Sunday, 1 March 2009


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

Churches Conservation Trust

The Churches Conservation Trust celebrated its fortieth anniversary last weekend (Saturday 21 February) with bell ringing at many of its churches. I visited Stansted Mountfitchet where, in the grounds of the old Hall, on the edge of the village stands St Mary’s Church dating back to Norman times. From its 1692 tower rang out a Quarter Peal from eight bells. This was quite a spectacle to hear in the churchyard on a lovely sunny calm afternoon. The teas and cake served was good too. Nearer to home, though not participating in bell ringing, is St Andrew’s Church, Willingale Spain, also in the care of this charitable organisation. The church has the distinction of being one of two sharing the same churchyard and, though redundant, is occasionally used for worship. Its north door (see picture) is a gem of twelfth century ironwork.

Website News

Work is going on behind the scenes on to develop web pages for the ten neighbouring parishes to Blackmore. Villages covered will include Doddinghurst, Fryerning, High Ongar, Ingatestone, Mountnessing, Norton Mandeville, Stondon Massey, Shenfield, Willingale and Writtle. Publication is anticipated late March or early April.

William Byrd

An interesting new biography of William Byrd can be found by taking the following link:

BBC at Writtle

Chelmsford, ‘birthplace of radio’ declares the signs on entry to the town. In 1922 pioneering broadcasts were made by a radio station called 2MT at Writtle. For more read:

The family line of Samuel Conn

There cannot be many families who lived in Norton Mandeville during the nineteenth century. Below is a link to the Conn family, whose children were baptised either at All Saints, Norton Mandeville or at nearby High Ongar.
Ian Robinson’s introduction to the Conn family can be found here:


For an extensive list of links to other sites go to: or look at the news entry for 1 January 2009.

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