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.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

BATA Heritage Centre Open Day, Wednesday 14 October 2015

The Essex Society has received news of the Bata Heritage Centre Open Day which may interest members of the Essex Industrial Archaeology Group. 
Mike Tarbard writes: "I am writing to let you know that our next Open Day will be on Wednesday 14 October at East Tilbury library.   Details of how to find the library are on our website (http://www.batamemories.org.uk/MAIN/ENG/00-EN-Pages/18-Contact.html).  Our opening hours for this event will be from 11.00am to 2.00pm and then from 4.00pm to 7.00pm.   I do hope that many of you will be able to come along to one or both of these sessions and catch up with 'old friends' and see what we are doing to try and continue to raise the profile of the Bata name and this organisation.   We are expecting a small number of the Year 6 children from East Tilbury Primary School to come and visit during the morning session.   We are also expecting a small group of students from the Bartlett School of Architecture (connected with University College in London).
"We held the Special General Meeting in August and agreed to change our name to the Bata Heritage Centre.  We intend using this Open Day to officially launch and announce this change.
"The new email address of brrcatbatamemories [at] hotmail.com seems to be working well.   In addition Paul Addington, our Treasurer, is working on a new website.  This will take a while before we can launch it." 

Best wishes

Mike Tarbard

Chairman - Bata Heritage Centre (formerly The Bata Reminiscence & Resource Centre)"

Monday, 28 September 2015

Next Event. Archives Open Day. Hollytrees, Colchester. 3 October 2015

Essex Society for Archaeology and History
Archives Open Days
Saturday 3 October & Saturday 7 November 2015
10.15am to 1.00pm
Education Room, Hollytrees, Colchester

Come and see the archives of our Society dating back to 1852.
No charge.
Admission to our pop up search room on production of valid membership card or similar. 
Search room rules apply – pencil use only etc.  Bring your own laptop, digital camera.

Our records include Minute Books and research by members over many years.
Come and see the tableware for the Society’s Centenary Medieval Feast in 1953, the photographs and newspaper cuttings.
See notes on the Pleshey Castle excavations in the 1960s.
Discover the original plans for Stansted Airport expansion in the late 1960s through newspaper cuttings and correspondence from this Society.
View two albums of church photographs taken c.1880 to 1910.
Also Sperling’s six volumes of notes on churches dating from the late-nineteenth to early-twentieth century and his many notebooks.
View the latest draft catalogue online at www.blackmorehistory.co.uk/esaha.html
See more information published on our blog.
For further information or to pre-order documents contact via www.esah160.blogspot.co.uk

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Pleshey Castle Excavations 1959-1963 (4)

Pleshey Castle Excavations 1959-1963
Archive document ref.:  S/SEC/7/8
Transcription of papers

INTERIM REPORT ON THE EXCAVATION OF PLESHEY CASTLE, 1959.
(a) SUMMARY OF WORK ACCOMPLISHED.

The 1959 season of five weeks excavation was an exploratory one, with the aim of recovering a chronological sequence of the occupations between the 12th and 16th centuries A.D., and their relationship to the present topography. The area chosen was the west end of the Bailey, which was cut by a trench 115 feet x 10 feet and up to 13 feet deep.

Slight evidence was found of Roman and earlier occupation, but the first intensive use of this part of the site was in late Norman times, probably that following the construction of the earthwork. The Norman layer consisted of occupation and building debris, and is dated by sherds to the late 12th-13th centuries A.D. Traces of two buildings of this period were found, in timber and brick construction, the bricks being among the earliest examples found in Essex. The area was made up with several feet of clay in the later 15th century, and on this new higher level were buildings of stone, tile and timber construction of the 14th-16th centuries A.D. The principal building encountered had very substantial foundations, and is clearly one of major importance; other buildings are likely to be minor ones such as gate-house and stabling. The site fell into disuse in the 16th century, and very little evidence was found of any occupation later than about 1580. Finds have been numerous, and include a useful series of pottery, painted window glass, glazed tiles, bronze and iron objects, and coins.

(b) THE TRAINING.

A total of 98 people took part in the excavation, excluding paid labour and directorial staff. They worked a total of 399 man-days over a period of 5 weeks, of which the last week was mainly occupied with filling-in. The 98 people were ell given some experience in digging under supervision, and in seeing how an excavation was organised. Over half of these (55) were however only very occasional helpers, for 2 or 3 days or half-days, usually at weekends, and useful training was limited to the remaining 43. Of these, 34 attended for periods ranging from 3 to 9 days, and in addition to being taught how to use tools in an archaeological manner, were initiated by the grid supervisors into methods of digging and recording, followed the progress of the dig, and were able to handle different kinds of pottery and finds. All attended the daily site lecture and the discussion that followed.

The remaining 9 received full training as grid supervisors. 5 attended for 3-4 weeks, 2  for 2 weeks and 2 for 1-2 weeks. These were each given control of a unit of excavation, in this case a 10-foot square grid, and were required to excavate the layers encountered, record each layer in plan and section, record the position of all finds, and finally to write a seminary of the sequence of events in each grid. Each was provided with a box containing notebook, measuring tape, pen, ink, labels, bags, etc. Paid and volunteer labour was allocated to each according to the needs of the grid at any particular stage. Direct instruction was given in the course of this work by Major Brinson and myself, and each afternoon a lecture was given on the site, which dealt with problems arising, the progress of the excavation, and various aspects of archaeology ranging from first principles to the type of medieval pottery found in the excavation. It was attended by all people digging on that day, and often by visitors, who numbered about 1,000 during the course of the dig.

The success of the training was dependent on many factors, the principal one being of course the intelligence and natural gratitude on the part of the trainee. Of the 11 given full training, only 2 may be considered as successful inasmuch as they would now be capable of doing further work on their own initiative under only limited control, 7 never fully mastered the problems arising in their own unit of excavation, but would certainly be an asset to any excavation in which they might later participate. The other 2 might be written off as untrainable. It must be pointed out that this assessment is a critical one and that the stratification and problems encountered were more complex than would be normal, even on medieval sites. On a straightforward Roman excavation, all would have been able to cope adequately with e limited area of excavation, except for a general difficulty encountered in precise but meaningful drawing, end in thinking three-dimensionally.

The main difficulty encountered in the 1959 excavation has been the lack of continuity in attendance of volunteers, resulting in much tedious repetition, but this seems to be inevitable when the excavation is being run for local people with limited time. Nor is it satisfactory to have a labour force ranging from a dozen or so on many weekdays to over 30 at weekends; but, again this seems an insurmountable difficulty if the excavation is to cater both for the serious students and for the casual helpers who form the active backbone of the organising Society.

In the 1959 season we were exceptionally fortunate in the weather, and we did not find it necessary to fall back on indoor instruction in the form of lantern lectures, for which the village hall was available. In a wet season the background of this indirect training would have been much wider.

P.A. RAHTZ

November, 1959.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Pleshey Castle Excavations 1959-1963 (3)

Pleshey Castle Excavations 1959-1963
Archive document ref.:  S/SEC/7/8
Transcription of papers

ESSEX ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY
Hon. Secretary: John S. Appleby, F.R.Met.S.,
Tel:- Wivenhoe 472.
Dear Member of the Council,
Cranford House,
Elmstead,
Colchester.
Essex.
2nd January, 1960

The reports on the 1959 Pleshey excavation are attached.

Please bring these to the Meeting of the Council on Tuesday next, 5th January, 1960, at 2.30 p.m. at Holly Trees, Colchester, when they will be discussed in the course of the business.

May I take this opportunity of wishing you a Happy New Year.

Yours truly,
John S. Appleby.
Hon. Secretary, E.A.S.

P.S. Subscriptions are due from 1st January, 1960.
Have you set a good example by paying yours?
Forms of Covenant may be obtained from The Hon. Treasurer, M.L.Bennett, B.Sc.
His address is "Sharon", 15 The Commons, Colchester.


PLESHEY CASTLE, 1959. Interim Report on Excavation. 
The excavation took place during five weeks of September and October, 1959 of which most of the last week was directed towards filling-in. Work proceeded every day, with paid labour and volunteers, in excellent weather, only an hour or two being lost through rain in the whole period. Three men were employed and an average of twelve volunteers attended daily, a total of ninety eight taking part at one time or another.

The dig, which it is hoped will be the first of several seasons' work, was organised by Major J. Brinson and on behalf of the Essex Archaeological Society (the first to be undertaken by that body for half a century) and was directed as a training excavation for the Society by P. A. Rahtz. The work was financed by donations from several individuals and organisations, and was carried out with the help and encouragement of the owner, Mr. J. J. Tufnell.

The site had not until previously been excavated scientifically: some buildings were cleared in 1907 by the then owner: the work was undertaken principally to relieve unemployment: several buildings were cleared, and "several hundred" glazed decorated floor tiles were removed to Langleys, and later buried *Footnote. No record of this digging was published, but one of the buildings, on the motte, was cleared, and a plan of its foundations published, by the Morant Club in 1921-2. Recently Mr. Tufnell has cleared the trees from the sites which has made it possible to study the earthworks with clarity: in the course of this work, some structures were uncovered by tree roots: restoration work was also done on the magnificent 15th century brick bridge which connects the motte to the Upper Bailey. The site consists of a large and elliptical mooted motte of 80ft. maximum, height with a kidney-shaped bailey on the south side, defended by an 18-ft. high bank and outer moat. On the north side is the town enclosure delineated by a bank and ditch which encompasses the whole of the modern village. Within this, adjacent to the motte on its north side, Major Brinson has found traces of what is apparently another cresentic bailey, which has however been largely destroyed in antiquity: it may be the original bailey, and have been disused when the town enclosure was made, at the same time as the kidney-shaped bailey was made. The destroyed bailey is at a lower level than the extant one, and it is proposed to call them the Lower and Upper Bailey respectively.

Access to the Upper Bailey is now by a gap in its outer rampart, but it is believed that the Norman entrance was at the east end of the bailey, whore there is an "island" in the moat, which may be an emplacement for the centre of a double draw-bridge. Nearby is a cut-away area in the inner moat edge, which may have been connected with the abutment of the bridge connecting motto to bailey, and later replaced by the brick bridge. The documentary evidence extends from the mid-12th to the later 16th century A.D. The Norman castle may have been built c. 1145 and was "fortified" c.1180. The castle passed into the Bohun family and thence to Thomas Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester, who lived there in regal state until his execution in 1397. The castle then became Crown Property, and was the home of Queen Margaret in the 15th century, when some brick-building was done, including probably the bridge. The site lapsed alter this, and was in decay and being robbed by 1589.

The excavation was an exploratory one, designed to find out the sequence of occupation on the site and to relate it to the stratification at the western end of the Upper Bailey and to that of the western rampart. Such an excavation in depth is a necessary preliminary to area excavation, but it is inevitably dangerous and destructive of any structures encountered, particularly those associated with medieval timber buildings, which cannot be understood except by horizontal excavation. We compromised in this respect by making a cutting wide enough (10 ft.) to have at least some appreciation of the horizontal aspect of the stratification, and by meticulous recording of all layers and features encountered: future area 'excavation would thus not suffer in information, but only in area photography. The excavation in depth was limited to a trench 118 x 10 ft., divided up into 10-ft. square grids, both to obtain cross sections, and also for convenience in training. The deepest of these had to be dug to a depth of 13 feet to reach undisturbed ground, and gave some indications of the problems to be faced in area excavation.

The stratification was complex, variable, and not well-defined in details, as is to be expected on medieval sites. There are some traces of Roman and earlier occupation, in the lower part of the "old ground surface" but the first intensive settlement was in Norman times. It is represented by burnt buildings, debris (including bricks 13" x 9" x 1¼“), and domestic remains: those include much pottery which cannot be closely dated, but on general grounds is unlikely to be earlier than the mid-late 12th century, extending into the 13 th century. The occupation represented is associated with the rampart and is more likely to be that following the "fortification" of c.1180 A.D., than that of c.1145 A.D.  A few similar shards and brick fragments were found on the original ground surface under the rampart tail. The Norman building were located, represented by post-holes and a timber-slot, associated with a drainage ditch.

The Norman level is sealed by a make-up of clay, in places 4-5 ft. thick, which was laid down sometime in the later 13th century to raise the level of the ground and to grade it so that storm water would run off easily, and thus avoid the somewhat dirty conditions evidenced in the Norman layer.

On the surface of this make-up several buildings have been found. On the tail of the rampart are three successive phase of minor buildings, mostly of timber, with numerous post-holes, timber-slots, metalled areas, and cesspits. These cover the period from the later 13th century to the 16th century, but in the absence of sealed levels only the latest phase may be satisfactorily dated except in general terms. On the level part of the bailey a major building has been found, with three main periods of constructions, which cannot however be definitely related to the three periods in the minor buildings. In the first phase of this major building the foundations were extremely substantial consisting of deeply-founded "rafts" of rammed gravel and clay on which were built substantial foundations of flint and later of brick and tile. The indentification of this building must remain at present uncertain: it might be the chapel. On its west side is a heavily metalled roadway with ruts leading towards an area by the side of the brick bridge: the lower levels of this road are partly sealed by the latest period of building. A 9 ft. deep cesspit, of the latest period of occupation, was excavated in this area.

Finds have been numerous, and include a sequence of pottery of 12th-16th century date, (of which the earliest group is completely sealed), many finds of bronze, iron, glass, lead, and stone; and a few coins and jettons, none of which is in a very helpful context.


The 1959 season has given a good idea of what stratification and materials may be expected in any area excavation. It is proposed, if funds are available to have a second season in September-October, 1960, also to be run as a training school for Essex Archaeological students. An area excavation of the major building found in 1959 is contemplated, together with exploratory cuttings in the area of the destroyed bank of the Lower Bailey or of the Norman bridge abutments, if sufficient resources are available.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Historical Association, Essex Branch. Programme 2015/16

Historical Association, Essex Branch
Programme 2015-16

Talks on Saturdays, 2.30pm, Trinity Methodist Church, Rainsford Road, Chelmsford, CM1 2XB (except 31 Oct)
Free parking at the Church or in the County Council car-park opposite
Visitors and prospective members warmly welcomed
 -  £3 donation requested

Saturday 26 September 2015:
Short AGM followed by Dr Rachel Duffett, Teaching Fellow in the Department of Sociology, University of Essex: A Taste of Army Life: Food and Soldiers of the Great War.
                                                

Saturday 31 October 2015:  
Conference on the Battle of Agincourt, a joint event with the Essex Record Office, held  at the Essex Record Office. 11am for 11.30am-3.30pm (Part of the Chelmsford Ideas Festival) 

Anne Curry, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Professor of Medieval History,  University of Southampton, Agincourt 1415 – 2015.

Dr James Ross, Senior Lecturer in Late Medieval History, University of Winchester, Conflict in Context: Henry V and the Renewal of the Hundred Years War.

Members £7: book clem.moir [at] btinternet.com.  Non-members £15: book on 033301 32500.  Includes refreshments and lunch
                                                 

Saturday 5 December 2015:
Nigel Saul, Professor of Medieval History, Royal Holloway College, University of London, Magna Carta: Was It Worth It?

Saturday 9 January 2016:
David Stevenson, Professor of International History, London School of Economics and Political Science, The Origins of the Cold War.

Saturday 6 February 2016:
Roger Richardson, Research Professor Emeritus and Director of International Relations (USA), Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Winchester, Servant Life in Elite Households in the Seventeenth and early Eighteenth Centuries.

Saturday 5 March 2016:                
Dr Helen McCarthy, Senior Lecturer in History, Queen Mary College, University of London, Double Lives: Working Mothers in Twentieth Century Britain.

Saturday 9 April 2016:
Charles Barr, Emeritus Professor in the School of Art, Media and American Studies, University of East Anglia, Ealing Studios 1930-55: presenting Britain and the British Character on Film.

Saturday 7 May 2016:
Dr Fiona Haarer, Lecturer in the Classics Department, King’s College, University of London. The Empress Theodora: from Courtesan to Queen.

For further information: email essexha1 [at] btinternet.com or www.history.org.uk and  essexbranchha.blogspot.com

The Essex Society for Archaeology and History is pleased to advertise these events.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Museum of Power: Next Society Visit. Wednesday 16 September 2015

The next event of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History is a visit with its Essex Industrial Archaeology Group to the Museum of Power at Langford on Wednesday 16 September. This visit will include a guided tour of the Museum, which is a former water supply pumping station and now houses a fascinating collection of industrial machinery. 

Pride of place is given to the magnificent Lilleshall steam engine which was returned to steam for the first time in 50 years in April 2011.  There is a cafe on site for refreshments. 

Please book your place, as usual, with Graham Gould. 

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Pleshey Castle Excavations 1959-1963 (2)

Pleshey Castle Excavations 1959-1963
Archive document ref.:  S/SEC/7/8
Transcription of papers

MEMORANDA TO ESSEX ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY ON THE EXCAVATIONS AT PLESHEY CASTLE.

The appended interim reports describe the results of the 1959 season and of the training incidental to it. These have been written for the CBA and other interested bodies. A full report on the dig is in preparation: this will be complete in most respects and not merely an interim note. It will be described as a report on the first season's work at Pleshey, and as agreed, it will be published as a separate paper of 5,000 copies: the wide distribution and sale of these should make the work known and lay a firm foundation for future seasons. It is hoped that enough of the 5,000 will be sold to cover the greater part of the cost of printing, and should be priced accordingly.

The 1959 season was successful insofar as the aims of the excavation were achieved, and some degree of training was done with no great loss of archaeological information. Several volunteers show promise, and we hope that they will continue to come in future seasons and become more and more able to be given responsibility for sections of work.

The organisation of the dig want smoothly, thanks to the untiring efforts of Major and Mrs. Brinson. There were a few "teething" troubles in respect of the sheds, but this was an inevitable result of their being obtained at little or no cost. Arrangements for visitors were good, and they were well satisfied with the attention they were given for the price of their admission. Tools were in plentiful supply, and we did not run short of them even when our attendance of volunteers was at its maximum. Tea was supplied to all workers every afternoon. Morale and interest were high throughout, partly because of the excellent weather.

With greater publicity, we may expect a higher attendance next year, and with the same financial backing as we had in 1959, it should be possible to work on a larger scale. We propose an area excavation of the large building encountered in 1959, which will be the focus of public and volunteer interest; but it would be useful if we could undertake additionally some exploratory cuttings in other parts of the site, to pave the way for future area excavation. There are four areas of potential interest: THE MOTTE, which should be left until our financial footing is very sound, as it will be difficult to dig; THE MAIN PART OF THE UPPER BAILEY, where we may well do some large area excavation in the future on the big buildings which can be traced there; THE NORMAN BRIDGE ABUTMENT and "WELL", and THE LOWER BAILEY. One of the last two would be most suitable for our immediate objective and either would throw light on the Norman history of the site. Trial cuttings on the abutment area could be done with Mr. Tufnell's permission, but the Lower Bailey is in different ownership. If a separate excavation were undertaken it would have to be under the control of a paid assistant supervisor: I could not undertake the direction of both sites and train as well. A suitable person could be obtained for e reasonable sum of perhaps ten pounds per week, (this is considerably less than MOW- rates for assistants, which averages eighty pounds for the first month). We should have at least three workmen for heavy work as before- the 1959 dig could not have been completed without their help.

The principal recommendation is in respect of sheds. The ones supplied in 1959 were not very satisfactory; this did not cause much concern in the dry season of 1959, but they would not have been very satisfactory if the weather had been bad. Sheds for a dig of this scale should be large with adequate windows and with wooden floors, as normally supplied on Ministry excavations. They should be strong enough to keep dry and firm in any weather conditions, to safeguard records, finds and equipment. Either good sheds of this type should be hired or they should be bought. If future excavations at Pleshey (or any others of the Society) are contemplated, they would be a sound investment, and it is possible that Mr. Tufnell would allow them to remain on the site. If we are to take our training responsibilities seriously, there should be one large enough to accommodate all helpers for the purposes of indoor lectures and demonstrations, something in the size of a Nissen hut. There should be room in this for a small library, drawing space for instruction in pottery drawing, tables for the re-construction of pottery, etc., and chairs, etc., for lectures. Without such a building on the site we can never claim to be running a training school such as those organised under the auspices of University extra-mural departments; and the provision of such amenities would increase the chance of further or continuing grants for this purpose. Additionally there should be two smaller huts of good quality, one for the director and one for finds, and a shed of lesser quality for workman and volunteers' shelter. I hope these matters will be given consideration in planning the 1960 season. It will depend largely on how much money is available; it might be better to sacrifice paid labour if there is insufficient for good sheds, or to concentrate on one site without an assistant.


Signed P.A.RAHTZ. November, 1959

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Pleshey Castle Excavations 1959-1963 (1)

Pleshey Castle Excavations 1959-1963
Archive reference: S/SEC/7/8
Transcription of papers

REPORT OF PLESHEY EXCAVATION COMMITTEE:

The second meeting of the Pleshey Excavation Committee was held at 2.30 p.m. on Monday, 9th March, 1959, at LANGLEYS, Great Waltham, by kind permission of J.J.TUFNELL, Esq.

Those present were:-  LT.COL. R.J.APPLEBY, MBE., F.S.A. Secretary, Essex Arch. Soc.
MAJOR J.G.S. BRINSON, F.S.A., F.A.M.S. Essex Correspondent M.O.W.
M.R.HULL, ESQ., F.S.A.,  Director of the Colchester Museums.
M.W. THOMPSON, ESQ. Assistant Inspector, Inspectorate of Anct. M.
 J.J. TUFNELL, ESQ. Owner of Pleshey Castle.

The meeting was held to discuss the objectives and to define the programme of the Excavation Committee in the season of excavation proposed to take place at Pleshey Castle during 1959.

On the recommendation of the Inspectorate of Ancient Monuments, the Committee had invited Mr. Philip A. Rahtz to  undertake supervision of the excavations, and he had consented to do so, provided that the works should begin not earlier than mid-September, 1959.

The financial position was discussed and the list of bodies to which application for funds had been made was read out. At the time of the meeting a sum of one hundred and twenty pounds had been promised towards the total of five hundred pounds required. This was without the contribution of the Essex Archaeological Society, which was expected to be made known at the Council meeting of the Society on the following day, March 10th. Confidence was expressed in the likelihood of raising the whole sum required by September. The objectives of the Excavation Committee had been stated in the letters of appeal fur funds as: i) to obtain a comprehensive dated series of pottery from the site, and ii) to examine the remains of the successive structures at the Castle from the I2th.C to the time of demolition in the 16th.C.

It was decided to concentrate upon the area within the bailey, and not to undertake examination of the motte or the inner or outer moats during the forthcoming season. Examination of the moat between the matte end the bailey, although desirable, might well absorb the whole of the moneys available by reason of the probability of extensive shoring and pumping necessary to keep tie trench walls standing and to keep the water out of the sectional trench which would need to be approximately twelve feet deep to original moat bottom. A partial plan of the shell keep was in existence, and it was considered desirable rather to examine the sites of the Great Hall, the Chapel and other buildings known to have existed within the bailey but hitherto undefined in position and extent. It was agreed also that partial sections should be put through the bailey earthworks in an attempt to discover evidence of the date of construction.

The finds from the excavation after examination and writing up would be kept at Langleys by Mr.J.J.Tufnell. It was his intention eventually to house the finds in a small site museum to be erected when the Castle should again be open to the public.

The probable cost to the owner of consolidating and leaving exposed such wall foundations and other features which might be uncovered was recognised as prohibitive and a policy of filling in exposed foundations subsequent to excavation was agreed.

It was suggested and agreed that Dr. St.Joseph, Curator in Aerial Photography at the University of Cambridge, should be consulted with regard to aerial photography of the site.

In view of the probable difficulty in finding paid labour in the area, Mr Tufnell undertook to consult with his Agent., Col. Judd, as to the possibility of raising a certain amount of local agricultural labour, assuming that harvest would be over by mid-September in a normal year.

Mr. Thompson undertook to arrange with the Inspectorate of Ancient Monuments for the provision of a hut and lavatory accommodation for both sexes on the site.

[Signed J Brinson]

Excavations Secretary

Friday, 4 September 2015

Essex Society for Archaeology and History. Notice of the reconvening of the 2015 Annual General Meeting

Following the need to fulfil the required period of notice caused by the late delivery of papers, the AGM held at the University of Essex on 13 June 2015 was adjourned. It will be reconvened at the Hollytrees, Colchester at 10.15am on Saturday 26 September 2015. The agenda is to confirm the decisions taken at that meeting, and in particular the decision to amend the Constitution. The draft minutes of that meeting are available on the website.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Essex Society for Archaeology and History. Newsletter. Summer 2015

The 24-page Summer 2015 edition of the Newsletter has been landing on the doormats of members of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History today.  Once again it is a bumper edition containing news and features of history, heritage and archaeology in the county.  
In this edition:
- From the President. Our new President Adrian Corder-Birch reflects on the recent AGM and the many anniversaries this year including the 800th year of the signing of the Magna Carta. 
- Visiting Chelmsford Cathedral as a Tourist
- The Oldest Human Cremation in Britain found at Langford: Cremated human bone dated to 5600BC.
- Campaign to Save Marconi Hall Street Factory
- Hulks at Holehaven Creek and the Thameside Explosives Industry
- The Last Days of Thoby Priory, Mountnessing, and its Lands
- Fragile Heritage
- The Society Archives: The early days of the Essex Archaeological Society
- Frederick Spurrell, An Essex Antiquarian
- Keeping up to date with Archaeology in Essex
- The Society Archives: Our Library Records
- News From Elsewhere
- Notices: 
-- Notice of the reconvening of the 2015 AGM
-- Adrian Corder-Birch D.L., appointed President of ESAH; 
-- Martin Stuchfield appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Essex; 
-- Jim Boutwood, obituary.
- Events in Essex: 
-- Industrial Heritage Fair; 
-- Museum of Power, Langford; 
-- ESAH Archives Open Days; 
-- EIAG AGM and Lecture; 
-- Advance Notice for EERIAC Conference in 2016.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Friends of Essex Churches Trust. Study Day. Saturday 10 October 2015

St Mary's Church, Fryerning
FRIENDS OF ESSEX CHURCHES TRUST
CHURCH VISITS
 AUTUMN STUDY DAY
______________________________________________________________________ 
SATURDAY 10th OCTOBER 2015
Join the Essex historian
Dr Christopher Starr
for interesting talks in four of our favourite medieval churches in central Essex
 Time
10.00         St Peter & St Paul, Stondon Massey (TL 573016/ CM15 OLD)
10.45           Light Refreshments will be available.
11.30         St Mary the Virgin, Fryerning (TL 638001 / CM4 0NW)        
12.15           Lunch, own arrangements, there are pubs and places for picnics in the vicinity)
14.00         St Giles, Mountnessing (TQ 648966 / CM13 1UN)
15.00         St Margaret, Margaretting (TL 666004 / CM4 0ED)     
15.45               Light refreshments will be available.

All these churches have parking and lavatory facilities.

The order in which we visit the churches is determined by the availability of refreshments; as these are kindly provided by the churches, 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 FECT Study Day on Saturday 10th October 2015
 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...............................................................................................................................................

Signature....................................................................  Date ..........................................................

The next Spring Study Day will be held on Wednesday 4th May 2016 in north-west Essex.

Charity No. 236033