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.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Essex Churches Conference. Essex Record Office. Saturday 21 October 2018

From the Essex Record Office,

I am writing about an event that I hope will be of interest to your members. Would you be so kind as to forward on the details to them?

We are hosting a conference at the Essex Record Office on Saturday 21 October on Foundation, reformation and restoration: Essex churches from the Saxons to the Victorians, which will be a sweeping overview of several centuries of church building in Essex.

Kind regards,
Hannah Salisbury
Engagement and Events Manager, Essex Record Office

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The Forests Of Essex. Conference. Gilwell Park. Monday 19 February 2018.

This day conference will explore the cultural and natural heritage of the forests of Essex, and issues of the understanding, management and future of trees, woods and forests in the county.

The conference will include a keynote session by author and historic landscape specialist, Professor Tom Williamson, who heads up the Landscape Group within the School of History at the UEA, and contributions from Charles Watkins, author and Professor of Rural Geography at the University of Nottingham, as well as a range of national and local experts. 

The conference will be held at the fantastic Gilwell Park conference centre, which is set in 108 acres on the edge of Epping Forest, close to Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge, and less than 20 minutes from central London.

Date: Monday 19 February 2018
Venue: Gilwell Park, London
Cost: £65 including light lunch

03330 132 738

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

New Geographies Walk. Little Maplestead. Thursday 21 September 2017


Journey into our ancient past with Dr James Canton, lecturer in Wild Writing at the University of Essex, and author of Out of Essex: Re-imagining a Literary Landscape and Ancient Wonderings.

In this walking tour, he searches for a lost Roman Road, sharing thoughts about Britain’s long-lost landscapes, and the beliefs and cultural practices of those who lived here, thousands of years ago.

Meet at St John the Baptist:
The Round Church
Little Maplestead, CO9 2SL
Free, Suitable for all ages.
Dogs on leads welcome.
Places limited so booking advised

Event in association with the University of Essex

New Geographies
Do you know an overlooked or unexpected place that you think is important and which you’d like to nominate as a potential site for an exciting art project? Help us redraw the map of the region with places important to those living here, by going online to nominate a location.

Art Exchange
Placing the artist at its core, Art Exchange is a space where art, artists and audiences can meet. Sited at the University of Essex in Colchester, our programme of exhibitions, talks and events creates a platform for ideas to be exchanged and connections to be made.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Essex Industrial Heritage Fair. 7 October 2017. Exhibitors Invited

Essex Industrial Archaeology Group, Industrial Heritage Fair 2017

We are inviting you to participate or visit the 2017 event that will take place on:

Saturday 7th October 2017 between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm
at the Wat Tyler Country Park, Pitsea, SS16 4UH

The event is organised to raise the profile of the diverse industrial heritage of Essex and will also have benefits and advantages for your group or organisation.

The Fair will allow you to:
Promote and market your museum/site/society to other exhibitors and the public
Generate interest in your subject
Attract new and repeat visitors
Recruit volunteers
Network with other exhibitors to share experience, knowledge and expertise

The Fair will feature:
Local museums, industrial heritage sites and society stands
Short talks throughout the day on aspects of Essex industrial history
The Country Park Trail - a walk around the site that was once the Nobel Explosives factory
Family activities

The Wat Tyler Country Park offers:
Free on-site parking
125 acres of stunning parkland
A comfortable café offering a wide range of refreshments
Amenities for a great family day out

To book a stand at the Fair costs £15—email

For visitors it is a free event

Monday, 28 August 2017

Historical Association. Essex Branch. Programme 2017/18

The Historical Association run series of lectures throughout the country.  The Essex Programme has just been issued.  Members of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History may be interested in going to one or more in the series.

Historical Association, Essex Branch
Peogramme 2017/18

Talks on Saturdays, 2.30pm. 
Trinity Methodist Church, Rainsford Road, Chelmsford, CM1 2XB.
Visitors and prospective members warmly welcomed.  £3


30 September 2017.   Eight Months that shook the world: Russia’s revolutions, 1917.  Dr. Jonathan Davis, Principal Lecturer in History, Anglia Ruskin University.  (There will be a short AGM before the talk)

28 October 2017.   Prostitution in 19th-century Colchester.   Dr. Jane Pearson, Part-time Tutor, University of Essex

2 December 2017.   1918 Revisited: How the First World War ended.   Professor David Stevenson, Professor of International History, London School of Economics  (Light seasonal refreshments after the talk)


13 January 2018.   Oliver Cromwell: Hero or Villain?   Dr. David L. Smith, Fellow, College Lecturer and Director of Studies in History, Clare College, University of Cambridge

10 February 2018.  Carve her Name with Pride: Female Secret Agents in the Second World War.  Dr. Juliette Pattinson, Reader in Modern History and Head of School of History, University of Kent

10 March 2018.  ‘How did Martin Luther King Jr change America?’   Professor Tony Badger, Professor in American History at Northumbria University, Emeritus Paul Mellon Professor at Cambridge and Emeritus Master, Clare College, President of the Historical Association

14 April 2018.  So, where did everybody live before there were Roman villas?   Howard Brooks, Senior Fieldwork Archaeologist, Colchester Archaeological Trust and Visiting Fellow, History Department, University of Essex

12 May 2018.   Women in Medieval London.   Professor Caroline Barron, Professor Emerita, History Department, Royal Holloway College, University of London      

For further information: email  and

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Essex Industrial Heritage Fair. Saturday 7 October 2017. Poster

The Essex Industrial Archaeology Group (EIAG) is part of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History
The Fair will be held at Wat Tyler Country Park, Saturday 7 October 2017 from 10am to 4pm

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Essex Industrial Archaeology Fair. Wat Tyler Country Park. Saturday 7 October 2017

The Industrial Archaeology Group of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History holds its second Industrial Archaeology Fair this autumn:

Celebrating the County’s rich and diverse industrial history

with stalls and/or demonstrations on bricks and brickmaking, joinery works, maltings, mills, railways, explosives, shoe making, water supply and more.

Also 5 x 30 minute talks on Bata shoes, Plotlands, EKCO Radios
and the two Essex explosive factories

Wat Tyler Country Park

Near Pitsea Station, SS16 4UH

To be opened by Sir Bob Russell

Saturday 7th October 10am to 4pm

Free Admission and Parking

For further info email


Thursday, 15 June 2017

Essex Journal. Spring 2017 (Vol. 52 No. 1)

The Essex Society for Archaeology and History is title owner of the Essex Journal, published twice a year to subscribers on payment of £10 annually. Click here to subscribe.

The contents of the latest edition, just published, are:
Editorial ... 2
News from the Essex Record Office ... 4
Galleywood Heritage Centre ... 5
Billericay and Great Burstead: the Muster Roll of 1539:  Julian Whybra ... 6
When Bill Sykes Junior came to visit - the rise of juvenile crime in Southend during the Great War:  Andrew Emeny ... 15
Ongar Radio Station:  Michael Leach ... 25
Tuesday 29th October 1940: Spitfire Down:  Neil Wiffen ... 33
Obituaries: Peter Huggins (1926-2016), Beryl Board (1929-2017) ... 40
Book Reviews ... 42
EJ Twenty Questions. Richard Morris ... 45 

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Transactions. Series 4. Volume 6 (2015)

Just published. Available price £15.00 including P&P to a UK address.

Essex Society for Archaeology and History
Transactions. Fourth Series. Volume 6 (2015)
(396 pages)

Obituary. Peter Joseph Huggins, 1926-2016:  Stan Newens … 1
Obituary. Kenneth James Neale, 1922-2016:  H Martin Stuchfield … 3
Life at the floodplain edge: Terminal Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic flint scatters and early prehistoric archaeology along the Beam River Valley:  Carl Champness, Michael Donnelly, Ben M Ford & Andrew Haggart … 5
Excavation of Prehistoric, Roman and Medieval remains at Priors Green, Takeley, Essex, 2006 to 2010:  Mark Germany, Robert Masefield & Adrian Scruby … 46
A Survey of Selected Late Iron Age and Roman Sacred Sites in Eastern England, with particular reference to Essex:  E W Black … 106
Harlow Roman Temple and other Essex temples: a numismatic study:  Mark Curteis … 164
An Early Roman Cremation Cemetery at Haslers Lane, Great Dunmow:  Mark Atkinson … 189
A Roman crop-processing enclosure at Great Tey, and other sites on the Cressing to Great Horkesley Anglian Water trunk main: rescue excavations 1998:  Patrick Allen & Stuart Gibson … 235
Two sites within the vicinity of Roman Dunmow: Newton Works and Brookfield Farm excavations, 2003-04 … Mark Germany, Ben Barker & David Maynard … 266
Archaeological Investigations at Prior’s Hall, Widdington, 2004 and 2007:  Trevor Ennis … 275
Late Saxon and Medieval Occupation at the former Bus Station, 148-152 High Street, Maldon: Excavations 1999: Trevor Ennis … 289
The two burhs of Maldon, Essex, and their antecedents: Jeremy Haslam … 312
Modelling Patronage: the Chronology and Financing of the Perpendicular Work at St Mary, Saffron Walden: Gabriel Byng … 329
Prittlewell Priory since 1536: owners, tenants and history:  Ken Crowe … 344
Archaeological Fieldwork Summaries 2015: Paul Gilman (ed.) … 366
Shorter Notes
A Romanised Section of the Icknield Way at Great Chesterford: Pat Moan … 378
Essex Industrial Archaeology Group: Tony Crosby … 384
Book Reviews
Excavations along the M25: Prehistoric, Roman and Anglo-Saxon Activity between Aveley and Epping, Essex: Nigel Brown … 386
Alien Cities. Consumption and the Origins of Urbanisation in Roman Britain: Nick Wickenden … 387
Medieval Lawyer: Clement Spice of Essex:  Jennifer Ward … 388
The Thames Iron Works, 1837-1912: a Major Shipbuilder on the Thames:  Adrian Corder-Birch … 388
Earls Colne’s Early Modern Landscapes:  Jane Pearson … 389
Alan Sorrell: the Life and Works of an English Non-Romantic Artist: Nigel Brown … 389
Under Fire: Essex and the Second World War 1939-45:  Martyn Lockwood … 391
In Quest of a Fairer Society: My Life in Politics: Adrian Brown … 391
Essex Bibliography:  Andrew Phillips & Paul Sealey … 393

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Newsletter (Summer 2017)

Now issued four times a year, members of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History will have received their copy of the Newsletter (NL182) a fortnight ago which includes details of the forthcoming Annual General Meeting to be held at Silver End Village Hall on Saturday 17 June at 2pm.
This edition includes:
- From the President
- Historic Pubs Come Under Planning Protection
- Lost Landscapes: Reconstructing Medieval Essex, 19 March 2017. A report of the Conference held at Essex Record Office
- 800th Anniversary of the Charter of the Forest 1217
- Nelson and the Vicar of Southminster - the Rev. Alexander John Scott
- William Dugard, Schoolmaster of Colchester 1637 -1642/3
- The Ongar Theatre in 1790
- Alderford Mill, Sible Hedingham
- Gustav Holst, Conrad Noel and the Whitsun Festivals (Part 2)
- Bulmer Brick and Tile Works
- The Society grants £1000 to Roman Circus House
- Events in Essex
-- Royal Gunpowder Mills
-- Battle of Assandun Dig
- Essex Seen From Elsewhere
-- Train Returns to National Railway Museum, York
- Callout to Volunteers
-- Industrial Heritage Fair, 7 October 2017
-- Ex Congress
- Readers' Letters
-- Stondon Massey Rectory
-- Henry Fitzroy Burial
- Notices
-- Colin Richard Kirwan, 1924-2016
-- Beryl Board F.R.Hist.S.
-- Olive Grace Earnshaw, 1942-2017
- Book Reviews
-- Library Policy
-- A Dictionary of Suffolk Place-Names, by K Briggs and K Kilpatrick. English Place-name Society Popular Series Vol. 6. Suffolk Archaeology & History Society. 214 pages £14
-- Medieval Graffiti. The Lost Voices of England's Churches, by Matthew Champion. Ebury Press. 2015. 253 pages. £14.99

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Local & Family History Day. Galleywood Heritage Centre. Saturday 3 June 2017

The Essex Society for Archaeology and History will be an exhibitor at the Local and Family History Day to be held at Galleywood Heritage Centre, CM2 8TR, on Saturday 3 June 2017, 10am - 4pm.  Entry is free. For event details and speaker see below.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

University of Essex Lecture: Hunting Witches in Early Modern Europe. Monday 22 May 2017

University of Essex 
Professorial Inaugural Lectures 
Monday 22 May 2017 
Professor Alison Rowlands Department of History 

Hunting 'witches' in early modern Europe. What sort of people were prosecuted as 'witches' in Europe between c. 1420 and 1780, and why? What can we learn about early modern society from witch-trials and what was their historical impact? Professor Rowlands answers these questions using detailed archival records and case studies 

Programme starts at 6pm followed by a drinks reception from 7.15pm 
Lakeside Theatre, Colchester Campus. 
Free admission and open to all. 

Professorial Inaugural Lectures 

Our Professorial Inaugural Lecture series celebrates excellence in research undertaken by our recently appointed professors. It's a privilege to have leading global thinkers at our University and through this lecture series we are keen to share our very best research, to exchange ideas and inspire you. Conducting internationally significant research means our lecturers always have their fingers on the pulse and academics at Essex are at the forefront of the latest research findings and emerging trends. Our new professors will offer enlightening explanations on their own specialist subjects in areas such as sociology, politics, health and human sciences, psychology, computer science and electronic engineering, history, biological sciences, sports science and economics. 

Find out more about the series: 
Lectures will be available to view online: 
Free admission and open to all. Booking advised. 

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Car Park Immediately Next to Essex Record Office to Close

Essex Record Office has informed by Chelmsford City Council that it will be closing their Wharf Road surface car park on Saturday 27 May 2017. This is the car park adjacent to the Essex Record Office.

The site has been sold to Taylor Wimpey who will soon commence the build of around 420 homes on the site.

This means from Sunday 28 May Wharf Road Car Park will no longer be available.  There are, however, many alternatives.

The nearest car parks to the Essex Record Office are as follows:

·         Baddow Road         CM2 7PJ        long / short stay 344 spaces

·         Meadows Surface CM2 6FD       short stay 250 spaces

·         Q-Parks Meadows CM2 0DG      long / short stay multi storey 454 spaces
o   We have arranged discounts for this car park – please follow the link below for details

·         Meadows Retail      CM2 6LU       short stay multi storey 391 spaces

·         Euro Car Park         CM2 6JX        short stay

Park and Ride is also available at the following locations (we are a short walk from the Parkway bus stop):

·         Chelmer Valley        CM3 3PR       1003 spaces

·         Sandon                     CM2 7RU      1500 spaces

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause to yourself and other visitors to the Essex Record Office but as this is a Chelmsford City Council owned site we have no control over its operation.

Should you require any further assistance please contact our Conference Centre Team on 033301 32501 or by email at


Keith Grinsted
Marketing Manager - Essex Record Office  

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Additional Excusion Planned for ESAH Members: 1 July 2017

Royal Gunpowder Mills Visit
Saturday 1st July 2017 at 11am

There is an additional visit this year to the Royal Gunpowder Mills in Waltham Abbey. The Gunpowder Mills are not open to the public on this day. The cost will be £13.00 per person, and includes entry, land train tour (which lasts 45 mins and allows you access to areas you are not allowed during opening times) and refreshments, which will be available all day. A minimum number of 20 is required to qualify for the group booking rate. There is free parking at the site. All bookings to be made through the usual channel to Dr Graham Gould.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

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

High Country History Group: Essex Churches Then and Now. Thursday 27 April 201...: Our next meeting will be on Thursday 27 April, 8pm, when Andrew Smith, in his role as Honorary Archivist of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History, will be giving a talk on Essex churches drawing on two albums of Victorian photographs in the Society's collection.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

The Fighting Essex Soldier: Book Launch at Essex Record Office, Saturday 6 May 2017

This book contains the collection of papers presented at a one-day Conference at the Essex Record Office in March 2014: ‘The Fighting Essex Soldier: Recruitment, War and Remembrance in the Fourteenth Century’.  Its launch will be on Saturday 6 May 2017 between 2.00-3.45pm.  Tickets are free but advance booking is essential. Information on the papers read is given in the attached document.

Freedom of Information Request regarding Essex Record Office costs: Response to the Essex Society for Archaeology and History

The Essex Society for Archaeology and History has an enthusiasm for the understanding of the county's past so became concerned when it was announced that one of the jewels of archives, the Essex Record Office, faced cuts in service and an aim to 'break even' over the course of time.  The Society took the unusual step of making a Freedom of Information request to Essex County Council portfolio holders.  Here published is the response which will no doubt be of interest to our members but also members of the public who care about the facilities provided.

Essex County Council 
Cabinet Office 
PO Box 11 County Hall Chelmsford Essex CM1 1 LX 

Mr A Corder-Birch DL 
The Essex Society for Archaeology & History

Dear Mr Corder-Birch 

20 March 2017 

I understand that the formal response to your Freedom of Information (FOI) request has been sent to you today. 

However, I recognise that this response will raise as many questions as it provides answers. That is why I would have preferred to give the information within the context of a meeting, and why I hope now you will agree to have the conversation rather than engage in yet more correspondence. 

From my point of view there are several goals: 

1. To ensure that an excellent service continues to be available for the residents of Essex. 
2. To ensure that it is provided in the most cost effective way. Excellent services are worth paying for and my aspiration around "break even" is that there is sufficient demand, and that — where appropriate, not including legal obligation — each unit of service provision attracts income at least equivalent to its marginal cost; 
3. We retain commitment and expertise of our staff. 

I do hope to hear from you shortly with a view to arranging a meeting in County Hall. The contact number for my office is 03330 131026. 

Yours sincerely, 
Cllr-John Spence CBE DL 
Cabinet Member for Finance, Commercial, Traded Services, Housing and Planning. 

Freedom of Information Act / Environmental Information Regulations Request
Reference:    ECC2010920 02 17
Response:     17 March 2017


I can confirm that Essex County Council does hold this information.
•           Running costs of ERO for 2016/17 are:
o          Staffing and activity costs: £   981,000
o          Building costs:                    £   538,000
o          Total:                                  £1,519,000

Question 2 -  What is the current income target (for 2016/17)

I can confirm that Essex County Council does hold this information. The current income target for 2016/17 is £700,000

Question 3 - What is the income to date (for 2016/17)

I can confirm that Essex County Council does hold this information.  Please see below:

·         To the end of January 2017, income for the financial year was £464,000
·         Our forecast for the full year to March 2017 is approximately £520,000
·         Clearly some of our ambitions have not been met as we go through the process of learning about the size and availability of markets, etc, and we will build this into our planning for future years.


I can confirm that Essex County Council does not hold this information. We are currently reviewing our future business plans, leading to a business case for internal review in the summer of 2017.


I can confirm that Essex County Council does hold this information. Current staffing levels linked directly to delivery of the Archive Service are:
    • Archivists – collection management, accessions, research, client advice – 6.5 FTE (Full Time Equivalent)
    • Technical Specialists – digitisation, conservation and preservation, sound and video archive – 5 FTE
    • Public Service – ERO Searchroom, on-demand document production, front-line and on-line enquiries, reprographics, archive repository management, etc – 4 FTE
    • Events, outreach, education, marketing, etc – 3 FTE

In addition, providing associated services within the £ figures cited in ‘1’ and ‘2’, above
    • Duplicate Certificates service (ie birth, marriage and death certificates): 4 FTE
    • Conference centre, building operations and security: 3.5 FTE

We have recently reviewed the Searchroom public opening hours (with effect from April 2017) to reflect user demand and these have been publicised separately during February. We will continue to review our overall service delivery model, costs, efficiencies and resourcing as part of the future planning referred to in ‘4’, above


I can confirm that Essex County Council does hold this information. Only when any plan is developed, following the internal review later this year, can we determine the need for public consultation. In that case we will, of course, engage key stakeholders such as Essex Society for Archaeology & History

Your Right to Know
Information Services
Essex County Council
Telephone: 08457 430430

Monday, 3 April 2017

Essex Record Office Searchroom Opening Hours

The Essex Record Office is making significant changes to its search room opening times with effect from Tuesday 4 April 2017.  Typically there will be a three day week, after which the lights will go out, but every fourth week there will be a long week when the search room will be open from Tuesday to Saturday.  The timetable is not straightforward and requires forward planning before making a visit to avoid disappointment.  Click here to follow link to the ERO site.

Members of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History will be interested to know this information. The link is therefore posted on the side bar of the blog for future reference.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Historical Association Talk: Saturday 8 April 2017

The penultimate talk of the Essex Branch of the Historical Association will be held on Saturday 8th April 2017 at 2.30pm at the Trinity Methodist Church, Rainsford Road, Chelmsford, CM1 2XB. The talk is entitled:

Aspects of Iron Age & Roman Colchester
Given by Dr Patrick Denney,
 Visiting Fellow, Dept. of History, Univ. of Essex

Colchester was both the Iron Age and Roman capital of Britain.  When the Romans arrived in 43AD they began by constructing a legionary fortress on the site of the modern day town, before later converting it into a Colonia for retired veterans from the Roman army.  The talk will highlight some of the major archaeological finds from the Roman town and fortress which, collectively, have done so much to help shape our knowledge of Roman Colchester.

Patrick Denney is one of the leading Colchester historians and has written numerous articles and books on the history of Colchester.  He is an active member of the Colchester Recalled Oral History Group and Secretary of the Friends of Colchester Museums. He is also a Regional Blue Badge Tourist Guide.

Thank You Debbie Cresswell (publicity) 

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Friends of Essex Churches. Spring Study Day. Wednesday 3 May 2017


Everyone is invited to join Essex historian
Dr Christopher Starr
for talks in 4 interesting medieval churches in NW Essex


10.30         St Mary the Virgin, Stebbing
                   (Watch House Road, CM6 3SW)
11.00               Tea and coffee will be available.
11.30         St Peter & St Paul, Bardfield Saling
(Church Road, CM7 5ED)    
12.30           Lunch, own arrangements, there are pubs and places for picnics in the vicinity.
14.00         St Mary the Virgin, Little Sampford
(CB10 2QL)
15.00         St Michael, Great Sampford
(CB10 2RS) 
16.00               Light refreshments will be available.

There are lavatories in the vicinity of each church except Bardfield Saling.

The order in which we visit the churches is determined by the availability of refreshments, and as these are kindly provided by the churches suitable donations would be appreciated please.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------To:   Mrs S. Clark-Starr, 10 Kings Meadow, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 0HP

I/We wish to attend the FOECT Spring Study Day on Wednesday 3 May 2017
and enclose a cheque made payable to FRIENDS OF ESSEX CHURCHES TRUST

No. members @ £7 each (      )    No. guests @ £10.00 ea. (      )    Donation £………  Total £……..……………



Tel. Nos:.. 


Charity No. 236033

We are trying to raise £1000 for FOECT to support some of our wonderful churches and welcome any donations.

The next Autumn Study Day will be held on Saturday 7 October 2017 in south-east Essex