Friday, 31 May 2013

Blackmore: Smyth Family Connections

Memorial to Thomas Smyth before repair
Received: 22 May 2013


Thomas Smith is my 10th great grandfather. Are there any photographs of the tomb and history in the Church records that you could share?

Were any of the Smiths actual blacksmiths?

"The monument of Thomas Smith (1594) and his wife Margaret is in the south aisle of the east end of the Parish Church of St. Laurence at Blackmore. It is an altar tomb of modern brick and cement with two enriched alabaster pilasters, and upon it repose recumbent effigies of a man in amour and a woman in ruff and close dress, all of the alabaster repaired with plaster. In the bell chamber are numerous fragments of the tomb including parts of the kneeling figures of four sons and two daughters."


Replied: 25 May 2013

Dear Will

The Smyth family were very important in Blackmore during the 15th, 16th and early-17th century, and have been the subject of much correspondence over the years, all of which can be found on
The website has much more information. Go to
You will be pleased to know that the memorial to Thomas Smyth in the Priory Church of St Laurence was restored in the 1960s and the fragments of kneeling figures etc put back in their rightful place.

These Smyths weren’t blacksmiths when they were in Blackmore.

I’ll post your note onto the blog to add to the storyline.



Saturday, 25 May 2013

Fyfield: Water Mill

St Nicholas Church,
Received: 15 May 2013

I am researching my family history, and have found that one of my ancestors was recorded as being a miller and living in Fyfield on the 1841 census.

I am hoping that you may have records of the residents/millers at the Fyfield water and wind mills, covering the first half of the 1800s.

My ancestors name was William Emson and his wife was Louisa.

Any help you could offer would be much appreciated.


Julian Lloyd.

Replied: 25 May 2013

Hello Julian

I don’t have any information, but will publish this on



Friday, 24 May 2013

Doddinghurst: A New War Memorial Planned

Doddinghurst War Memorial Tablet
inside All Saints Church
Villagers in Doddinghurst are raising money to erect a nine feet high War Memorial at All Saints Church next to the Priest’s House.  The cost will be £12,000.  For more on the story go to  .  it will act to supplement the Tablet inside All Saint’s Church commemorating those who died during the First World War.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

ESAH160: Book Sale in Blackmore

ESAH160: Book Sale in Blackmore: If the weather is fine, there will be a book sale in Blackmore, as it is Village Fayre Weekend, on Saturday, Sunday and Monday (25 to 27 M...

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Essex Churches: Fryerning, Essex

Essex Churches: Fryerning, Essex: St Mary the Virgin purports to be open but was locked when I visited. I met another visitor who'd been before and found it locked; also ...

Essex Churches: Doddinghurst, Essex

Essex Churches: Doddinghurst, Essex: All Saints contains little of interest but I liked the rood figures (German or Italian and C16 or C17 respectively according to Pevsner and ...

Essex Churches: Chipping Ongar, Essex

Essex Churches: Chipping Ongar, Essex: St Martin was a chance visit - I passed it on my way to Greensted. I found it open  which was nice but I didn't warm to it - it felt ove...

Essex Churches: Chignall Smealey, Essex

Essex Churches: Chignall Smealey, Essex: To my utter amazement I found St Nicholas open, given its size and location I assumed it would be locked, so you can imagine my delight to ...

Essex Churches: Chelmsford, Essex p2

Essex Churches: Chelmsford, Essex p2: Chelmsford Cathedral, or more properly St Mary the Virgin, St Peter and St Cedd, was closed for business when I arrived due to the 60th anni...

Essex Churches: Chelmsford, Essex p1

Essex Churches: Chelmsford, Essex p1: Venturing into Chelmsford I was astonished to find St John the Baptist, in what used to be the village of Moulsham which has long since been...

Essex Churches: Chelmsford, Essex

Essex Churches: Chelmsford, Essex: No. On all levels and in all regards. HOLY TRINITY, Trinity Road, Springļ¬eld. Neo-Norman by J. Adie Repton, 1843. The date corresponds to ...

Essex Churches: Buttsbury, Essex

Essex Churches: Buttsbury, Essex: Heading off from Ingatestone to Stock I ran out of road, literally - the road to Stock was shut while the Man dug it up and installed someth...

Essex Churches: Bobbingworth, Essex

Essex Churches: Bobbingworth, Essex: St Germain was locked with a sign stating that "Sadly due to recent thefts from this church and other local churches, this church will...

Essex Churches: Billericay, Essex

Essex Churches: Billericay, Essex: I openly admit that I arrived in Billericay with certain preconceptions - mostly negative - and was pleasantly surprised to find a certain a...

Essex Churches: Berners Roding, Essex

Essex Churches: Berners Roding, Essex: It took me ages to find All Saints and when I did it was to find it in a sadly dilapidated state and appears to slowly falling down. Not su...

Essex Churches: Aythorpe Roding, Essex

Essex Churches: Aythorpe Roding, Essex: St Mary the Virgin is locked with no hint of a keyholder so I can't comment on the interior but the exterior is in the style of a lot o...

Essex Churches: Stondon Massey, Essex

Essex Churches: Stondon Massey, Essex: SS Peter & Paul professes to be normally open but if it is closed provides a number you can call to arrange an appointment to view - not...

Essex Churches: Blackmore, Essex

Essex Churches: Blackmore, Essex: The Priory Church of St Lawrence is locked with no keyholders listed - I actually think this a criminal act and utterly outrageous. I'l...

ESAH160: Pleshey Castle

ESAH160: Pleshey Castle: Pleshey Castle: the topic of today's excursion by the Essex Society for Archaeology and History.  Photographs taken in September 2008 o...

Friday, 10 May 2013

Mountnessing: Windmill

Essex Review
Extract from No. 185 Volume XLVII (January 1938)

Mountnessing Mill
By Edward S Knights

On the bluff of a hill next to the great high road,
Stands the ancient mill with sails now still,
Lonely and quiet since the last heavy load
Went lumbering down the hill.
Song of the reaper and Harvest Home,
Mill and Harvest Lord,
Working together on Essex loam,
But time has reaped and stored.

Weather worn timbers of grey lichened base.
Post and Roundhouse, Windshaft and Sails,
Time in passing has marked the place,
And the wind drives past and wails.
Song of the reaper and Harvest Home,
Mill and Harvest Lord,
Working together on Essex loam,
But time has reaped and stored.

Old creaking timbers and a gaping side,
Where doorless hinges catch the nettle tops,
And loosened boards the winds deride,
Which still know golden crops.
Song of the reaper and Harvest Home,
Mill and Harvest Lord,
Working together on Essex loam,
But time has reaped and stored.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

High Ongar: Demolition of Farm Buildings at Nine Ashes Farm

Demolition of these farm buildings finished this week:
former dairy farm acquired for development
(Photographed 29 September 2011)

Sunday, 5 May 2013

ESAH160: The Probert Scrapbook (5): Gallery

ESAH160: The Probert Scrapbook (5): Gallery: Priory Church of St Laurence, Blackmore St Germains, Bobbingworth Chelmsford Church and Writtle Steeple Fell down one day but ...

ESAH160: The Probert Scrapbook (4): Contents List

ESAH160: The Probert Scrapbook (4): Contents List: Greensted - sketch A further discovery was made in February 2013 in the office filing cabinet.  A complete list of the contents of the...

ESAH160: The Probert Scrapbook (3): Wall Paintings

ESAH160: The Probert Scrapbook (3): Wall Paintings: Great Chishall: copy of wall painting in 1860 One ‘discovery’ of the Probert scrapbook (now deposited in the Essex Record Office: ERO...

ESAH160: The Probert Scrapbook (2): Churches

ESAH160: The Probert Scrapbook (2): Churches: High Ongar, before Victorian rebuilding. If the sketch is accurate then it once had a lofty spire, higher than Doddinghurst or Shenfiel...

ESAH160: The Probert Scrapbook (1): Its Rediscovery

ESAH160: The Probert Scrapbook (1): Its Rediscovery: Bobbingworth Church - before the Victorian rebuild The Essex Society for Archaeology and History has recently deposited in the Essex Re...

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Blackmore: Bull Planning Applications. May Day!

Then and Now.  Is this a serious quest ...

.... to keep The Bull, Blackmore, open as a viable pub?

Pub currently closed with planning applications now
to remove cellar etc and build large semi-detached house
in pub garden.