Wednesday, 1 October 2008


Welcome to this month’s round-up of local history and heritage in and around Blackmore, Essex.

Doddinghurst Priest House Appeal

A £36,000 appeal for the repair of an early sixteenth century timbered framed and weather-boarded building in neighbouring Doddinghurst (Essex) has been launched. Formerly the Priest’s House, it is now the Church Hall standing adjacent as it does to All Saint’s Doddinghurst. (See photo).

School Sold!!

“Subject to contract” the former Blackmore school has been sold. The ‘sold’ board went up on 23rd September 2008. Good news for the village who will receive a sum of money to support the building of a new Youth Facility!

Stone Circle at Ingatestone?

Three websites put forward the same theory that Ingatestone (Essex) once had a stone circle and that the church was built on a pre-Christian knoll. “A sarsen (a hard silicified sandstone of a type also used at Avebury and Stonehenge) was found in the north wall of the church during building work for the organ chamber there in 1905. This stone has since been relocated to the south side of the church.” Another two stones can be found on the corners of Fryerning Lane in the High Street.

“While the smaller stones, some painted white and now scattered along Ingatestone High Street, might not yet be considered important enough to return to the Ingatestone churchyard there are good reasons, on grounds of conservation and heritage, for returning the two large Fryerning Lane stones to their likely place of origin on the church knoll.

“A campaign is underway to achieve this aim and emails of support should be sent to Ingatestone and Fryerning Parish Council at or to Heritage Action at”.

Times Online Archive

Free introductory access to ‘The Times’ archive of newspapers (mentioned in our news round up a few months ago) ended on 18 September. The E mail says:

“All the featured content on our Archive home page and on Times Online will remain free to view, but if you wish to search the Archive there will be a charge to view the results. You can sign up for full access to the Archive in three ways:

“Day pass: £4.95; Monthly membership: £14.95; Annual membership: £74.95.

It has certainly been a useful resource and for a fiver in a single burst does not seem an unreasonable charge.

Essex Record Office

From November 2008, Essex Record Office will be closed to the public for the first two whole weeks for stocktaking. It provides an opportunity for staff training and to check data thus improving the already excellent service given.

Essex Ancestors

‘Essex Ancestors’ is a new project launched by Essex Record Office to publish scans of all parish registers on-line thus enabling people worldwide to research from the comfort of their homes rather than the comfort of the ERO. At present it is necessary to visit the office and view microfiches on a reader. The original copies submitted by churches are not available for public inspection. This is a major project extending the coverage of SEAX, the on line index of resources available in the archive.

Blackmore’s registers are available at the Essex Record Office, but the Burial Register after 1893 is still held in the church safe. I have a transcript for the period 1893 to 1920. Contact me if you would like me to look up any name for you.

Great War commemoration

Readers can hardly miss the fact that this site is commemorating the local history of the First World War. The coverage continues through to 11 November.

Essex Record Office is holding a one day conference on 1 November entitled ‘Sad Shires and Bugles’, which will cover the impact of the First World War on Essex. For more information, contact the staff at ERO. The cost for the day is £12. The Historical Association, Essex branch report that: “The branch is pleased to announce that Dr Paul Rusiecki, our Programme Secretary, is having his book published by the Essex Record Office in October. Its title is The Impact of Catastrophe: the People of Essex and the First World War. He will be a speaker in the Sad Shires and Bugles Conference on 1st November at ERO.”

At the Keene Hall, Galleywood, the local historical society is putting on an exhibition, ‘The Great War – Galleywood and Beyond’ on 8 November 2008. Follow this link for information.

Thanks to this entry on a blog …
… I discovered that the BBC will be extensively covering the anniversary of the close of the First World War, from 1 to 11 November. More information can be found on:
Follow this link to the Press Release
As part of the project, Ancestry “are waiving their charges for the month of November for people to search the remaining British Army First World War service and pension records (otherwise only available by visiting National Archives in Kew) and the British Army First World War "medal rolls" online”.

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