Future Meetings

Future Meetings:

24 Nov 2016: ‘How To Dispose of a Body’. Doug Newlyn

23 Feb 2017: Chairman’s talk

23 Mar 2017: AGM and speaker tba

27 Apr 2017: ‘Essex Churches Then and Now’. Andrew Smith

25 May 2017: tba

22 Jun 2017: ‘The Millbank family’. Anne Brooks.

27 Jul, 26 Oct, 23 Nov 2017: tba

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

High Country History Group AGM. Thursday 23 March 2017

Our AGM will be held on 23 March, 8pm, Toot Hill Village Hall.  All welcome.  To follow a film on rural Essex and cheese & wine.  Members: £2.  Visitors: £3

Saturday, 18 February 2017

'Men of Valour: Victoria Cross winners in Essex': Thursday 23 February 2017

Our next meeting will be on Thursday 23 February, 8pm, when our Chairman, Martyn Lockwood, will speak on the subject 'Men of Valour - Victoria Cross winners in Essex'

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Journal No. 62 (December 2016)

The latest Journal of the High Country History Group contains the following items:
- Greensted Hall, the Seat of Captain Budworth
- Essex Churches Then and Now: a talk to be given by the Essex Society for Archaeology and History on 27 April 2017
- Homeless in Stanford Rivers
- Captain Atherton Harold Chisenhale-Marsh 9th (Queen's Royal) Lancers
- Zeppelins Commemoration, September 2016: Memorial unveiled at Billericay, and Zepfest at Little Wigborough
- Apotrophic Marks
- Hainault Forest
- Listed Buildings in the High Country - 1. Theydon Mount
- Book Reviews
- From The Papers
- Essex Archaeological Society visit to the High Country in 1908
- Programme for 2017

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Journal No. 61 (September 2016)

The quarterly Journal of the High Country History Group contains the following items:
- Green Man Public House, Toot Hill - an update
- Verdun Oaks
- Toot Hill Windmill
- Memorials against the Police
- Threatened Closures of Stapleford Tawney and Theydon Mount Schools in 1911
- Extensive Fire at Greensted
- St James Church, Matrden Ash, Ongar
- The Post Office Rifles at Ongar
- Amelius Mark Richard, 1st Baron Lambourne (1847-1928)

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Journal No. 60 (June 2016)

The quarterly Journal of the High Country History Group contains the following:
- The sad story of Mr Mikkish
- World War II Airfields in Essex
- The Token Coinage of Essex in the Seventeenth Century
- Zeppelins Over Essex: Sources for Talk
- The Green Man Public House, Toot Hill
- Richard Mulcaster, Rector of Stanford Rivers 1598
- Hill Hall, Theydon Mount - a Haunting!
- The Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales

Thursday, 6 October 2016

'Following In Pevsner's Footsteps'. Thursday 27 October 2016

Dr. James Bettley, author of the updated ‘Buildings of England’ series for Essex, East Suffolk and West Suffolk, with Hertfordshire in preparation, will be our speaker on Thursday 27 October, 8pm, at Toot Hill Village Hall.  The leading architectural historian’s subject will be ‘Following in Pevsner’s footsteps: Essex and Beyond’.  It promises to be an excellent evening.  As usual refreshments afterwards, and a bookstall with donations to the Group.


£1 members. £3 visitors.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Doddinghurst. 'Turmoil and Intrigue' Sunday 6 November 2016

Caroline Seville will be giving a talk entitled 'Turmoil and Intrigue' at All Saints Church, Doddinghurst, on Sunday 6 November 2016 at 2pm to raise funds for the conservation of our 16th century processional cross - about Doddinghurst and All Saints' Church from early times to about 1580 when Richard Stonley became Lord of the Manor. Much of it concerns the Earls of Oxford and what they got up to. There will be an accompanying slide show.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Capability Brown: A Masterpiece. Thursday 28 July 2016

Blenheim in May
Our next meeting will be on 28 July, and an interesting talk in prospect about “Capability” Brown to mark the 300th anniversary of his birth.  His greatest work was at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, but he was also busy across Essex. 

‘Capability Brown. A Masterpiece’. Simon Cranmer.

The Group will also be at the Toot Hill Show on 6 August, an event widely publicised locally.


We look forward to seeing you.

Friday, 1 July 2016

1st July 1916: The Opening Day of the Battle of the Somme

The Revd. Edward Reeve, rector of Stondon Massey, kept a diary called ‘Notes for a Parish History.  In it he wrote his observations of the First World War from his study in what is now Stondon Massey House.


“1st July 1916: As I write, the reverberation of the great guns and explosion of mines are shaking the windows of the Rectory and of all the other houses, I suppose, in the southern and south-eastern counties of England.  There is evidently a very heavy bombardment in progress."

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Essex Society for Family History. Chelmsford Group Open Day. Saturday 18 June 2016

ESAH160: Essex Society for Family History. Chelmsford Grou...: The Essex Society for Archaeology and History is a late entrant to this event, to be held this coming Saturday.  Come along between 11am and 4pm. Free admission.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Friends of St Laurence, Blackmore. 'Zeppelins Over Essex. Thursday 16 June 2016

'Zeppelins Over Essex: 31 March 1916' is a talk to be given by Andrew Smith, with audience participation, to mark the 100th anniversary of the great Zeppelin raids across Blackmore and Essex during the First World War.  

Thursday 16 June 2016
7.45pm
The Priory Church of St Laurence, Blackmore

The talk follows the AGM of the Friends of St Laurence.  Admission free, followed by refreshments.

This is a repeat of the talk given by Andrew, our Secretary, at the High Country History Group.  If you missed it, then this is a second chance to hear it.

Friday, 20 May 2016

The 1960s - a decade of remarkable events: 26 May 2015

Our speaker next week on the 26th May is Maggie Radcliffe who will be speaking on the 1960's - the Decade of Remarkable Events.  This fully illustrated talk will examine all the notable events of that shaped the period.  This will be a trip down memory lane.    Maggie was a professional photographer and during her career met many famous personalities.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

ESAH160: Gaps in 'Current Archaeology'? We can help.

ESAH160: Gaps in 'Current Archaeology'? We can help.: Current Archaeology.   The Essex Society for Archaeology and History has received a complete run of Current Archaeology from #1 to the year 2011 which we do not need for our Library ...

Monday, 21 March 2016

Annual General Meeting and 'Zeppelins Over Essex: 31 March 1916'. Thursday 31 March 2016

The High Country History Group has its Annual General Meeting, which will be conducted speedily to make way for out talk, and cheese and wine at the end of the evening.

Zeppelins over Essex: 31 March 1916

Blackmore residents had a very close shave a hundred years ago when the German Zeppelin L14 dropped bombs in the parish.  The stained glass in what is now the kitchen of St Laurence Church commemorates the night with these words: “This window is erected as a thank-offering to Almighty God for the protection in the Great Air Raid of March 31st 1916” (see illustration).

Andrew Smith has researched what happened that night and tells the story in a presentation to be given to the High Country History Group on 31 March 2016 (8pm Toot Hill Village Hall), and this summer, on 16 June, at the Friends of St Laurence Church Blackmore AGM.

The Rector of Stondon Massey, Revd. Reeve recorded details in his ‘Notes for a Parish History’:  He lived at the Rectory, what is now Stondon Massey House.

“At 11.45[p.m.] a Zeppelin dropped a series of bombs at the point where is the junction of Stondon with the parishes of Blackmore and Kelvedon Hatch: within easy distance of Soap House Farm.  A machine-gun had been lately established at Kelvedon Hatch to watch for the raiders … causing it to drop the bombs hurriedly.

“Large numbers of persons from Brentwood and the surrounding district visited the spot next day, and the large craters caused by the bombs, some 15 feet in diameter and varying from 3 to 9 feet in depth, were the astonishment of all.  The whole saucer-like cavities were left entirely clean by the explosion. … Nine of the thirteen holes were quickly found: and fortunately no life was lost or building injured. … Our windows at Stondon Rectory were violently shaken and considerable alarm was naturally caused.

“Further enquiry shows that the bombs dropped on March 31st fell between the Soap House and the corner of Blackmore between the Church and Miss Barrett’s house.  Two were dropped in the lane near the site of the old Blackmore Mill.  The remaining holes were to be found in a straight-line across the fields to Miss Barrett’s at very short intervals.  Many panes of glass were broken in the house by the concussion.”


Four people were killed in Braintree that night by the same Zeppelin crew.  To hear the full story come along to Andrew’s talk.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Journal No. 59 (March 2016)

Members of the High Country History Group will have received their quarterly edition of The Journal. Included this time:
- Notable Anniversaries in 2016
- The Tolpuddle Martyrs and Greensted
- Second World War Airfields in Essex
- No 277 Squadron RAF
- Ahnentafel Numbers
- Ongar Union Workhouse Staff 1901
- Zeppelins Over Essex 31 March 1916: forthcoming talk on 31 March 2016
- Revelations of 'Club Life' at Stanford Rivers
- Ongar Association Against Murderers, Housebreakers, Horse and Sheepstealers and Felons of every description
- The Rules of Navigation
- The Woodman Public House
- Saving The Century: Victorian Society Exhibition
- Book Reviews: (1) Colchester Castle: 2000 Years of History. (2) Jim Reeve. Secret Chelmsford.