Thursday, 31 October 2013

Book Sales at Essex Society for Archaeology and History events

The Essex Society for Archaeology and History will be having a book sale at each of its forthcoming two events.  

Books on offer will be different each time, and will be a selection of those currently on sale through our Online Bookshop

The book sales will be held on: 
Saturday 16 November at Chelmsford Museum, when the featured talk beginning at 2.00pm will be about flint knapping. 
Saturday 23 November, 2.30 to 4.30pm (doors open 2.00pm), again at Chelmsford Museum at the very first meeting of the Essex Industrial Archaeology Group. 

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The Possible County Council Archaeological Unit: Essex Archaeological News, Summer 1973

Essex Archaeological News Summer 1973
(later called the Essex Society for Archaeology and History)

Extracts from Newsletter No 43


In the last newsletter we reported the meeting at Fortress House on the 22nd February, called by the Department of the Environment to discuss the future control of 'regional' archaeology.

Within a month, on the 19th March, a meeting was held at County Hall, Chelmsford, of County Council Officers and various grant aided societies who carry out excavation in Essex.

The discussion of the meeting concerned the setting up of an Archaeological Unit for the area, and the representatives were asked to consider whether such a unit should be on a basis of Essex alone, or combined with Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire. At the close of the meeting the representatives went away to sound out the feelings of their various bodies, and to reply to the County Planner (within whose scope the organisation would fall), by the end of April.

It is clear that the body that the County has in mind would employ a number of professional archaeologists, providing them with both the necessary technical back-up of presumably drawing services, photography, office accommodation and staff, and providing a continuous employment prospect with a career structure.

It seems quite clear that the existence of such a body would not inhibit the activities of amateur bodies, but rather co-ordinate effort and ensure that the allocation of DOE funds was made on the right priority order. It also seemed that the management of such a unit, and inter alia the archaeology of Essex, would rest with some central committee which would be made up partly of County Council members and partly of local archaeologists.

This represents a great step forward for archaeology since we shall for the very first time, have the County Council actively engaged in the need for archaeology, instead of the role of sponsor which has been the position hitherto.

Further, the County Planning Department are in the best position to both know of likely threats, and to plan to avoid these if possible The County Archaeologist is part of the Department, and of course most of the present arrangements which are planned spring from his influence in the Department in question.

On the question of whether the Unit should be based on the County, or be regional in concept, there are of course many arguments. However the main line of thought seems to be that Essex is a special case when viewed in comparison with the other counties, There is neither the population question, the same amount of road planning, or of course a potential airport. On an administrative basis alone Essex is a big enough geographical area as it is, without coupling it with any other county.

It is also felt that things will get off the ground quicker with only one authority involved, and, of course, the County Council Committee which has to deal with the decision to inaugurate the Unit, will do this more readily if Essex rates are going to Essex people, and to Essex advantages.

These are only a few of the arguments, but the upshot of the matter is that the Society is in favour of a County Unit, as against a multi-county affair, and this feeling is shared with the Chelmsford Excavation Committee, with which we are involved.

So we can look to the future with hope. With County money and organisation behind archaeology we may be able to deal effectively with the problem of Maplin, and all the other road improvement schemes now on the drawing board, we may be able to deal with the rash of commuter dormitory estates, the gravel pits and all those other threats to our heritage of information which we should otherwise have failed to deal with adequately.

We are taking one giant step for Archaeology.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Essex Industrial Archaeology Group - Inaugural Meeting: Chelmsford Museum, Saturday 23 November 2013

A sub-group of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History meets for the first time on Saturday 23 November 2013 at Chelmsford Museum. The two-hour session will begin at 2.30pm with a short business meeting followed by a number of short presentations on Essex Industrial Archaeology.  

There has long been an assumption that Essex has little to offer the industrial archaeologist, but the county had a wealth of traditional industry - milling, malting, brewing, agricultural engineering, brick making etc - as well as more modern industries - silk, textiles, electrical engineering, radio communications - and a transport infrastructure to support these industries. 

So in the city which boasts as being 'The Birthplace of Radio' and in its museum which celebrates Marconi, the Essex Industrial Archaeology Group meets. 

The Society will be holding its second sale of surplus books and journals, and will have an entirely different selection for those who come to browse and buy at ridiculously low prices. (The first will be at the Flint Knapping lecture at the same venue on Saturday 16 November 2013.) 

Monday, 28 October 2013

Essex Society for Archaeology and History: Newsletter, Summer 2013

Members of the Essex Society for Archaeology & History have just received an interesting copy of the Newsletter - the summer 2013 edition. The highlight is Sue Howlett's four pages on 'The Mersea Barrow Bones: experts confirm unique find', mentioned elsewhere on this blog and heralding the forthcoming academic reports which will appear in Volume 4 of our Transactions next year. 

Other items include:
The Society's visit to Colchester Castle in April 2013.
The Society's visit to Pleshey Castle in May 2013.
The possibility of funding to support the writing up of archaeological notes on excavations which took place at Pleshey Castle during the 1970s.
Monument by Eric Gill rediscovered at Buckhurst Hill.
Danbury's lost church accounts. 
The Native Oyster Under Threat. 

Coverage also includes notes from the President about the formation and inaugural meeting of the Essex Industrial Archaeology Group to be held at Chelmsford Museum on Saturday 23 November beginning at 2.30pm. 

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Essex References in Joseph Strutt's 'Manners': (8) Coggeshall

Complete View of the Manners, Customs, Arms, Habits & Co of the Inhabitants of England, 1774, by Joseph Strutt.
Essex references
8.   Coggeshall
Page 63

[Barrows.]  ”There have been instances of finding a lamp still burning on opening their ancient sepulchral repositories.  Camden (1) tells us, that the tomb of Constantine was found at York, in the walls of the city, and on opening it there was discovered a lamp still burning.  The antients (continues he) had the art of dissolving gold in a fat liquor, and so preparing it, that would, if undisturbed, burn for ages.  Weaver (2) also informs us, that at Coggershall in Essex, an urn was discovered by some labourers, and on top of it was a Roman tile, which being taken off, a lamp was found burning, but that it soon extinguished on being exposed to the fresh air, and with it found a curious patera, or little dish, of fine red earth, inscribed COCCILLI:M.”

References: (1) Camden in Yorkshire (2) Funeral Mon. p168

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Friday, 25 October 2013

Flint Knapping Lecture & Demonstration, Chelmsford Museum, Saturday 16 November 2013

The next Society event will be a Flint Knapping Lecture and Demonstration at Chelmsford Museum, starting at 2.00pm on Saturday 16 November.  

We will also have a stall selling our excess stock of books and journals etc brought direct from our storeroom in Colchester.  For the latest list go to our Online Bookshop. Sale #2 is well under way.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

The Seal Found at Radwinter. Aldersbrook Manor, Comment: Essex Archaeological News, Summer 1973

Essex Archaeological News Summer 1973
(later called the Essex Society for Archaeology and History)

Extracts from Newsletter No 43


Under this heading the Rev. G.A. Benton contributed to our Transactions, vol. XV, p. 158 (1921), a short note about the digging up in 1917 of a brass or latten seal (matrix) in the garden of Radwinter rectory, bearing the device :-

Sir William St. John Hope gave the opinion that it was an official seal of the seventeenth century, adding, 'But who could want to use the device of the Order of the Garter in your neighbourhood I do not know; it would be difficult to assign the seal to any person.'

Rarely did a problem of this sort remain unsolved by our scholarly former Editor; yet, having been a curate at Saffron Walden before going to Fingringhoe, it is surprising that he did not think of William Harrison the Vicar of Radwinter, who was appointed a canon of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, in 1586, and wrote the now famous Description of England (1577), which incidentally contains a long section on the Order of the Garter.

There is a further link with the Order, whose Chancellor, Sir Thomas Smith, Secretary of State, who built Hill Hall, Theydon Mount, borrowed long passages from Harrison for his De Republica Anglorum.

If Harrison did not borrow the matrix, is it conceivable that Smith, visiting Radwinter vicarage, dropped it there?



Following the mention of the Essex Review in the report on the digging at Aldersbrook mentioned in the last newsletter, we have received a comment from Mr C.H.I. Chown, a Life member of the Society, who was responsible for the original Essex Review article. This we reproduce below:

The finding of the pottery and the wine bottle embossed 'Abraham Frosts 1701', in the recent excavations on the site of Aldersbrook House is naturally the subject of speculation by those interested in the history of this area.

In the early eighteenth century Aldersbrook was the home of Smart Lethieullier, the antiqury, who was born at the Manor House 3 November 1701 and baptised at Little Ilford Church eight days later. In a letter written from Aldersbrook in August 1750 to his friend Charles Lyttleton, afterwards president of the Society of Antiquaries, Lethieullier wrote

'No great weight ought I think to be laid upon the circumstance of the place where any antiquity is found, except concurrent circumstances agree ..... It is very possible a [foreigner] may drop a sael or a coin in my gardens, which by a parity of reasoning induce those who may find it one hundred years hence, to conclude that a [foreigner] was at this time owner of Aldersbrook.'

In view of these near prophetic words, any rash thoughts that the empty wine bottle was possibly part of the family celebrations for Lethieullier's christening should be treated with caution!

Incidentally, the article on Aldersbrook Farm in the Essex Review of 1941, referred to in your report, did not question either of the survey maps of 1723 or 1748, but corrected Lyson's assumption that the Manor House and the Farm House were constructed on the same site

It would be interesting if the West Essex Archaeological Group were able to locate the precise site of Naked Hall Hawe, believed to be the predecessor of Aldersbrook House. The latter was built early in the sixteenth century, but there are references to Naked Hall Hawe two hundred years before this time. Lethieullier's writings mention that, as a boy, he remembered the ruins of foundations of a large building, three hundred yards due South from the Heronry Pond in Wanstead Park. This may well have been the site of Naked Hall. The foundations were destroyed when Sir Richard Child was planting trees round the boundary of his estate in 1715. The level of the ground in the vicinity is said at the time to have been considerably raised.

Editorial note.
Aldersbrook Manor, Comment.

Instruction in archaeological discipline from 1750 is somewhat surprising, and more so because the point made is so perfectly valid. Of course in the present case it is unlikely that the 1701 bottle will be anything more useful than a post quem.

The juxtaposition of this article to that of Dr F.G. Emmison's on the seal at Radwinter, was initially coincidental, but the temptation to leave the articles together was irresistible.

Monday, 21 October 2013

The Burh at Maldon: Transactions n.s. Volume 10 Part 2

An extract from the Transactions of the Essex Archaeological Society (now the Essex Society for Archaeology and History) published in 1907, written by Issac Chalkley Gould, with specific reference to John Strutt's 'Manners' of 1774: The Burh at Maldon

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Essex References in Joseph Strutt's 'Manners': (7) Maldon

Complete View of the Manners, Customs, Arms, Habits & Co of the Inhabitants of England, 1774, by Joseph Strutt.
Essex references
7.   Maldon
Page 60

“Happening myself to be (in the year 1773) making some curious researches in Maldon, I was informed, that a place called Burrough-hills, (from a number of barrows are there remaining) a large hill had been dug down by the owner of the field wherein it stood; and that making a deep ditch across one part of it, they came to ashes, brickbats, potsheards, and the like.  Curiosity naturallly led me to the place, where I carefully examined the above particulars.  When I came there, I found it to be of oblong form and of great extent; though at present not above five feet above the common surface of the ground . – The ditch which has been dug in it, is in general about four feet deep; and all along, in a straight line, from one end of the hill to the other, (about a foot thick at the bottom of the ditch) lie these potsheards, and seem (from their present situation) to have been first regularly spread over the whole surface of the ground, and over them was thrown the earth, of which the hill was made.  Indeed I should observe, that above this row of bricks, potsheards, &c. is a thick stiff clay for a full one foot (or rather more) in height, and from thence to the top of the hill an exceedingly rich mould.  I caused some to be dug out, and found bits of large square bricks, bits of ill-shapen clumsy pots of common red clay, upwards of one inch thick, which did not seem ever to have been baked; with pieces of more shapely and handsome vessels, urns, &c. but none whole.  I also found cinders and charcoal very perfect, together with bits of bone (not human) so very rotten, and crushed to pieces with the least pressure. I picked out a great quantity of these things (for several cart loads very found) some most perfect, which I have preserved still by me.  This mount cannot be a funeral monument, because of the vast quantity of these vessels, as well as from the narrow compass they lie in, and the strange mixture of such different materials: the place itself (near the water side) is not unlikely to require a landmark or limit.

“The other hills near it (which are barrows) are evidently of a different form, being like an obtuse cone, and much smaller than the above described, not bearing the least analogy to it.  The late Dr Salmon, a physician, at Chelmsford, (who was both a learned and ingenious man) supposes the barrows (for this hill escaped his notice, because it had much more the appearance of a natural hill, than one raised by art) were funeral sepulchers of the Danes and Saxons; for he imagined (which is not at all unlikely) that the Danes came up this river, with intent to ravage the coasts, but were met by the Saxons who opposed their landing, and so a bloody conflict ensuing, these were left as standing monuments thereof, erected either on or near the spot where the battle was decided.”

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Historical Evidence of the Date of Erection of Certain Church Towers and of Church Restoration in Essex Chiefly in the 15th and Early Part of the 16th Centuries: Transactions n.s. Volume 1 Part 2

This article is a continuation of an item published in 'New Series' Volume 1, Part 1.  Unfortunately that part is unavailable for publication because, due to its rarity, we do not have a copy in the Office available for scanning.  However the piece written by H W King and published in 1875 by the Essex Archaeological Society (now the Essex Society for Archaeology and History) is now online - below - for the first time.

Friday, 18 October 2013

The Dagenham Idol

Valence House Museum tweeted this week that the oldest exhibit currently on display is the Dagenham Idol.

From the webpage of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham (http://www.lbbd.gov.uk/MuseumsAndHeritage/LocalHistoryResources/Pages/EarlyHistory.aspx  )

“The most remarkable object from the Neolithic period (between c4000 and 2000 BC) is the Dagenham Idol, uncovered in 1922 in marshland just south of Ripple Road. It is carved from Scots Pine and is around 4,300 years old, making it almost 1,000 years older than Stonehenge and one of the earliest examples of human representation in Europe.

“The Idol is believed to have been an offering to the gods to increase the fertility of the land. Buried beside it was the skeleton of a deer, possibly sacrificed for the same reason.

“The Dagenham Idol is currently on loan to Valence House Museum from Colchester and Ipswich Museums, so why not visit Valence House and see it for yourself?”

The Essex Society for Archaeology and History (then the Essex Archaeological Society) carried a report of the find in its Transactions (n.s. Volume 16 part 4 (1923)) – available from our Online Bookshop

Friends of Wanstead Parklands

The Friends of Wanstead Parklands exists to help save the Grade II* listed landscape and water park in its locality.  It has sent us news of what their organisation is doing.  For membership go to http://www.wansteadpark.org.uk/membership/


A joint FWP/Wren Group walk is to be held on Sunday, 20th October. Meet at 10.30am in front of the Friends Meeting House, Bush Road, E11, for Tricia Moxey's annual walk around Bush Wood to look at its wealth of fungi. Tricia, an expert botanist, will help us identify the fungi we see. The area is muddy in places, so please bring suitable footwear. This is also a great opportunity for photography. Duration: about 90 minutes.


A superb exhibition of the best 24 photographs of Wanstead Park from the FWP Photographic Competition is now on exhibition at The Temple, Wanstead Park, until the end of November. All FWP members are invited to a celebration viewing of the exhibition at The Temple on Sunday 3rd November, 12:00-2:00pm. Tea, coffee and cake will be served. Offers of home-made cake welcome!


Perfect Christmas presents! Our FWP 2014 Calendar of Photographs will be on sale at at the Launch Event at The Temple on November 3rd, price £9.99 (proceeds to FWP) . Mounted prints of the photographs in the exhibition can also be ordered at reasonable prices from photographic studio Eightyfour in Nightingale Lane Wanstead.


A talk about the Prisoner of War camps on Wanstead Flats and a look at other uses of the Flats over the past 100 years. The talk will be given by members of the Wanstead Flats History Group, Leyton and Leytonstone Historical Society. Thursday 7th November 2013 from 7pm at COFFEE7, 10 Sebert Road, Forest Gate E7 0NQ. Tickets £6-00 (including soft drinks and buffet) from COFFEE7 or write to Mark Gorman, 151 Capel Road, London E7 0JT. Cheques for £6.00 to Mark Gorman. For more details phone Mark on 020 8553 5220 or e-mail lucasgorman@aol.com


In January 2013, English Heritage commissioned Compass Archaeology (with a consortium of experts) to carry out an assessment of the heritage status of Wanstead Park at a strategic level, informed by assessment of the condition of individual features, which could be used to address the 'Heritage at Risk' status of Wanstead Park and feed into a future Conservation Management Plan. This important project is now complete, and you can download a copy of the main report from our website - http://tinyurl.com/o2kjygz

Information edited by the Essex Society for Archaeology and History

ESAH160: Essex Industrial Archaeology Group: An Invitation ...

ESAH160: Essex Industrial Archaeology Group: An Invitation ...: ESSEX INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY GROUP The Way Forward for Industrial Archaeology in Essex The Essex Industrial Archaeology Group (EIA...

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ESAH160: Essex Archaeological and Historical Congress Sympo...: Essex Archaeological and Historical Congress Registered Charity Number 276048 ARCHAEOLOGICAL SYMPOSIUM 2013 At St. Mary’s Church a...

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ESAH160: Transactions Transcriptions: 'New Series' Volume 3...: Thaxted: Morris Dancing weekend 2011 Transactions transcriptions – Part 3 To increase our online presence, one of the goals of th...

HEARS Programme 2013/14

Meeting at St Michael’s Church, Roding Road, Loughton IG10 3EJ
All talks start at 8pm. £2.50 for non-members
If you are interested in house history, why not join HEARS?
Contact: 020 8508 2512 or outerlondon@aol.com
Friday 25 October 2013
The Building Stones of Rochester, a talk by Anne Padfield
Friday 22 November 2013
Upper Town Cottage, Nazeing: a Textbook H-Plan House, talk by Brenda and Elphin Watkin, who are both experts in traditional buildings. 
Friday 24 January 2014
Heritage Law – Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas, including a Q & A session, by John Harrison
Friday 21 February 2014
Historic Architecture of Burgundy: Dijon and Beaune, by David Stevenson
Friday 21 March 2014
Listing Historic Buildings – What Should We Protect?  By Matthew Saunders, who is the Secretary, Ancient Monuments Society and Director of the Friends of Friendless Churches.
Friday 25 April 2014
Essex War Memorials, by Paul Rusiecki, author The Impact of Catastrophe: The People of Essex & The First World War 

The Essex Society for Archaeology and History is pleased to promote this programme

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Essex Society for Archaeology and History Library: Recent Book Purchases by the Library Committee

 Book purchases 2013

The Essex Society for Archaeology and History has one of the most important local history and archaeology reference libraries in the country.  We are pleased to have it housed at the Albert Sloman Library at the Colchester campus of the University of Essex.   The Library may be used by any Society member who has a Readers Card.  Books are added constantly about the county of Essex with other publications relating to or having a bearing on the study of the County.  Our Library Committee has recently purchased the following books for accession to add to the several hundred books and periodicals sorted and donated this year.

Two books relating to the Essex Police:
Lockwood, Martyn, 2011.  Murder and Crime. Essex.
Lockwood, Martyn, 2009.  The Essex Police Force: A History

Hewlings, Richard (Editor), 2009.  English Heritage Historical Review. Volume 4.
Includes Hadleigh Castle, Essex, written by Magnus Alexander and Susan Westlake.  The article “highlights some of the findings from recent archaeological field survey and historical research, which have improved understanding of the castle’s chronological development and the extent of its earthworks”.

Crowe, Ken. 2008.  Zeppelins over Southend.
This is subtitled the story of South East Essex in the First World War. Illustrated. Very interesting read.

Powell, Andrew. 2012.  ‘By Rivers, Fields and factories: The making of the Lower Lea Valley’
Subtitled ‘Archaeological and cultural heritage investigations on the site of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games’. A  471-page hardback book with index and colour illustrations.

Turbet, Richard, 2006. ‘William Byrd. A Guide to Research. Second edition’.
Musicologists second definitive guide to publications about William Byrd (c1540-1923), composer, who lived at Stondon Massey.  It complements the third edition which was purchased for the Library in 2012.

Gilbert, William (c1544-1603). ‘De Magnete’.
English physician and natural philosopher, who lived in Colchester. The book is about magnetism.

Britannia.  A Journal of Romano-British and Kindred Studies. Volumes 27 (1996) to 30 (1999) inclusive, to complete run in ESAH Library.
Contains many Essex references, hence its importance for Library accession.
Volume XXIX (1998): The Late Iron Age and Roman Settlement at Elms Farm, Heybridge, Essex, excavations 1993-95: an interim report.  By M Atkinson & S J Preston, pp85-110
Volume XXX (1999): The Colchester ‘child’s grave’. By H Eckardt

Essex Review.  Volumes 12 (1903) and 16 (1907), to complete run in ESAH Library.
Described as ‘an illustrated quarterly record of everything of permanent interest in the county’.
Volume XII contains an interesting item on ‘The new Great Eastern Railway Loop Line’, opened 1 May 1903 which ran from Woodford to Ilford.  Now it forms part of the London Transport Central Line running from Woodford to Leytonstone, having been rerouted after the Second World War.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

M11 News: Essex Archaeological News, Summer 1973

Essex Archaeological News Summer 1973
(later called the Essex Society for Archaeology and History)

Extracts from Newsletter No 43


News from Terry Betts, Field Officer, M 11 Committee.

So far the only constructional work in progress is Contract 3 which is the stretch from South Harlow to Bishops Stortford. It seems unlikely that any new sections will be started until about the end of the year.

As far as contract 3 is concerned, the work is now well under way, major earth moving has been taking place' during the last two months and we have all been kept very busy.

The bodies which have done the bulk of the work are the Bishops Stortford Historical Society, the Stort Valley Area Survey Group, and the West Essex Archaeological Group, all assisted by keen local volunteers.

On the ten miles of road works we now have some ten archaeological sites covering Iron Age A and C, Roman, Saxon, Medieval and Post Medieval periods. None of the sites was known before the line of the road was published.

The most important excavation to date has been a post medieval kiln at Harlow Common. This has been the best preserved of any Harlow kilns and is of an earlier date, being before the time of Metropolitan slipware, say about 1600 (?)
The kiln was elliptical in shape, about 3.00m by 2.60m internally. It was twin flued with opposite stoke holes. Internal flue channels consisted of a perimeter flue and an axial flue.

Needless to say there are hundredweights of pottery to process, and the whole operation should make a valuable addition to the history of Harlow pottery industry.

Work continues on other sites and it is planned to publish an interim report at the end of the year.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Notes on the Church of St Mary, Hatfield Broad Oak, Essex, with the Remnants of the Priory: Transactions n.s. Volume 1 Part 2

Notes on the Church of St Mary, Hatfield Broad Oak, with the remnants of the Priory is taken from a very early volume of the Transactions of the Essex Archaeological Society (now the Essex Society for Archaeology and History).

Monday, 14 October 2013

Historical Association talk: Saturday 26 October 2013

Historical Association, Essex Branch

The making of BBC2’s
‘Servants: The True History of Life Below Stairs’

A talk by Dr. Pam Cox
University of Essex

Saturday 26 October 2013 at 2.30 p.m.
The Link, Trinity Methodist Church
Rainsford Road, Chelmsford, CM1 2XB

Visitors and prospective members warmly welcome
For further information about the Historical Association and its local activities
email essexha1@btinternet.com or phone 07914 910612

The Essex Society for Archaeology and History is pleased to promote this event.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Essex References in Joseph Strutt's 'Manners': (6) Braintree

Complete View of the Manners, Customs, Arms, Habits & Co of the Inhabitants of England, 1774, by Joseph Strutt.
Essex references
6.   Braintree
Page 35

Braintree Abbey Chapel

“It was with great pleasure that I surveyed the small remaining part of an old chapel (dedicated to St John the Baptist) at Braintree, which from antient record should seem to be of earlier date than the conquest. The principal part of this ruin (now standing) is the east wall, 18 feet high; the chapel was very small, its breadth not exceeding 15 feet, and its length measuring in the inside about 30.  The materials of the foundation (which are very strong) were of rough hewn stones, and it was near four feet thick, on which was raised the main walls, composed of rubble stone and cement, about two feet and a half thick, (the stones mixed with cement seem mostly of small pebbles, and not the rag flint as was used by the Normans;) at unequal distances there were intermixed with the rubble and the cement large square stones, the uncouth appearance of which led me to conclude that they had been since added, till on a strict examination I found, that they in common with the rubble stone had been covered over with strong plaistering, about 1½ inch thick, nor had they the least appearance of ever having been disturbed till lately; besides, their situation was such, that the whole structure must have been manifestly greatly endangered in placing them there at any other time that at the first building of the chapel.  The corners of the walls were ornamented with freestone cut square, as well as the windows, which were very long and narrow.  An old man who lived near the spot informed me, that he remembered all the south wall standing, quite perfect, and that both it and the east wall were ornamented at the top with hewn flint stones, set in between the square stones, in diamond fashion; but these ornaments had been long since taken away, and about ten years ago all the rest fell down, (as it is said) leaving only what has been described standing.  But it is mostly believed that the owner pulled it down, for the sake of a few shillings that he got for the materials; and all the rest had doubtless shared the same fate, but it constitutes the support to some part of the wall of an adjoining cottage.  Thus within these few years fell this valuable remnant of antiquity, that had so many ages braved the repeated shocks of time.  I have rescued all that remained of it, (in the year 1772) left envelloped in ruin and desolation, the memory of it should be entirely lost, (see the east front of it, pl. 2, fig. 2.).”

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Records Relating to Hadleigh Castle: Transactions n.s. Volume 1 Part 2

Taken from the Transactions of the Essex Archaeological Society, published in 1875, written by J A Sparvel-Bayly.