Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Blackmore: Picturesque Essex (2)

An extract from 'Picturesque Essex' by Moul and Hill, published by F E Robinson & Co. Bloomsbury in 1905.

Blackmore has another quaint wooden church tower, built probably about the same time as the two we have just mentioned [Stock and Margaretting]. The parish is not mentioned in the Domesday Book, but the church exhibits some excellent Norman masonry in its west front and part of the nave; the rest of the building is Early English. It was attached to a Priory of Austin Canons, founded here in the reign of Henry II, and dedicated to St Lawrence. Not a vestige remains of the monastic establishment, but a few relics have been dug up at various times. The old house shown in our view near the church stands on the site of the priory, and has been kinown since Henry VIII's time as "Jericho". That masterful monarch used it as a suitable place of retirement and privacy, and the popular expression "Go to Jericho!" is supposed to have arisen from that circumstance. The church and house make an exceedingly picturesque group, and the village, with its rustic bridge across the stream, is an excellent subject for a sketch. This stream is still known as the "Jordan," though its real name is the Cam.

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