Wednesday, 1 December 2010


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

Disney Family of Blackmore and Ingatestone

The bicentenary of the birth of Edgar Disney is remembered on the blog this month. Edgar lived at Jericho Priory, but his father John lived at The Hyde in Ingatestone. He gave a large number of sculptures to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, which I visited recently to see what is still known as the ‘Disney marbles’. The gallery (Room 21), containing items from Roman and Greek times, has recently been refurbished with the story retold. The museum entry is free – though a suggested donation of at least £3 is welcome – and is an interesting way to spend a dull winter day. Another highlight of our afternoon visit – we must go back – was the slipware pottery made in the Harlow area of Essex, presumably around Potter Street.

Blackmore Area Local History

Today marks the third anniversary of this online project, which has grown significantly over the past year thanks to continued research as well as correspondence from its readers. There are now 109 pages on the main website, double that of last year, and over 500 entries on this blog.

Plans for the website for the next year include:
- posting all the correspondence and photographs I have received from former pupils who were at The Gatehouse School and The Hyde during the 1940s and 1950s (the same property as the Disney family a century earlier).
- creating a series of pages called ‘Blackmore. The Library Collection’ which will feature photographs I received from a collector who had a display in the former Blackmore local library back in the 1980s. This is outstanding from the last twelve months
- commemorating those recorded on the Doddinghurst and Stondon Massey War memorials with new pages

The blog will continue to focus on local history news and feedback from readers. I am not planning new online projects for publication next year – although I wrote this twelve months ago and immediately became involved with others on the Blackmore War Memorial project.

‘Offline’ I am researching the life of Rev Edward Henry Lisle Reeve, Rector of Stondon Massey (Essex) from 1893 to 1935. Reeve died unmarried but his half-brother had descendants with a surname Hawkins. Is there anyone out there related to this interesting Anglican clergyman and gentleman? The only way to find out is to post an entry on the blog! There is also May’s William Byrd Festival which I am promoting.

The purpose of ‘Blackmore Area Local History’ is to share knowledge of local heritage. Thanks for visiting the sites. Enjoy, and keep posting comments!

Ongar War Memorial Hospital demolished

Work has now gone ahead to demolish the old Ongar War Memorial Hospital which closed in 2009.

Chelmsford: St John’s Hospital closes

St John’s Hospital, in Chelmsford - where countless local babies were born – closed its doors for the last time on 19 November. For more read:

Willingale Churches

Willingale is, of course, unique to Essex in that two churches share the same churchyard. A new item has appeared on the internet thanks to a churchaholic. Read Stepney Robarts blog entry:

The busy blogger has also been to:
High Laver:
High Ongar:

If you are interested in Arthur Mee, of ‘King’s England’ fame, there is an interesting biography.

It’s fair to sum up that the writer does not like Victorian churches or Victorian restorations at all. I enjoyed surfing this site.

Stanford Rivers Parish Register

Kathryn Lake commemorates ‘Church Record Sunday’ (I never knew it existed) with an item about parish registers and about Stanford Rivers specifically. Read on

William Byrd Festival

The ‘William Byrd Festival’ will be held at St Peter & St Paul Church, Stondon Massey, on 7, 8, 14 & 15 May 2011. For the latest information visit

A Folk Song A Day

Don’t forget the marvellous site


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

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