage value of the place, that they would not secure the long-term future of the place, and the amount of development does not represent the minimum necessary to secure the future and also does not minimise harm to other public interests.

In the Society's considered opinion, therefore, these development plans are neither a responsible way to conserve St Osyth's historic environment nor a viable solution to secure the future of priory. There is the very real fear that if these applications are passed then other, as yet undefined, developments will follow and the historic landscape context and value of the priory as a historic monument would be seriously harmed.

Will you please acknowledge safe receipt of this letter and confirm that it will be placed before members of your Planning Committee.

Thank you.
Yours faithfully,
Adrian Corder-Birch,
President — Essex Society for Archaeology and History

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Friends of Essex Churches. Autumn Study Day. 8 October 2016


FRIENDS OF ESSEX CHURCHES TRUST
www.foect.org.uk
CHURCH VISITS
AUTUMN STUDY DAY
_________________________________________________________________________

SATURDAY 8 OCTOBER 2016
Everyone is welcome to join Essex historian
Dr Christopher Starr
for interesting talks in four of our favourite  medieval churches in central Essex
 Time
10.30         St Mary & St Lawrence, Great Waltham (illustrated)
                   (Chelmsford Road, CM3 1AR)
11.00               Tea and coffee will be available.
11.30         St Martin, Little Waltham (Brook Hill, CM3 3LJ)
12.30           Lunch, own arrangements, there are pubs and places for picnics in the vicinity.
14.00         St John the Evangelist, Little Leighs (Church Lane, CM3 1PQ)
15.00         St Mary, Great Leighs (Boreham Road, CM3 1PP) 
16.00               Light refreshments will be available.

Lavatories will be available in the vicinity of each church.
The order in which we visit the churches is determined by the availability of refreshments,
as these are kindly provided by the church a suitable donation would be appreciated please.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To:   Mrs Susan Clark-Starr, 10 Kings Meadow, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 0HP
Email: susanclarkstarr [at] hotmail.co.uk

I/We wish to attend the FOECT Autumn Study Day on Saturday 8 October 2016
 and enclose a cheque made payable to FRIENDS OF ESSEX CHURCHES TRUST
for £...............                       (Members £7.00           Guests £10.00)

Name/s.......................................................................................................................................................

Address......................................................................................................................................................

....................................................................................................................................................................

Tel. Nos.....................................................................................................................................................

Email..........................................................................................................................................................

Date .....................................................................                                                     Charity No. 236033

We aim to raise £1000 for FOECT on this Study Day and welcome any extra donations.


The next Spring Study Day will be held on Wednesday 3 May 2017 in north-west Essex

Friday, 19 August 2016

Environmental Planning Advice: Rt. Hon. Mark Francois MP replies


FROM: RT HON MARK FRANCOIS MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR RAYLEIGH & WICKFORD 
HOUSE OF COMMONS, LONDON. SW1A OAA 

Adrian Corder-Birch Esq. 
President The Essex Society for Archaeology and History

August 2016 

PLEASE QUOTE ON CORRESPONDENCE Our Ref: AJ/CorderBirch/1 00816 

Dear Mr Corder-Birch

Archaeological and Wildlife Surveys (Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill) 

Thank you for your letter of 5th August regarding your concerns about the Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill, specifically relating to archaeological investigations/surveys. 

I can appreciate your concerns and wanted you to know that I have now written on your behalf to Gavin Barwell MP, the newly appointed Minister of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government, enclosing a copy of your letter for reference and asking for his comments. 
I will, of course, be in touch with you again once I receive a reply. 

Yours sincerely, 

Rt Hon Mark Francois Member of Parliament for Rayleigh and Wickford  


Battles In The Skies 'Talk': St Lawrence, 29 September 2016

'Battles In the Skies: Maldon and the Dengie Area in World War II' is a talk to be given by Stephen Nunn on Thursday 29 September 2016, 7.30pm, at St Lawrence. Details here

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

West Essex Archaeological Group. Excavation Weekends at Copped Hall

ESAH160: West Essex Archaeological Group. Events:   SUMMER EVENTS WEST ESSEX ARCHAEOLOGICAL GROUP including Taster and Weekend Archaeological Digs at Copped Hall, Epping

Environmental Planning Advice: Will Quince MP replies


HOUSE OF COMMONS 
LONDON SW1A OAA 

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

Our Ref: ZA6835 

11 August 2016

Dear Mr Corder-Birch, 

Re: Archaeological Surveys (Planning Conditions) 

Thank you for contacting me about the Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill and archaeological surveys as part of planning conditions. 

I agree that we ought to protect our historic sites from excessive and damaging development. Pre-commencement planning conditions provide an important bulwark against overzealous developers. This is particularly important in places like Colchester which has such a rich history that there are likely many undiscovered treasures. 

However, I am concerned however that 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 and Infrastructure 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. 

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me. 
Yours sincerely, 
Will Quince - Member of Parliament for Colchester 

Constituency Office: 37 Layer Road, Colchester, Essex CO2 7JW Email: will.quince.mp@parliament.uk Telephone: 0207 219 8049 / 01206 545990 

Data Protection Act: Will Quince MP will treat as confidential any personal information which you pass on. However, he may provide access to staff and volunteers for the purpose of providing support or advice, as well as pass on information to third parties for the purpose of aiding with your case. 


Saturday, 13 August 2016

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

100000 page views

The Essex Society for Archaeology and History has received over 100,000 page views since the inauguration of this blog in November 2012.  Thank you. 

Envrionmental Planning Advice. Andrew Rosindell MP replies


Andrew Rosindell M.P. 
Member of Parliament for Romford 
House of Commons, 
LONDON, 
SW1A OAA
t.; 020 7219 8475 or 020 7219 8499 
andrew@rosindell.com 
Contact Andrew on Facebook www.andrew.rosindell.com 

Adrian Corder-Birch D.L. Rustlings Howe Drive Halstead Essex C09 2QL 

Dear Adrian 

Monday 8th August 2016 

Thank you very much for contacting me about the Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill. 

Firstly, may I congratulate you and your society for all the good work the Essex Society for Archaeology and History does. Essex is one of the oldest counties of England and it is important that societies like yours bring people together to share and protect this interest. 

With regard to the above bill, the government is concerned that councils are attaching unnecessary conditions to planning permission, which delay projects and add significant extra costs. The bill aims to ensure that conditions are only imposed when necessary and does not prevent councils from being able to request archaeological surveys. 

If you would like to discuss this or any other issue with me further, please do not hesitate to get in touch at any time. 

With every good wish. 
Yours sincerely 

Andrew Rosindell M.P.  

M.P.'s Constituency Office: Margaret Thatcher House, 85 Western Road. ROMFORD. Essex RM1 3LS t 01708 766700 t; 01708 761186 (Home)  

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Environmental Planning Advice. Sir Alan Haselhurst MP replies

THE RT. HON. SIR ALAN HASELHURST, M.P. Member of Parliament for Saffron Walden 

A. Corder-Birch, Esq. DL, Rustlings, Howe Drive, Halstead, Essex CO9 2QL 

House of Commons 
London 
SW1A OAA 

8th August, 2016 

Thank you for your letter of 5' August which you sent to me in your capacity as President of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History. 

I naturally note your concerns and I will pay attention to try to ensure that archaeological investigation is not put at risk. I would only make the point at this juncture that with regard to planning, it is notoriously difficult for legislation to provide in all circumstances a clear dividing line between what is and is not permissible. This is because so much in the end depends on judgement in particular circumstances. Words such as "necessary" and "excessive" are not absolutes. Experience teaches that with all planning conditions, independent inspectors can sometimes come to sharply contrasting conclusions about what might seem to be similar situations. 

I trust that in the course of the Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill we will not contrive to make matters more difficult in the balance between regard for the past and the needs of the future. 

Kind regards
Yours sincerely
Alan Haselhurst

Tel: 020 7219 5214 
Fax: 020 7219 5600 
Email: alan.haselhurst.mp@parliament.uk 
Website: www.siralanhaselhurst.net 




Monday, 8 August 2016

Environmental Planning Advice. Concern expressed by President of Essex Society for Archaeology and History to our local Members of Parliament

Adrian Corder-Birch, President of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History, has written to the following local Members of Parliament expressing concerns about Environmental Planning Advice.  We will publish any response received.
Sir David Ames MP
Mr John Baron MP
Ms Lyn Brown MP
Rt Hon Sir Simon Burns MP
Mr Douglas Carswell MP
Mr James Cleverly MP
Ms Stella Creasy MP
Mr John Crudas MP
Mr John Cryer MP
Ms Jacqie Doyle-Price MP
Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP
Rt Hon Mark Francois MP
Mr Mike Gape MP
Ms Rebecca Harris MP
Mr Robert Halfon MP
Sir Alan Haslehurst MP
Dame Margaret Hodge 
Mt Bernard Jenkin MP
Ms Eleanor Laing MP
Mr Stephen Metcalfe MP
Rt Hon Priti Patel MP
Rt Hon Sir Eric Pickles MP
Mr Will Quince MP 
Mr Andrew Rosindell MP
Mr Wes Streeting MP
Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP
Dame Angela Watkinson DBE MP
Mr John Whittingdale MP



Example letter
The Essex Society for Archaeology & History
FORMERLY THE ESSEX ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY FOUNDED 1852

Mr. Robert Halfon, M.P.,
House of Commons,
Westminster,
LONDON SW1A OAA

5th August 2016

Dear Mr. Halfon,

The Essex Society for Archaeology and History was founded in 1852 as Essex Archaeological Society. It is the oldest, largest and major society in Essex for those interested in the county's past.

England has a rich and varied historic environment, and that is especially true of Essex which has a wealth of archaeological remains, ancient woods and a distinctive historic landscape and settlement pattern, including many historic villages and towns. This complex historic environment is a finite non-renewable resource. Accordingly sustainable development requires clear advice derived from specialist expertise to assess impacts of planning applications and ensure appropriate mitigation of any adverse effects. The planning process is central to the effective management and conservation of the nation's historic environment. Since PPG 16 was issued in the early 1990s effective provision has been made in planning regulations to accommodate necessary archaeological investigations, mostly before the commencement of development and occasionally before granting of planning permission. These provisions have been preserved in all the changes to the planning process since then, and are clearly present in the current National Planning Policy Framework. This has greatly increased the effectiveness of archaeological work arising from the planning process, transforming our understanding of our country's history at local, regional and national level. The range and quality of the work carried out since 1990 reveals how inadequate archaeological provision was in the preceding decades. It should be noted that archaeological conditions are applied to such a small percentage of planning applications that they can have little adverse impact on provision of much needed infrastructure and housing development, yet their absence would have a crippling effect on effective archaeological investigation.

It appears that The Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill announced in the recent Queen's Speech may threaten the proper provision of archaeological investigation. Amongst the Bill's main elements are:
`Planning Conditions
• To ensure that pre-commencement planning conditions are only imposed by local planning authorities where they are absolutely necessary.
• Excessive pre-commencement planning conditions can slow down or stop the construction of homes after they have been given planning permission.
• The new legislation would tackle the overuse, and in some cases, misuse of certain planning conditions, and thereby ensure that development, including new housing, can get underway without unnecessary delay.'

These aims might well undermine the effective system of archaeological provision established over the last quarter century. There have been some recent comments from Government sources indicating that press suggestions that the Bill is intended to sweep away requirements that force developers to carry out archaeological work before starting housing projects, are incorrect. In addition Department for Communities and Local Government officers have apparently indicated that archaeology is not a target of the reforms on pre-commencement conditions. Whilst these comments are welcome and somewhat reassuring, the Society would like to know your views on these matters and would urge you to use your best endeavours to ensure that the Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill does not damage the highly effective provision for archaeological investigation this country's planning regulations currently provide. I look forward to hearing from you with your views please. 

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Adrian Corder-Birch, D.L., President

PATRON: THE LORD-LIEUTENANT OF ESSEX P
resident: Adrian Corder-Birch D.L. • Rustlings • Howe Drive • Halstead • Essex C09 2QL • adrian@corder-birch.co.uk 
Registered Charity No. 213218


Environmental Planning Advice. Concerns expressed by President of Essex Society for Archaeology and History to Essex County Council


Environmental Planning Advice. Concern expressed by President of Essex Society for Archaeology and History in Letter to Castle Point Borough Council


Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Colchester Heritage Weekend Event: Evening talk on Philip Morant. Saturday 10 September 2016

Colchester Arts Centre, formerly St Mary at the Walls Church, host special events for Heritage Weekend.  Of interest to members of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History will be a talk about Revd. Philip Morant, the Essex man acknowledged to be a great historian.

"Jennie Guthrie Stevens talks about Philip Morant (1700-1770), the acclaimed historian, churchman and antiquarian who is considered to be one of Colchester's most notable citizens. What was his life like in the town in which he chose to spend his life. Who were his friends in the rising fashionable Colchester social elite who fancied they based their reasoning on the Enlightenment and why, why did he write that the lack of sponsor's (subscribers) for his books led him to consider consigning them to the flames? The answers to these and a myriad of other questions about this gifted man will be given in the talk."

Saturday 10 September. Doors 7.30pm, start 8pm. £5

On Sunday 11 September the building is open for Heritage Day with tours at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm. Admission and the tours are free.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Next meeting. 3 August 2016

ESAH/EIAG Industrial Events 2016

The next visit of industrial interest is on Wednesday 3rd August at 10:00 to the Essex Fire Museum, Grays.

A guided tour of the museum will be followed by refreshments. The museum provides a fascinating look at the history of the Essex Fire Service through historic fire engines, firefighting equipment, uniforms and photographs. Those of you who attended the Industrial Heritage Fair last October will recall their very popular stand at the event.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Sandford Mill, Chelmsford, Big Weekend. Saturday 6 & Sunday 7 August 2016

Information courtesy of the Essex Industrial Archaeology Group.
Includes talk on Marconi

Monday, 25 July 2016

ESAH: Website News

Council, on 23 July 2016, has appointed Sensei Intelligent Solutions Ltd. to develop a new website for the Society.  John Hayward and Andrew Smith are core members of the Project Team which will see our new online offering develop in three stages.  Firstly, the migration and upgrading of the current website; secondly, the creation of an Archives area which will enable online access to our previous publications; and thirdly and most ambitious, a new and additional way in which the Society engages with its members through Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to use the jargon.  You can follow the latest news on website development on this blog, 

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Announcement: ESAH to absorb Essex Congress

Senior officers and trustees of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History agreed yesterday (Saturday 23 July 2016) to absorbing the activities of the Essex Archaeological and Historical Congress.   Congress had been the umbrella organisation for Essex local history groups since its foundation in 1964.  The process of dissolving Congress as a Charity is under way, and officers of ESAH will be discussing how the activities of Congress are incorporated into its own programme. Institutional members will be contacted in due course.

The Society's Council also confirmed acceptance of the ownership of the title of Essex Review and Essex Journal.

The following announcement has been made on the Essex Congress website home page:

At the 2016 Congress A.G.M. held on Saturday 25th June, the ongoing difficulties related to the running of Congress, and options for its future, were discussed.

It was the unanimous decision of the meeting that Congress should be dissolved, and that its key functions, including the staging of Symposia, the publication of the Panel of Speakers, and the co-ordination of the various local societies falling within the remit of Congress, will pass to ESAH (Essex Society for Archaeology and History).

As further details of this change become available they will be circulated to members. 

Essex Churches Then and Now

All Saints Church, Hutton, before restoration in 1873.
One of many fascinating Essex church photographs
 in the Society's collection.
'Essex Churches Then and Now' has been launched online today by the Essex Society for Archaeology and History. 

Andrew Smith, Hon. Deputy Librarian says, "We have been looking through and cataloging our archives and have come across two volumes of Essex church photographs and postcards dating from c1870 to c1910. These are important because some of the photographs pre-date Victorian church restorations, and could therefore be a unique record."

Andrew has digitised over 650 pictures in the collection and produced an index, which has just been published online.

"Publishing the list of photographs online is only the start of the process.  We would be pleased to hear from anyone with an interest in Essex churches, and are happy to share digitised copies with researchers and local history groups".

Andrew plans to visit some of the churches over the next few months and is devising a one-hour talk entitled 'Essex Churches Then and Now' which he hopes to premier in spring 2017.


Initially the photographic collection was thought to have been compiled latterly by John Edward Knight Cutts[1] (1847-1938) (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._E._K._Cutts ), member of the Essex Archaeological Society from 1883, and church architect (see http://archiseek.com/tag/j-e-k-cutts/ ) whose name is and date is credited to later photographs in the collection.  According to The Buildings of England: Essex by Pevsner / Bettley (2007) J.E.K. Cutts was architect of the now demolished St Augustine’s Church, Lower Dovercourt, 1883-84, and the Arts Centre, formerly the Great Burstead Board School, in Billericay, 1877-78.  All Saints, Dovercourt, restored 1897-98; St Paul Church, Elmstead Market, now a house, built 1908; and, St Mary, Little Oakley, now a house, restored 1895-1902 are all the work of J.E.K. & J.P. Cutts.

It was tempting to think that the work was begun by Edward Cutts.  Having compared the pencil labelling to the handwriting in the EAS Minute Book during the time Cutts served as Secretary, it is clear that the labelling is not his work.  Equally there are errors in labelling: South Benfleet should be North Benfleet, Coopersale should read Theydon Garnon, Stock should read Laindon, Blackmore End should read Stisted, the omissions of East Mersea, Stondon Massey and Chigwell.  Warley is, in fact, Great Warley not Little Warley, a church demolished in the 1950s.  The photograph labelled “Litt. Oakley ?” is clearly not Little Oakley but Ugley[2], and is compelling because Cutts was its restorer.  On the same page a corrected entry from Great to Little Oakley is in fact, from Internet images research, Great Oakley.  There is therefore sufficient evidence to determine that the volumes did not belong to the Cutts family.

The various sizes of photographs, as well as the revelation that copies appear elsewhere, suggest that the mystery compiler was not the photographer but acquired copies probably from perhaps other gentlemen members of the Society, sharing the same taste and concern to record changes in church buildings.  The contents list below gives sizes for some of the photographs, which may indicate the same photographer or equipment employed.

“THERE is no need to stress the importance to the ecclesiologist of photographs and reliable drawings of churches before they were subjected to nineteenth-century reparation.” (Benton, TEAS n.s. xxiv).  Benton makes reference to the Chancellor collection of photographs in the Society’s collection, now at the Essex Record Office.

A further important collection of Essex prints, exquisite sketches, photographs and newspaper cuttings in the name of Probert (ERO A13366) was deposited by the Society at the Essex Record Office in 2012.

The collections of photographs may be supported by contemporary narrative: Suckling (1846), Buckler (1856), Chancellor (as published in the Transactions of the Society, and Essex Review), and manuscript notes by King (1856-93) and C. F. D. Sperling.



[1] On the Membership List in 1915, Cutts was living in Ontario, Canada having retired there in 1912.  His parents were Edward Lewes Cutts (1824-1901), clergyman and founder of E.A.S., and Mariann Elizabeth Knight (see http://www.vangoozen.ca/bios.html ).
[2] Identified by Martin Stuchfield who sent an identical modern photograph following the Society’s AGM on 25 June 2016.