Monday, 1 February 2010


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

Winter in Blackmore

Fortunately the weather is warmer now than it was about a month ago. On Thursday 7 January I took the opportunity for a walk in the snowy cold weather to take some photographs. They can be found on the Church website on the Gallery page: The picture here is of the icy moat which surrounds Jericho House, the site of the former Blackmore Priory.

Parish Registers Online
‘Essex Ancestors’ is a project under way by the Essex Record Office to digitise Baptism, Marriage and Burial Registers across the county. Early copies for Blackmore are now available.
ERO D/P 266/1/1. Baptisms : 1602-1712; Marriages : 1602-1749; Burials : 1602-1678:
ERO D/P 266/1/2. Burials 1678 – 1749:

Not covered on is the reference to Baptisms at Blackmore Baptist Church between 1841 (the date of inauguration) and 1908. It can be found at the Essex Record Office on microfilm under reference ERO T/B 324/1.

Essex Ancestors: Parishes beginning with S

The Essex Record Office ‘Essex Ancestors’ project continues. I spy with my little eye something (or parishes) beginning with S:
Follow this link to choose whatever parish letter you need.
At present none of the Stondon Massey registers have been digitised for viewing on line.

Electoral Registers Online

The 1918 and 1929 Electoral Registers were used to help identify the names of those recorded on the Blackmore War Memorial. Online copies are available through SEAX
ERO C/E 2/1/1. 1918 Electoral Register:
ERO C/E 2/1/12. 1929 Electoral Register:
The ones referred to here cover the Chelmsford Division, i.e. the parishes of Abbess Roding, Beauchamp Roding, Berners Roding, Blackmore, Bobbingworth, Boreham, Brentwood, Broomfield, Buttsbury, Chelmsford, Chignall [Chignall St James and Chignall Smealey], Chipping Ongar (duplicated), Danbury, Doddinghurst, East Hanningfield, Fryerning, Fyfield, Good Easter, Great Baddow, Great Leighs, Great Waltham, Greensted-juxta-Ongar, High Laver, High Ongar, Hutton, Ingatestone, Ingrave, Kelvedon Hatch, Lambourne (duplicated), Little Baddow, Little Laver, Little Leighs, Little Waltham, Margaretting, Mashbury, Moreton, Mountnessing, Navestock, Norton Mandeville, Pleshey, Rettendon, Roxwell, Runwell, Sandon, Shelley, Shellow Bowells, Shenfield, South Hanningfield, South Weald, Springfield, Stanford Rivers, Stapleford Abbots, Stapleford Tawney, Stock, Stondon Massey, Theydon Mount, West Hanningfield, Widford, Willingale Doe, Willingale Spain, Woodham Ferrers and Writtle. Registers for Chelmsford are arranged by street, otherwise the names are in alphabetical order.
Other Registers for elsewhere in Essex are available.

Western Association Front “enlisted”

The Blackmore War Memorial Research Project Group has enlisted enthusiasts who form the Essex Branch of the Western Front Association to share research on the names of those commemorated who died or who served from the village during the First World War. I met representatives who had a stand at the grand reopening of the Essex Regiment Museum on 24 January. The Association meets (typically) twice a month at Hornchurch and Hatfield Peverel for talks. Our research will be shared with the WFA and online in due course but in the meantime if interested in WFA go to

Family History Research

Does anyone out there agree with the theory of Praeto’s Principle: in this case that 80% of family history research is achieved in 20% of the time?

Chelmsford Museums

One cannot fail to be impressed with the new museum extension which has allowed more space for the display of artefacts plus new galleries devoted to the history of electronics in Chelmsford plus a brand new area devoted to the Essex Regiment Museum. For more information go to:

Kings Brasserie, High Ongar

During the week commencing 11 January a brown tourism style sign appeared at the junction of King Street, High Ongar with the Chelmsford / Harlow A414 pointing to Kings Brasserie as a restaurant stop. The sign on the former public house changed from The Wheatsheaf on the Thursday evening. The property ceased to be a traditional public house in 2002 when it became a Brasserie and has now had a name change.
For a list of former publicans go to :

Black Horse, Paslow Common, High Ongar

The year 2002 was an annus horribilis for closing pubs. Just down the road from The Wheatsheaf the Black Horse closed its doors forever. For a list of former publicans go to:

White Horse, Norton Heath

Another closed public house is the White Horse at Norton Heath, formerly on the main A414 Harlow to Chelmsford road. William J Scudder, later landlord at The Leather Bottle in Blackmore, was publican there in 1898 and 1899. His son, William, who died during the First World War and commemorated on Blackmore’s War Memorial was baptised at Norton Mandeville Church on 13th August 1899. The place of residence given was High Ongar [ERO D/P 267/1/7]. For a list of former publicans go to:

Margaretting Fire Damaged Pub to be Demolished

The Spread Eagle at Margaretting, a Shepherd Neame public house on the main road (B1002), was badly damaged in a fire last summer. Heritage organisations have surveyed the 400 year old property and agree that it is totally beyond repair. It is to be demolished and the site rebuilt with houses. For a list of former publicans go to:

Other Pubs Gone

Charles Napier, Brentwood – demolished 2009:
Queens Head, North Weald – fire damaged and demolished:

A Civilian in The Second World War: The Diaries of E J Rudsdale

Catherine Pearson wrote a note of appreciation for including Eric Rudsdale's WW2 Colchester diary blog in our News item in December 2009. “I believe I have gained several new readers as a result and I have now added a link to your website from Eric's blog and hope it will bring visitors to your site too. Congratulations on your … blog - it is a wonderful resource for the history of Blackmore and the surrounding area and I look forward to using it in the future.” Such kind words are worth another plug for this interesting site. Eric Rudsdale (1910 – 1951) was a curator at Colchester Castle Museum in Essex who during the Second World War decided to maintain regular entries about Colchester and its area. January 1940 was a jolly cold month with much snow. Eric Rudsdale wrote on 26th January: “I am told that at places only a couple of miles out of the town people have been snowbound for more than a week”. Follow this link for more:

Morris Nichols, cricketer, born Stondon Massey

For more information go to:

Family History Links

Adams. Ongar.;topicseen
Taylor. Buttsbury, Fryerning, Ingatestone, Stock.

BBC A History of the World

A major TV, radio and online project for 2010. For the page on Essex go to

New Flicker Pictures

The Bell Tower interior at “St Lawrence”, Blackmore (Eric Hardy):


For an extensive list of links to other sites go to:

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