News: The Society's new website, esah1852.org.uk has been launched. Changes will be made to this blog over the coming weeks to improve user experience.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Essex Society for Archaeology and History. Annual General Meeting: Saturday 13 June 2015

The University of Essex, Wivenhoe Campus, will be the location for the Annual General Meeting of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History. The meeting will begin at 2.00pm, Saturday 13 June 2015.  After the meeting there will be opportunity to visit the ESAH Library and the area assigned in the new building for it. Click here to view the Annual Report 2014.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Home Guard Research Request

A friend and I have published a book entitled "Captive in East Anglia". Since its publication we have gathered more information on the same subject so are continuing to gather it together for a possible sequel. In the meantime we have started a 2nd book, about the home guard. We are looking for appropriate personal memories and photos. Unexpectedly finding your contact details on line I wondered if you have any information that we could possibly use.
Regards

Rosemary Carter

Monday, 25 May 2015

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Essex Society for Archaeology and History. Visit to Mersea Island and its Museum, 16 May 2015

Oyster beds, West Mersea
Oysters, fish and salt for preservation.  These are three reasons why man has inhabited Mersea Island since at least the Iron Age where pottery has been found.  On its coast are red hills where salt was extracted from seawater.  A Roman Villa was excavated next to West Mersea Church in 1923 and a burial urn found. A Roman wheel tomb was discovered in 1896 but destroyed for house building in the 1960s.  The Strood, the causeway onto the Island which is regularly flooded at high tide, dates from the seventh century. 
St Peter & St Paul Church, West Mersea
St Peter and St Paul’s Church West Mersea dates from 1050 replacing the Minster originally constructed in the seventh century. The tower contains septaria and Roman tiles taken from the aforementioned villa.  Fishing is illustrated by fish weirs dating from Anglo-Saxon times.  Down the coast road fish restaurants and an Oyster Bar demonstrate the ongoing history of the island. The native oyster is available when there is not an ‘R’ in the month: between May and August the oyster spawns.  By the Victory public house is a property flying a Welsh flag. It was here that the blueprint of the Mulberry Harbour was secretly drawn.
Where the Mulberry Harbour was designed
The pencil drawings were found many years later in the loft-space. Mulberry harbours were used in the D-Day landings of 1944. Winston Churchill is said to have come to Mersea Island in the dead of night to meet and enjoyed a brandy or two after hours at the pub. East Mersea was the parish of the Victorian clergyman, Sabine Baring-Gould, writer of ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ and novelist of the atmospheric ‘Mehalah’, a story of salt-marshes.   

The Essex Society for Archaeology and History has a strong association with the Island and, in particular, the publication of the archaeological research at the Mersea Barrow, excavated 1912. 
Lead box and glass bowl
Mersea Museum
The cremated remains it contained were taken to the Colchester Museum at the time, but a century later have been subject to a reassessment which discovered that prior to burial frankincense was poured over the remains. Rhea Brettell, of Bradford University, the author of an item which appears in the current (4th Series, 4th volume) Transactions, explained its significance in relation to the under-researched area of Romano-British mortuary practices.  The interment was of a wealthy, adult male, around late first early second century.  It is the earliest burial with a resin, to date, outside of Egypt.
West Mersea cottages
The lead-lined box and glass bowl containing the remains are now on long term loan at the Mersea Museum, and was seen on the visit. 


Several members went to the Mersea Barrow during the afternoon while others were given a blue badge guide of West Mersea.


The day was hosted by Sue Howlett and members of Mersea Museum. 

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Blackmore Village Fayre: 24 & 25 May 2015: Knott Archive on Display Sunday

Blackmore Area Local History: Blackmore Village Fayre: 24 & 25 May 2015: Knott A...: Sunday and Monday, 24 & 25 May 2015, is Blackmore Village Fayre - which is held every two years.  The Priory Church of St Laurence is holding a historic photo exhibition and serving ploughman's lunches.  On Sunday there will be opportunity to see for perhaps the first and only time the Knott archive.  Revd. Montague Knott was the Vicar of Blackmore for 28 years to 1985.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Parish Registers: Cold Norton (3)


Taken from the archives of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History: S/SEC/4/1

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Parish Registers: Cold Norton (2)


Taken from the archives of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History: S/SEC/4/1

Monday, 18 May 2015

Parish Registers: Cold Norton (1)




Taken from returns made from clergy in 1858 to the Essex Archaeological Society: S/SEC/7/4

Friday, 15 May 2015

'Medieval Lawyer: Clement Spice of Essex' by Christopher Starr: Essex Society for Archaeology and History. Occasional Paper 'New Series' No. 2

Just published


‘Medieval Lawyer: Clement Spice of Essex’ by Christopher Starr is the second Occasional Paper in the ‘New Series’ of publications by the Essex Society for Archaeology and History.  Members of the Society will have received their copy gratis through the post recently.  The book is now publicly available direct from the author, Mr. C. Starr, 10 Kings Meadow, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 0HP.  The price is £12.50 plus £2.50 p&p to the UK address.  Please make cheque payable to the ‘Essex Society for Archaeology and History’ sending your delivery address. 

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Parish Registers: Lawford (3)

Taken from the archives of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History, S/SEC/4/1, dated 1858





Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Parish Registers: Lawford (2)



Taken from the archives of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History, S/SEC/4/1, dated 1858


Monday, 11 May 2015

Parish Registers: Lawford (1)

Taken from the archives of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History, S/SEC/4/1, dated 1858






Sunday, 10 May 2015

Epping Forest On The Map: Essex Record Office event, Saturday 4 July 2015

An opportunity to see the largest map in the Essex Record Office collection: 4 July 2015, 10.30am to 3pm

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Essex Record Office Wills Online

The Essex Record Office has announced that ‘Essex Ancestors’ their online subscription service which allows users to view digital images of historic parish registers and wills, has undergone its latest major update. The collections include about 70,000 original wills which date from the 1400s to 1858 – images of all of which are now available on Essex Ancestors. The ERO hopes that genealogists and social and local historians everywhere will enjoy the improved access to these fascinating records.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Parish Registers: Messing (4)

Taken from the archives of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History, S/SEC/4/1, dated 1858






Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Parish Registers: Messing (3)

Taken from the archives of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History, S/SEC/4/1, dated 1858




Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Parish Registers: Messing (2)

Taken from the archives of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History, S/SEC/4/1, dated 1858.






Monday, 4 May 2015

Parish Registers: Messing (1)





Taken from the archives of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History, S/SEC/4/1, dated 1858

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Essex Society for Archaeology and History to Visit Mersea Island: Saturday 16 May 2015

The next visit of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History marks something of a red letter day.  On 16 May we will be celebrating, with Mersea Island Museum, the recent reinterpretation of the burials at Mersea Barrow, as reported in the latest Transactions of the Society. 

'Introduction to Historic Mersea' – an illustrated talk by Sue Howlett, leading up to the 1912 excavation of the Mersea Barrow.  The excavation itself, by the Morant Club – an offshoot of the Society – was reported fully in Transactions n.s. Vol 13 and can be viewed here: http://esah160.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=romano-british+barrow+on+mersea+island&max-results=20&by-date=true

‘Romans, resins and mortuary rites: molecular evidence from Britain’ –  talk by Rhea Brettell of the University of Bradford, explaining how her identification of frankincense in the Mersea Barrow cremation urn serves to place this discovery in its temporal, spatial and ritual context.  Her paper appears, as mentioned, in Transactions, Fourth Series, Volume 4, currently available to purchase.


After lunch members will have a choice of activity.  Guided tours will be given of the Mersea Barrow or, for those who may have visited there before, around West Mersea village itself.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Essex Congress Programme

Andrew Madeley, Secretary of the Essex Congress writes:

Please can you circulate to your members a reminder that the 2015 Essex Congress AGM will take place from 10 a.m. on Saturday 16th May, at the Maltings in Great Dunmow, followed by a tour of the Maltings and the town. A detailed programme for the meeting will be issued shortly.

Could you also please pass on the planned dates for our future meetings:

17th October 2015: Archaeology Symposium, at Harwich 1912 Hall.

7th November 2015: Autumn Meeting, at Chelmsford Museum.

2016 Spring Meeting at Chelmsford Museum - date to be confirmed.

16th April 2016: History Symposium, at the United Reformed Church, Chelmsford.

7th May 2016: AGM at Southend Pier.


15th October 2016: Archaeology Symposium at Maldon.