Friday, 24 September 2010

Ingatestone: Disney family

6 September 2010

Chris Harvey is writing a history of Ingatestone United Reformed Church.

Hi Andrew,

I attach a photo I took last Saturday of the memorial to Edgar Disney in the Anglican Church at Ingatestone. I'm told there is an identical one at Blackmore. Are you able to confirm this please? Edgar Disney made available the land on which Ingatestone manse and hall were built - in fact I think the Disneys held a fair amount of real estate in Fryerning and Ingatestone – it’s a pity Hyde Hall was destroyed by fire in the 1960s.



7 September 2010

Dear Chris

Thank you for your e mail. I was very interested to see the photograph of the Edgar Disney tablet from Ingatestone Church and can confirm that there is an identical one on the north wall of the Priory Church of St Laurence, Blackmore. Edgar Disney (1810 – 1881) was associated with Jericho Priory next to the church. I attach a document which has been transcribed onto my history website. (Go to It includes the Blackmore version of the tablet.

In ‘The Journal’, September 2010, which is delivered to all in the CM4 postal district, there is an item on a ‘Presentation to St Edmund and St Mary’s Church of NADFAS Church Record’ which is the culmination of five years’ work by Church Recorders of the Brentwood & District Decorative and Fine Arts Society to record the entire fixtures and fittings of the church interior. The item specially mentions the memorial to Edgar Disney which “displays the heraldic ‘quarterings’ of 23 different families”. Two guided tours of the church are planned, to be led by Graham Brereton, the leader of the recording group. The first is on Thursday 30 September about ‘The Petre Family and Ingatestone Church’ and the second on Thursday 28 October entitled ‘What you may not know about Ingatestone Church’. Both meetings start at 8.00pm.

There is another, but different, memorial to the Disney family at Fryerning Church. The family are buried in a large vault to the north side of St Mary’s Church.

The Disney Family had a connection with The Hyde in Ingatestone. I believe Edgar’s father inherited and added to a large number of ancient artefacts which now form a collection in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. I must investigate this further.

A few years ago someone suggested that the family were associated with the famous cartoonist, Walt. I enquired via the internet with a family descendant who told me, in so many words, that this was a Mickey Mouse story.

Best wishes.


9 September 2010

Hello Andrew.

The memorial to Edgar Disney at Blackmore appears identical.

Re. the Brentwood & District FAS history. When I was at Ingatestone on Saturday, the church was open to the public. The man on welcoming duty showed me the NADFAS record, though it was not on open show. It is an excellent record with photographs of everything of interest and background information about the various artefacts, memorials etc. It has been produced to a very high professional standard and is in the form of typed A4 sheets (many photos of high quality) inserted into plastic pockets (for protection I assume) and filed in a large A4 hard backed binder. The folder is full and I guess it must comprise 100+ pages.

I am aware of the tours by Graham Brereton. He has also written a short article (available at the church) providing information about Thomas Hollis and the Disneys.

Walt Disney came from a separate branch of the family.



Friday, 17 September 2010

Blackmore: Industrial Heritage

7 September 2010


Can you help I see on your site an aerial photo of Blackmore in the late 1950s.

Where was this copied from please?

I was a child there in that time and seek information regarding the concrete works that was situated behind Fingrith Hall Lane.

Thank you for any assistance.

David A Laughton

8 September 2010

Hello David

You can just make out the site of the concrete works on the aerial photograph of Blackmore ( ). (The photograph was found among church records as a calendar.) The site is now covered by Orchard Piece, a small housing estate which also took up the orchard to the rear of Poplars (aka Laurences), a house which stands on The Green. Orchard Piece was built about 1968. A resident once told me where the entrance to the site was off of Fingrith Hall Road, in filled by a house when Orchard Piece was completed.

I will post your enquiry on the blog to see whether anyone has any further information.


Friday, 10 September 2010

Blackmore: Bell Tower at Priory Church of St Laurence

Despite the best efforts of woodpeckers to vandalise our local landmark, Blackmore Church’s bell tower (photo taken in 1951) has stood since the year 1400. It is an impressive structure, both outside and in, with visitors gasping in amazement at the ingenuity, skill and effort of our ancestors. A few years ago I was involved in project which achieved an accurate construction date and, in the process, reinterpreted the history of our Priory Church building. The man who carried out the work was Dr Martin Bridge of Oxford Dendrochronology Laboratory. He made a return visit to Blackmore on ‘Teas In The Tower’ day in June with friends from English Heritage and from overseas and, although I could not be there in person, wrote to me to say how welcome their group had received. Having renewed our contact I asked him to give a talk on his specialist and professional subject of tree ring dating, as it is commonly known.

He will be giving the talk to the ‘High Country History Group’, which meets at Toot Hill Village Hall at 8.00pm on Thursday 21 October. Entrance for non members is £2.

Thursday, 21 October 2010
“Dating old timbers: how to date buildings like Greensted Church”
Dr Martin Bridge

The talk will cover the background to how tree ring dating (dendrochronology) works and illustrate its strengths and weaknesses. A number of local examples will be discussed – including Blackmore - where dendrochronology has shown its ability quietly to revolutionise the world of dating medieval buildings and artefacts. There will be some discussion of likely future developments.

Other meetings of the High Country History Group can be found on

Monday, 6 September 2010

Mountnessing: A Bicycle Ride to Maldon

A postcard written and postmarked Maldon one hundred years ago today.

Maldon. Tues Sept 6 10
A & J C. here this afternoon after discover with two punctures on the way. This is an old rambling town 18 miles from home. Where this little view is on the card I don't exactly know but it can not be far away. 5.40 part finished tea. Shall we be home by dark?

Friday, 3 September 2010

Blackmore: Twites / Williams family

30 July 2010

Hi - I was in Blackmore recently, but I had not been there since 1947. My maternal great grandfather was Thomas Williams who lived at Twites. (I think he died in 1910.) When I went there, living in the house was his son Robert (Bob) and his two spinster sisters Eva and Minnie. They took into care their other sister's (Ella) son, and brought him up as their own child. This boy was called Charles (Charlie) Whittaker. He later married May (I don't know her family name) She is buried in Stondon Massey. I don't know what happened to the others in the family, except that Charlie and May had several children.

In 1947, Twites was a smallholding, and was without mains water, electricity or gas. The outside lavatory was in a shed in an enclosure reached by negotiation with their nanny goat. (sole supplier of milk). They had a horse and cart at one stage. There were lots of fruit trees, and water was taken from a well and decanted into a small tank on wheels. The only heating as far as I can remember was from a wood fired range in the kitchen.

Bob used to go out with his shotgun to catch rabbits. Eva and Minnie resembled old witches to me. They all lived in poverty. They lost the deeds to the estate which I understand was owned by Thomas Williams. Thomas is said to have built the house. I think he was a spec. builder.

His father was William Williams who was also a builder in Victorian times. His office was in Hammersmith Grove. He was very rich.

Thomas Williams did not do much work, but went up to London every three months to collect his money. He would buy presents for the family and get busy with the drink on the way home. He would take the train from London to Ongar and then a horse carriage from the railway station to Blackmore.

Thomas Williams inherited a lot of money from his father William, and when Thomas died in 1910, 35 claimants to his will came out of the woodwork - both legitimate and illegitimate relatives.

The case started in 1910 was finalized in 1945 and paid up in 1948. An open and shut case that makes Jarndyce v Jarndyce look silly. [ ]

Let me know what happened to Twites please (and their acreage) if you can.

I look forward to hearing from you.

John Schofield.

31 July 2010

Hello John

Thanks for your E mail.

Twites Farm is marked on the Ordnance Survey Explorer Map, though it is no longer used for agricultural purposes. I do not have a note of the original acreage of the farm but noticed, searching the Internet, that the Essex Record Office holds a ‘Deed of messuage called Twyteys or Twitches Blackmore [Abstract of title from 1783] dated 1842 [ERO D/DTy/T6 ] ( ). This may help you.

The 1910 Electoral Roll has a Thomas Williams as a voter, living at Twites (

The 1918 Electoral Register [ERO C/E 2/1/1.] ( shows that Thomas Williams and his wife Sarah were eligible to vote in Parliamentary and local government elections (Division 1) and Thomas and Henry Arthur Williams were Parliamentary electors only (Division 2). Quite why the distinction I don not know.

The 1929 Electoral Register [ERO C/E 2/1/12] ( shows the following as eligible voters living at Twites: Thomas Williams, Thomas Robert Williams, Henry Arthur Williams, Mary Louise Williams, Eva Williams and Thomas Charles Whittaker.

In her book ‘Blackmore My 1920s Wonderland’, Mary Coller refers to a Mr and Mrs (known as ‘witch’) Williams who had a “foster son”, Charles Whittaker.

I could find no Burial Register entries for the Williams family at Blackmore.

Kind regards


Thursday, 2 September 2010

Area: "High Country History Group" Journal No 36

The Quarterly Journal of the High Country History Group has recently been issued to members. It contains a number of items about and beyond the local area including:

- An American Tragedy 1935. The story of two young women who took their lives by jumping from a ‘plane
- Essex Dialect and Accent. Part 1
- History Facts
- Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Jane Taylor, author of the nursery rhyme, and her family who lived at Ongar
- Whites Directory of Essex 1848 – Lambourne
- Fyffe Christie 1918 – 1979. A profile of the artist
- Church Chest at St Margaret’s Stanford Rivers
- Revd. Richard Cobden Earle, Rector of Stanford Rivers from 1934
- Cholera Outbreak at Thoydon

For membership and further information go to

Wednesday, 1 September 2010


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

William Byrd

Hyperion records have released the thirteenth and final disc in ‘The Byrd Edition’, which surveys the Elizabethan composers Latin texts. For a review go to

Family History

“Annie Hartgrove (my Gt Grandmother) was born in Stamford Rivers [Stanford Rivers] Essex in 1861.“ See this family plus a sequence on photographs on:


Two walks in the local area have been published by a tourist to these shores who is walking around the countryside surrounding London. Go to

New Photos

St Edmund and St Mary Church, Ingatestone, taken for the Geograph project:

A Folk Song A Day

Don’t forget the marvellous site


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