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Monday, 30 September 2013

Essex Archaeological and Historical Congress Symposium: Saturday 26 October 2013

Essex Archaeological and Historical Congress
Registered Charity Number 276048

ARCHAEOLOGICAL SYMPOSIUM 2013
At St. Mary’s Church and the Priory, Prittlewell
Saturday 26 October 2013 : 9.45 am – 4:00 pm

Ten years ago, Prittlewell achieved national recognition with the excavation of a rich Royal Saxon grave. The recent restoration of the Priory and the opening of its visitor centre have added to its well-deserved renown. This day will give Congress an opportunity to learn more about these developments.

9.45 am: Registration at St. Mary’s Church and tea/coffee (free)
10:10: Chairman’s opening remarks
10:15: Lyn Blackmore (Museum of London Archaeology): The Prittlewell prince - aspects of materialism and spirituality as evidenced by recent research.
10.45: Tour of St. Mary’s Church, Prittlewell. Led by Peter Sloman (Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Essex)
12.00 pm: Ken Crowe (Southend Museums Service): The Archaeology of Prittlewell Priory.
12:30: Lunch (free)
2:30-4.00: Tour of Prittlewell Priory, led by Ken Crowe

Admission Free with ticket (apply with form below)
Please note that Prittlewell Railway Station (on Southend Victoria line) is very close to the Church and Priory.
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Please complete this slip and send it, and a stamped self-addressed envelope, to the Hon.
Secretary: Mr Norman Jacobs, 101 Farmleigh Avenue, Clacton-on-Sea, CO15 4UL.
Please send me ___ ticket(s) (2 maximum) for the 2013 Symposium
Name(s) ________________________________________________________
Address__________________________________________________________
Society/Group_____________________________________________________

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Essex References in Joseph Strutt's 'Manners': (5) Colchester Castle

Complete View of the Manners, Customs, Arms, Habits & Co of the Inhabitants of England, 1774, by Joseph Strutt.
Essex references
5.   Colchester Castle
Pages 26-28

[Plate 3]  The plan and perspective views of Colchester castle in Essex, p.26.

“(1)   There yet remains Colchester (in the county of Essex) a curious old castle, which was built by Edward the Elder, when he repaired the walls and re-edified the town at the beginning of the tenth century.

Principal Entrance of Colchester Castle on the South

“Its form is four square (see plate 3) flanked at the four corners with strong towers, and it is about 224 yards in circumference on the outside, all projections and winding included; the four sides nearly face the four cardinal points.

Colchester Castle: North West View

“The first foundation is strongly made of large pebbles rudely mixed with bricks , (most of which are Roman) and held together with a firm cement; and where this foundation was cut through to make an entrance at the N.E. corner, it was found to be near thirty feet thick: this kind of rude work is continued without any facing, to about nine feet, more or less, above the present surface of the ground, and on it is laid a double row of freestone quite round the whole castle; then on this stone are the walls of the castle erected, the workmanship of which is, though rude, much more regular than that of the foundation.  It consists of a layer of square freestone, and a layer of bricks, (chiefly Roman) alternately succeeding each other; and thus it is continued to the present top, which is not near so high as it was in its original state; the corners of the bastions and towers of the castle were originally faced with square stone, much of which remains yet visible, notwithstanding the repeated shocks it has undergone.  The main wall is about 21 feet thick at the bottom, and at the top near 13 feet and a half.

Colchester Castle: Ichnography
“The principal entrance A, (see the ichnography plate 3,) is on the south side of the castle although the elegant stone doorway arched-over, but of a later date than the castle itself; first, because it is too perfect to have stood so many ages; and next, because the stile of architecture is much more modern, and does not in the least accord with the simpler construction of the rest of the castle.

“On the inside of the castle there ran antiently N. & S. two strong walls (B & C) parallel with the walls of the castle, dividing it into equal parts, making partitions and support for the apartments. The eastermost (C) yet remains, but the western (B) is almost entirely taken down.  The wall (C) now standing is composed of pebbles and bricks intermixed in herring-bone fashion.

The principal lodgings were at the uppermost part of the castle, two chimnies yet remaining to the east, (DD) and two to the west, (EE) which answer on the inside to the small projections or bastions on the outside of the E. & W. walls; at the south corner, on the left hand of the entrance, is a grand staircase F, full nine feet broad, containing a flight of 58 steps, going up which you come to the apartment G, yet remaining on the South side, where there is a handsome chapel, in which duty was done, and an elegant library fitted up by Charles Gray, Esq., the present owner, (and under that a large vault arched, now used as a prison;) from thence still mounting higher, the staircase leads you to the battlements, where you might formerly have passed around the whole work, a passage being made in the breadth of the wall at the top, see the section of the top of the wall (plate 2. No. 1 fig 1) which being 13½ feet thick, is thus divided: the outermost part (A) is at present but four feet high, and four ½ feet thick; the passage (B) is full two yards wide, and the inside part (C) which you look over into the castle, is 3½ feet high, and 3 feet thick.  At three of the corners are square towers , and 3 feet thick.  At three of the corners are square towers or bastions, every one of which has a staircase in it, and, as is reported, a turret or round top, (not much like the present modern one.)  On the south east corner, where there is a round bastion, it is supposed that there was no turret, as no marks of a staircase have ever been discovered.

“I could not learn for certainty whether the top of the wall had been garretted or not, though an old man, who happened to be there when I was, informed me that he remembered something like embattlements at the top before it was so shamefully abused, great part of which were forced down with screws and gunpowder, and so falling down on the walls and vaults below, made lamentable havocke and devastation, to the eternal shame of the despicable perpetators, as it is to the great praise and honour of the present worthy owner, who takes great pains to repair and preserve this valuable antiquity.

Colchester Castle: detail

“All the arches and chimnies, windows, &c, are perfectly round, and in the inside turned with thin bricks, or rather a sort of pamment; the windows, which are faced with stone without, are very small and long, but increasing in size through the thickness of the wall, they appear very large on the inside, (see the section and view of the windows, plate 2, No 1 fig 2 & 3).

“The chimnies are very curiously carried obliquely through the wall to the top, (see the arch of the chimney, plate 2 No 1 fig 4 and the section ibid fig 5.) and lest the wall should thereby be weakened, buttresses or bastions were added on the outside of each chimney to strengthen and secure it.

“There was originally no door but the south entrance, except a small sally-port on the north, for the other entrances have been with great labour cut out of the solid walls. It was surrounded with a ditch H, H, H, H, full 30 yards wide (see the plan, plate 3) and an external vallum I, I, I, on which was erected a strong wall, the foundation of it yet being quite visible upon the vallum, which is very perfect towards the N. & W. sides, but on the N.E. has been much dug away, so that it is impossible to determine whether the communication between the exterior gate of the vallum, and the door of the castle, was kept up by means of a draw-bridge over the ditch, or a regular causeway walled off, like that above described of Castle Chun in Cornwall.

“Underneath the castle are spacious vaults, turned with stone, the supports of which are in the form of a cross; and I am certainly informed, that they went at least from end to end of the castle:* but going down to them, I could not get half the full length, for one of the most spacious vaults, together with a fine well that is in it, were destroyed in the attempt of John Wheely to beat down the castle walls.

Colchester Castle: East View
“It now remains to say somewhat concerning the antiquity of this venerable ruin: Some have called it Roman; others say that it is British, and was the palace of King Coel, who built and gave the name of Colchester to the town.  But Camden (1) and most others seem to attribute it to the Saxons. A modern writer (2) indeed has boldly declared that “the castle as it now stands was undoubtedly built since the Norman Conquest,” but does not give the least shadow of a reason, or the slightest authority for this assertion.”

“Footnote: * The foolish story of a passage under ground from the castle to that at Hedingham, is also told here – See the account of Hedingham Castle in the Norman Fortifications.”


References: (1) Camden in Essex (2) Morant Hist. of Essex.

Friday, 27 September 2013

'New' Photograph Discovered of Zeppelin Crash in Billericay, 1916

Unpublished photograph of aftermath of Zeppelin clearance at Snails Hall Farm, Billericay, 1916
On 24 September 1916 a German Zeppelin brought down in flames landed in a field of Snails Hall Farm, South Green, Billericay.  Many people flocked to the site to see the wreckage on what was to become known as 'Zepp Sunday'.  This photograph has recently come to light and was kindly shown to me by a member of the Maryon family with the intention of online publication. It shows where the Zeppelin landed, the charred field boundary and the barn, in the background, where the German crew - who all perished - were placed.  John Maryon, tenant farmer, is photographed with his wife.

Published on Blackmore Area Local History today.
Andrew Smith

ESAH160: 'Etched in Halstead's History': Saturday 28 & Sund...

ESAH160: 'Etched in Halstead's History': Saturday 28 & Sund...: An exhibition celebrating the life and work of Morton Mathews, Halstead artist

ESAH160: LAMAS London Heritage Conference: Historic Buildin...

ESAH160: LAMAS London Heritage Conference: Historic Buildin...: Information received this week:  "The Historic Buildings and Conservation Committee of LAMAS is holding a conference on Saturday...

Essex Society for Archaeology and History Newsletters

Illustration: Front view of late medieval
lead ampulla (Pilgrim's flask)
found at Great Tey in 1972.
(Illustration by Kirsty Rodwell)
A further rich source of information for historians and archaeologists is the Society's Newsletter, published under various titles since the commencement of Series 3 of Transactions.  Another (ambitious) aim of the Society is to publish online all issues.  Our current website holds those from 2005-2010. This blog will continue to list the contents of the latest versions as well as delve into the archive to select items newsworthy back then but of interest now. 

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Essex Industrial Archaeology Group: Inaugural Meeting at Chelmsford Museum on Saturday 23 November 2013

'Industries of Essex' will be the topic of the inaugural meeting of the Essex Industrial Archaeology Group, to be held on Saturday 23 November.  See poster above for contact information. 

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

The Landscape Group (Research): Annual Study Day at University of East Anglia, Saturday 26 October 2013

A Study Day organised by the Department of History
at the University of East Anglia (see poster above for details)

ESAH160: Transactions Transcriptions: 'New Series' Volume 8...

ESAH160: Transactions Transcriptions: 'New Series' Volume 8...: St Thomas Church, Navestock Transactions transcriptions – Part 6 To increase our online presence, one of the goals of the Essex S...

ESAH160: Transactions Contents: 'New Series' Volume 5

ESAH160: Transactions Contents: 'New Series' Volume 5: Contact the Essex Society for Archaeology for more information about this volume.  Transactions ‘New Series. Volume 5 Contents ...

ESAH160: Transactions Transcriptions: 'New Series' Volume 6...

ESAH160: Transactions Transcriptions: 'New Series' Volume 6...: Royal Coat of Arms, Theydon Bois Transactions transcriptions – Part 4 To increase our online presence, one of the goals of the Es...

ESAH160: Transactions Transcriptions: 'New Series' Volume 7...

ESAH160: Transactions Transcriptions: 'New Series' Volume 7...: Whipping Post, Stondon Massey Transactions transcriptions – Part 5 To increase our online presence, one of the goals of the Esse...

ESAH160: Transactions Transcriptions: 'New Series' Volume 9...

ESAH160: Transactions Transcriptions: 'New Series' Volume 9...: The garden of Paycockes, Coggeshall (National Trust) Transactions transcriptions – Part 7 To increase our online presence, one of ...

Essex Industrial Archaeology Group: Inaugural Meeting

Windmill at Mill Green, Fryerning
(photographed in the 1980s)
The Essex Industrial Archaeology Group was launched as an offshoot to the Essex Society for Archaeology and History in July.  It will hold its first meeting at Chelmsford Museum on Saturday 23 November.  Details will follow shortly. 

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Uphall Camp: Transactions n.s. Volume 9 Part 6

UPHALL CAMP:

Notes on Ancient Entrenchments near Barking on the left bank of the river Roding.

BY WALTER CROUCH, F.Z.S., ETC, V.P. ESSEX FIELD CLUB.

Although the Essex Archaeological Society visited these earthworks on the 21st June, 1859, no record occurs in our Transactions concerning its origin or later history; and it is only mentioned incidentally as a Roman camp.

On that occasion a cold luncheon was served in a marquee put up the adjoining field, through the kind leave of my old friend, the late Mrs. Hunsdon, then resident at the manor-house of Little Ilford (1), on the other side of the river; who in later years removed to the house within this camp; and in both houses I have, in the past, enjoyed many a pleasant visit.

These earthworks have thus been familiar to me for over forty-five years: and in 1868, I prepared a MS. account and a measured plan ; when they were yet in a much better condition than at the present time. The plan of this "capital messuage and farm" is, in the main, based on the Ordnance Survey ; and records the condition of the entrenchments at that period.

The elevation of the land at Uphall is naturally so much higher than on the right bank of the river (Little Ilford parish), being some 20 feet above it, that no ‘wall' is needed even at the highest tide — the Roding even now being tidal up to Ilford ; but on the western bank, the river-wall, or ‘innings’ are some 15 feet in height: and these have been thrown up, long ago in the past, to prevent the ‘drowning’ of the manor-farm meadows, and are now carefully tended and repaired as occasion requires in order to prevent any reach.

The total area of the camp contained over 48 acres: and, for the past century at least, the best preserved portion was at the north-west corner, whereon the mound and a portion of the rampart (or spur) yet remain, and in much the same condition, being well protected by a covering of grass.

The height of this mound, at the time of the plan, was about 28 feet: but it now appears to be more rounded, and is probably somewhat lower through denudation. A portion of the rampart adjoins the mound, and is continued in a north-easterly direction for about 80 yards, behind the house and the large old barn (2) which stands at the foot of the mount. It has then been cut away and levelled at some distant period, perhaps to allow of access to the spring, the square pond, and water-cress beds, which lie low, between the rampart and the river.

The farm-house and buildings of Uphall are given on the large scale map of Chapman and Andre (plate xxi.), and also the stream at Loxford bridge, but there is no indication of either earthworks or mound.


Footnotes:
(1) This line old Tudor house with an octagonal lantern or outlook above the roof, has been pulled down during recent years, and the manor lands laid out for building.
(2) The dimensions of this big barn are worth recording being 120 by 29 feet.

410 UPHALL CAMP.

For over a century this mound has been generally known as ‘Lavender Mount,’ the name being derived from one who occupied this holding ante 1809, when it was taken over by Mr. Hunsdon. (3)

Traces of the rampart were still remaining on the north, beyond the garden wall, until quite recent years, and partly up to the public footpath and stile ; on which was the Ordnance bench-mark 28.9; but this landmark has disappeared through the making up of a road through the middle of the camp to Lowbrook, on the old track of the footpath. Below this stile (within the camparia) was a large sloping hollow, some 14 feet in depth, and close up to the garden wall, which was due to the excavation of gravel in years past: while at the bottom was a small pond.

On the other (eastern) side of the pathway, a portion of the much lower rampart continuation had also been cut away, and a vast amount of gravel and sand removed, while beyond (as may be seen) the line of rampart rose somewhat higher, up to the rounded corner where the highest portion was then some 12 feet above the outer level, with a slope of about 4 feet on the inner or camp side. Southward the continuation was quite traceable to the first hedge, but very low, being there only some 18 to 20 inches above the general level ; and was, of course, entirely cut away on the ‘chase’ or drive, leading from the gateway to the house.

Beyond, by the little paddock, it had gradually levelled down and disappeared ; but some twenty years previously it was more conspicuous, the falling-away being mainly due to the action of the plough during many seasons.

In Barking lane, at the corner of Loxford lane, was another bench-mark 27 ; while beyond Loxford cottage, the trend of the southern boundary was then, as now, well defined by the natural falling away of the land from 3 to 5½ feet ; while all traces of a rampart (if any had existed), had quite disappeared, even before the time of Morant.

Near Lowbrook cottage, the ground slopes southward towards the railway and marsh, the continuation of the old footpath crossing a small stream, Loxford brook, which is one of the many tributation of the Roding. This brook is better known in its upper course as “Seven Kings Brook," and of late years this name has been given to a new building locality on the Romford road, across which the small stream runs. In Morant it is mentioned as the "King's Watering”.

On the other side of the Roding in Little Ilford, there is a bench-mark, put up on the river wall, 17.2.


Footnote:
(3) The name of Lavender occurs in the registers of Barking: and Mr. Hunsdon was born at Bennetts Castle in Rippleside.

UPHALL CAMP. 411

The earliest distinct record of these ancient earthworks was contained in the MS. history of Barking, compiled about 1750 by Smart Lethieullier, of Aldersbrook in Little Ilford : and from this source the following description was published in 1796 by the Rev. Daniel Lysons, F.S.A., in the Environs of London (4): —

In the fields adjoining to a farm called Uphall, about a quarter of a mile to the north of Barking town, is a very remarkable ancient entrenchment : its form is not regular, but tending to»a square; the circumference is 1,792 yards, inclosing an area of 48 acres, one rood, and thirty-four perches. On the north, east, and south sides it is single trenched ; on the north and east sides the ground is dry and level (being arable land), and the trench from frequent ploughing almost filled up : on the south side is a deep morass : on the west side, which runs parallel with the river Roding, and at a short distance from it, is a double trench and bank : at the north-west corner was an outlet to a very fine spring of water, which was guarded by an inner work, and a high keep or mound of earth. Mr. Lethieullier thinks that this entrenchment was too large for a camp : his opinion therefore is, that it was the site of a Roman town. He confesses that no traces of buildings have been found on that spot, which he accounts for on the supposition that the materials were used for building Barking Abbey, and for repairing it after it was burnt by the Danes. As a confirmation of this opinion, he relates, that upon viewing the ruins of the Abbey church in 1750, he found the foundations of one of the great pillars composed in part of Roman bricks. A coin of Magnentius was found also among the ruins.

This record is quoted in all later works, either in full, or in some modified form: such as, “The Beauties of England and Wales,' 1803; Wright’s ‘History of Essex’, 1831-5; ‘The People's History of Essex’, Coller, 1861; and others of later date.

The only addition we find, is in Mrs. Ogborne’s ‘History of Essex’, 1814; who writes, that the mount was then "about 94 yards round the base, and about nine in height on the side of the river"; and adds, "The extent and shape are nearly the same as that at Pleshey, in this county, which Mr. Strutt describes (5) as a full mile in circumference, not far wide of the long square, with the corners gently rounded off; and of this form are the greater part of the Roman camps discovered in England."

It is evident from the brief description given by Morant in 1768, that he had no knowledge of, or access to, the above MS. account ; but Richard Gough, F.S.A., makes mention of these ancient entrenchments (6); adding, "Whence the latter town undoubtedly had its name, Berg-ing, q.d. the fortification in the meadows. The north side of it is pretty entire; the side parallel with the road has been ploughed down.” Another derivation has been given as “Burgh-ing."

Footnotes:
(4) Vol. iv., p. 58: 1795-6.
(5) Strutt's Chron., vol. i.
(6) Additions to Camden’s “Britannia," p. 51 : 1789.

412 UPHALL CAMP.

The pretty vignette of the mound as it was in 1814, was engraved by her husband, John Ogborne ; who also prepared the other views of churches, etc., in her uncompleted volume.

Of early man in the district, we have some good evidence; for at various times, a few stone implements have been discovered, both of paleo- and neo-lithic form. Of the latter, Mr. Worthington-Smith found at Temple- Mills, Leyton, in 1882, three specimens pale buff in colour, which were engraved for Dr. John Evans ; while one found by the writer at Earlham grove, Forest Gate, in 1888, was somewhat larger, and described by Mr. W. Smith as 'a very good example.'

Among several paleoliths, perhaps the most remarkable was one obtained by myself in 1889, on Lake's farm, Cawnhall lane; Wanstead. This had been formed from a piece of tabular flint, and was described by the same expert as "an exceedingly good example of, I suppose, the latest type of paleolithic implement."

From the river gravel at Barking-side pits I have also obtained teeth of horse at a depth of 14 feet, and some portions of the skeleton and teeth of bos primigenius, at about 8 feet.


Monday, 23 September 2013

Historical Association Essex Branch Programme 2013/14

The Essex Society for Archaeology and History is pleased to promote the 2013/14 Programme of the Historical Association - Essex branch.

Historical Association 
Programme  2013-2014

Talks on Saturdays 2.30pm. The Link, Trinity Methodist Church, Rainsford Road, Chelmsford, CM1 2XB.  Free parking at the church or County Council Car Park opposite. 
Visitors and prospective members warmly welcomed - a £2 donation requested.

2013
Saturday 28 September. Short AGM followed by
Mr Nick Wickenden, Museums Manager, Chelmsford City Council:
Hylands House - its history, owners and restoration

26 October     Dr Pam Cox, Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Sociology, University of Essex:
The making of BBC2’s ‘Servants: The True History of Life Below Stairs’

7 December  Professor Clive Emsley, Emeritus Professor of History, The Open University:
Heroes and Zeroes: Crime and the British Military from Agincourt to Afghanistan
Followed by light seasonal refreshments.

2014
11 January.   Dr John Ashdown-Hill, Leader of genealogical research and historical adviser on 'Looking for Richard' Project’:
How Richard III was found - the historical and the scientific evidence behind the search

1 February      Dr Adam Smith, Senior Lecturer, Dept. of History, University College, London:
Abraham Lincoln: man and myth

1 March          Professor Anthony Tuck, Emeritus Professor of Medieval History, University of Bristol:
The English Language in Late Medieval Britain

5 April             Professor Robin Smith, formerly of the University of Northumbria and former chairman of the Locomotion Trust:
                        ‘Catch Me Who Can’: Whatever happened to Richard Trevithick?

10 May            Dr Gareth Dale, Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Politics & History, Brunel University:
The East German Revolution of 1989

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Essex References in Joseph Strutt's 'Manners': (4) Maldon and Witham

Maldon Castle: Plan
Complete View of the Manners, Customs, Arms, Habits & Co of the Inhabitants of England, 1774, by Joseph Strutt.
Essex references
4.   Maldon and Witham
Pages 24-25

“Plate 2, No. 3 & 4, represents the plan and perspective view of the remaining ground-work of a Saxon castle, yet to be seen at Maldon, in the County of Essex; and by historians reported to have been constructed by Edward the elder, when he rebuilt the town of Maldon.

“(1)  Though this fortification is easily traced out, yet the out-works are not quite so perfect as that below it, No. 5, and 6.  So for want of proper examination, it is generally said to be Roman; but it will easily be proved to be Saxon, both from being like the castles that people raised into a keep, and from the breadth of the ditch; which (though narrower than that at Witham, No. 5, and 6.) greatly exceeds those of Roman construction, even of a much more extensive fortification: and on these two circumstances are grounded the sure criterion by which the earth-works of the Roman and Saxon fortifications are to be distinguished from each another.

“A (fig 3) is the keep which was surrounded by a strong wall, and within which, were the appartments of the garrison: its breadth is about 220 yards, and its length 290.  B is the ditch, about 20 yards in breadth; at C is the imperfect remains of the outer vallum (or bank of earth) which has been greatly dug down to make room for the plough; but at D it is yet in a very perfect state, in some places full 4 feet high.

Maldon Castle: Perspective
“Fig 4 is a perspective view of the same, supposing all obstacles removed.

“(2)  The ground-work of another of these Saxon Castles, is yet remaining at Witham, being between the church and the town, the form and size of it are yet very visible; this castle was likewise built by Edward the elder, (who resided at the Castle at Maldon while it was compleating) which was about the year 912 or 914.  The middle circle A (plate 2 fig 5) contains the keep or castle, and is about 160 yards in diameter, and 486 yards round; the ditch B, is now filled up with the digging down of the keep, and is in its perfect state 260 feet in breadth; beyond the ditch is the external vallum, which is yet in a very perfect condition full 4 feet high, and 18 or 20 feet in breadth; the circumference of the whole is about 1000 yards.  Where the external vallum is broken off at D, there is a steep precipice down to the river, so that here the ditch seems only to be a common surface of earth below the keep; but this has been effected in labouriously digging down the external vallum, for the more easy ploughing up of the ground round about it.  Fig 6 represents of the same, the trees, hedges, &c. taken away.

Witham Castle: Plan
“The general form of the ground-work of these Saxon Castles were round, though they were often varied according to their nature and situation of the place where they were erected.  That at Maldon (above described) could not well be round, on account of the steepness and sudden declivity of the hill (at the north west side) on the brow of which (to make the fortification more strong and inaccessible) it was built.”


References: (1) Chron. Mariani Scot. See Camden’s Essex. (2)  See London in Essex. H Hunt. Lib. v. in Via Edwardi.

Witham Castle: Perspective
Footnote: 'The Burh at Maldon' was the subject of a paper read by I Chalkney Gould to the Essex Archaeological Society on 30 June 1906, and reproduced in Volume 10 Part 2 of Transactions. The illustrations are those from Strutt's work. "Nothing notable remains," Chalkney Gould reports. 

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Friday, 20 September 2013

Book Preview: The Secrets of the Mound: Mersea Barrow 1912-2012 - Sue Howlett

Lead casket and urn. Bone content was examined
in 2013 with surprising results
(Illustration: from original report published in
Transactions of Essex Archaeological Society,
Volume 13 Part 2 (1913)
On the reading list: 

Mersea islander and member of the Essex Society for Archae- ology and History, Sue Howlett has written an interesting book on the centenary of the opening of the Mersea Barrow on behalf of Mersea Island Museum. 

"The Barrow may have given up its innermost secrets, but many questions still remained.  Who was the man or woman buried within this conspicuous monument ... To mark the centenary of the barrow's excavation, the lead casket and glass urn containing the cremated remains were returned to the island (from Colchester Museum) for the first time since their discovery.  Local interest was high, and funds were raised for the cremated bones to be analysed.  The unexpected and currently unique results of the osteoarchaeological investigation, which caused a stir in archaeological circles, are described in this revised edition of the booklet."

Follow link here to the Mersea Island Museum publications page. 

Thursday, 19 September 2013

The Opening of the Romano-British Barrow on Mersea Island (3): Transactions n.s. Volume 13 Part 3

The report of the opening of the Mersea Barrow in 1913 was deficient of two Plates.  In Transactions Volume 13 Part 2 appeared a slip, "MORANT CLUB REPORT. Plates A and B will, it is hoped, be issued with the next Part in January 1914."  Plates A and B are copied below.  Plate A is of interest because it shows the trench dug from the east to the centre, and the 12 feet square 'room' which was shortly afterwards created as a permanent feature. 



Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The Opening of the Romano-British Barrow on Mersea Island (1): Transactions n.s. Volume 13 Part 2

The discovery in 2013 that the bones of the man buried at the Mersea Barrow were covered in the resin of frankincense confirms the conclusion of the excavation of one hundred years earlier that this was "some important personage or petty ruler of British race, but living under Roman influence".  The following is the report written by S Hazzeldine Warren, on behalf of the Morant Club, and published in the Transactions of the Essex Archaeological Society (now the Essex Society for Archaeology and History) in 1913. (Continued as Part 2 online)