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A talk given to the Henham Conservation Society on January 26th 1970 by Joyce M. Winmill

Mill The Mill Reference to Henham Windmill, a post mill, comes as early as Edward III’s reign, just after the Black Death, when a windmill in ruins is mentioned. It was shown on Chapman and Andre’s map of Essex in 1777, when there were at least 180 windmills in Essex, and it appears on the Tithe Map of 1840. There were five millers there between 1835 and 1902, and in 1903 it was dismantled, thatched, and used for agricultural purposes.
The Old Vicarage now Glebe House.

Late 17th century, timber-framed all round, with a Georgian front, added in the late 18th century. From a drawing, 1817, by Miss Sterry, whose family lived at Eastbury Hall, Barking, the garden in front, with a large circular flower bed, is fenced from the Green with an open wooden fence, much nearer to the house than we know it now.

Parsonage Farm
Originally a Tudor building, with an overhang, and a front door to the north. Lived in, during the last century, by the Stallibrass family; then George Collins, who from being a very rich man, gambled away even his growing crops, so that at the end he died in poverty. He was followed by the Duckworths, and then the Pimblett family about 1901. There was a strong friendship between the Stallibrass family and Anthony Trollope. When Anthony Trollope was dying, he sent for James Stallibrass, a far-away ancestor of mine, to go over again with him the memories of a famous fox hunting run, and gave him the brush.
Parsonage Farm

Pledgedon Hall

Pledgedon Hall

A succession of older houses, since the first Norman stronghold of wood: most of the present building is 17th century, built in an arm of the moat. From about 1840 the names of John Mumford, the Newports, and Burles, and now the Smith family.
The Pest House

Again from information from Mr. Brown, he was fairly certain there was a Pest House here, on the outskirts of the village. In the Tithe Map of 1840 Pest Close appears as a field name near Pledgedon Hall. In the Enclosure Map of 1850 it is Peas Croft, a name also given me by Mr. Bert Smith, but obviously one or other is an error on the part of the surveyor.

Greenend Farm

Late 16th century, with a richly ornamented plaster overmantle over a fireplace on the 1st floor. Downstairs there is some carved oak panelling with the date 1589.
Green End Farm
Henham Lodge

Early 17th century, and moated. The site of the famous Henham dragon, who was supposed to sun himself upon a bank near Birch Wood; there is still a field called Birch Wood, two fields away from the house to the east. In the early nineteenth century the farm was largely given over to sheep farming, and farmed by the Stallibrass family.

Additional information found about Henham Lodge:

In 1891, Mrs R Cowell gave Saffron Walden Museum a fragment of Samianware that had been found in 1849 in Hall Field at Henham Lodge. She also gave a flask of dark brownware found by Mr Cowell near Canhams’ (maybe Pledgdon Canons also known as Parsonage Farm (?) ). In 1950, there was a record made by Miss J Winmill & Mr R Gray near Parsonage Farm concerning the southernmost of 2 large fields 600 yards west of the farm. The site yielded black earth and potsherds in deep ploughing, and there were indications of 3 sides of a rectangular enclosure about 370 foot long from east to west.

The Hall
The Tithe Map of 1848 shows a long shaped building, standing well back from the road, with the barn and stabling and farm buildings in front, with an entrance roughly where the entrance is now to Moat Cottages. When its end came, it must have changed drastically, architecturally and in every other way, over the years. The last people to live there were named Lewis, and as I have said before, the house was burnt down about 1864

Birds Farm, sometimes called Prestons
A late Tudor house, once a small farm, a butchers shop, and a slaughterers. Lived in by Mr.& Mrs. Johnson, whose old son and widowed daughter lived in Apple Tree Cottage in the 1940s.

The Bury
Originally known as the Maltings. The village maltster must have worked and probably lived there: in 1754 Henham produced over 1,000 quarters, probably for the London market. The present house was converted from two cottages about 1900 1908, and first occupied by a market gardener.

the bury
The White Cottage
Two 17th century cottages converted about 50 or 60 years ago
 
Willows
Once three cottages, a small one on its own. A rather famous village character, Mrs Nancy Devoile, lived in one.
Willows
The Row The Row
As you know it now, some charming houses, the end one Tudor, the others mostly 17th century. Condemned in 1935, and repaired with skill by Mr. Turner; his house, near the Green, is one of the oldest in Henham - the end a little square Tudor building, with a later addition towards the Greens.

Bacons

The plan and front are Tudor. Lived in by Mr.Robert Wright, a churchwarden and farmer. He was also a hay merchant and owned a little land in Carters Lane.

bacons bombed

bacons farm Bacon farm 2
Forres Cottage
Now Miss Bannister’s. The Matthews, staunch supporters of the Chapel, lived there. There was a tiny little thatched cottage in the Forres House garden, behind the Old Forge, where an old farm worker, Abraham Dennison, lived. The forged moved from Church Street to near The Cock, about 50 years ago, till the Hayden family gave it up in 1954.
forres

 
Pleasant Cottage
Pleasant Cottage at Woodend. From an S.P.A.B. report in 1963, this was built as a single house in the 15th century, with the parlour wing, and kitchen wing, built round a central chimney stack, and divided into two in the early 18th century. It is a most interesting house, and quite one of our oldest. In 1963, in the old buttery, an early unglazed window was found: some early oak mullions were also found in different parts of the house. In the parlour wing there is a long and spacious attic with lovely curved beams and braces, and in the 19 century was used by the Bush family as a shoemakers work room.
pleasant cottage for sale
pleasant cottage
Church Street (the following text was written by Miss Joyce Winmill)



The row of four brick faced cottages look uninteresting, but they are seventeenth century, and in the roof of the cottage next to Mount House (now 4, Church Street) is something very exciting indeed. The way in was originally up a chimney in the next cottage to the Chase, once an ale- house, and then along a great tie- beam, which goes the length of the cottages. The roof was opened-up in the early part of this century, and then closed-in again, as it is now, but the existence of a secret chamber was known of in the village. The roof was repaired again in 1944, after bomb damage, when I and my father got in over the roof at the back.

Lords PrayerAt the end of the tie-beam the level drops about three feet, and then there is a tiny doorway over a high threshold, and one gets into a tiny low room a few feet square, with a window a few inches square, hidden very cleverly behind the chimney-stack. On one of the sloping walls formed by the roof timbers, the Lord’s Prayer is painted in red on a white ground, in very beautiful Roman lettering; there is also painted decoration in red on the beams, including a series of medallions. At the time of the first discovery, a name and date were painted on the w At the end of the tie-beam the level drops about three feet, and then there is a tiny doorway over a high threshold, and one gets into a tiny low room a few feet square, with a window a few inches square, hidden very cleverly behind the chimney-stack. On one of the sloping walls formed by the roof timbers, the Lord’s Prayer is painted in red on a white ground, in very beautiful Roman lettering; there is also painted decoration in red on the beams, including a series of medallions. At the time of the first discovery, a name and date were painted on the wall; these have since been destroyed by blast, which also destroyed a good deal of the Prayer. After a long search some numbers were found on two bits of broken plaster on the floor; when they were pieced together they fitted perfectly, and gave the date of 1683, or 1688, the last figure being a bit imperfect. A description and drawing were sent to Professor Tristam, who substantiated the period, and said obviously the lettering was a beautiful bit of work. The little room had probably been used by anyone fleeing from justice not necessarily anyone hiding from religious persecution. The room was sealed in again in a few days, but if and when it is re-opened, a box will be found with the dated fragments of plaster all tied up in a tea-cloth, and a record of what we found in 1944.all; these have since been destroyed by blast, which also destroyed a good deal of the Prayer. After a long search some numbers were found on two bits of broken plaster on the floor; when they were pieced together they fitted perfectly, and gave the date of 1683, or 1688, the last figure being a bit imperfect. A description and drawing were sent to Professor Tristam, who substantiated the period, and said obviously the lettering was a beautiful bit of work. The little room had probably been used by anyone fleeing from justice not necessarily anyone hiding from religious persecution. The room was sealed in again in a few days, but if and when it is re-opened, a box will be found with the dated fragments of plaster all tied up in a tea-cloth, and a record of what we found in 1944.
prayer

church Street Church Cottages

Mount House

The Wards lived here. It was a closely-knit little community of the Matthews at Forres Cottage, and Joseph’s sister-in-law, Miss Gardiner, at Henham House. The Wards, to put it mildly, were all eccentric. Thomas was a veterinary surgeon; of the four sons, Dick, was a brilliant master at Newport, and painted the pictures still about Henham; his eccentricity ended in Severals, where he died. William, who I knew as the kindest of men, was agent to Sir Walter Gilbey. The whole family was looked after by the old man’s sister-in-law, Jenny Cotterell. She tried to organise the household, and was doctor to all the minor aches and pains and ailments in the village, and is still remembered by those who knew her goodness, in a period in Henham when neighbourly help was still often all that was available.
mount house