Conservation Society

We are very grateful to Carol & Tony Eaton for giving us access to a large collection of records created by the former Henham Conservation Society. Among those documents is a brief entry stating that the society was created in 1928 to preserve the character of the village. There is a reference that the late William Fuller Maitland gave a free gift of 13 acres of greens for ever to the village. Henham was awarded trophies and shields for ‘best-kept village’ competitions in 1955, 1958, 1965 and 1980, a Saffron Walden Rural Council Shield in 1957 and a North West Essex Shield in 1961 and 1962.

1975 Sept. 18th. – Henham Conservation Society

Medieval Tiles – The Chairman reported on a visit from Mr P.J. Drury, Chairman of the Research and Fieldwork Committee of the Essex Archaeological Society to record a panel of mediaeval tiles, mostly 14th century in the south side of the chancel floor in the parish church. A report has been sent to the vicar.

The Bury Pond – The Chairman stated that this pond belongs to Sir Clifford Hammett, and then read a letter from him to Mr Jack Hayden who had undertaken to do the work of clearing out the pond with an increased cost to Sir Clifford of £100 against £45. In all Sir Clifford had contributed £75, and asked the Conservation Society whether it would also make a contribution. The Committee felt that although interested in the upkeep of the pond, it should have consulted first and to leave the amount of its contribution until the Treasurers report under ‘any other business’. £10 was to be contributed to the cleaning of the Bury Pond, to be paid by cheque payable to Lady Hammett for Jack Hayden.

1976 Jan 29th – Henham Conservation Society

Any other business – Mrs Fowler reverted to the matter of housing development on the former Primary School site and expressed the opinion that there was no call for using the old school building as a Community Centre which was not a viable proposition. She considers it preferable to convert the old school building to housing and erect garages for villagers use or erect small cottage-type houses.

1976 a Craft Show in Bell Meadow was arranged by the Henham Conservation Society. Some accounts papers indicate that the society was still existed in 1989. A society letter of that date reports that it has been inactive for a few years although a small committee of five kept occasional meetings.

1976 Henham Conservation Society, AGM reports that there has been a reduction in planning applications but there has been major ones, in key sites in the village. First: two houses are to be built on the ground behind the old Primary School; a congested site with a frontage which needed very careful planning… Next Two semi detached three-storey houses to be built on the site of the old chapel. New development at Bacons as yet undecided; new development at Starr Garage both infringing on the greens. The Carters Lane footpath ditch: Walnut Tree Cottage, or Albion cottage (so-called after the name of a ship of a previous occupant). Church cottages; Prompt Cottages: a new door to the shop and an extension; the tennis club pavilion. Our major social event was a party for just under 100 members at the Bury by kind permission of Lady Hammett. Our summer outing, on one of the hottest July days, on the ‘Adventuress” on the Stort. Our membership has increased from 122 to over 140.

1976 31st March Henham Conservation Society

1. Fifty Field Name Maps – An order for 50 copies is now assured – these will sell at £1 each.

2. Summer Fair – Plans are going ahead for the summer fair on June 12. The following have been asked to attend – Mr Holland, Clavering – corn dollies; Mrs Carroll, Gt Chesterford – pewter and brass; Mr Melville, Hatfield Heath – smith; Mrs Melville, Hatfield Heath – lace; Mrs Walters, Widdington, – rushwork; Mrs Holling, Warberswick – pebble polishing; Mr Rose from Ugley and Mr Poulter from Henham – both bee keeping; Mr Marshall and Mr Walter Cornell both from Henham – scything; Mrs Hart from Duxford – tye dying; Mrs Baynes from White Roding – pottery; Mr King from Henham – carpentry; Mrs Mastandrae from Henham – soap-making and home weaving. It was agreed to approach Mr Weyers of Dragonholt, Henham who does leather work. Attention was drawn to the timing of the Fair, which is from 12 noon until 4pm.

3.The Primary School – It has been decided to use the old school as a community centre for a trial period of three years.

4. Application has been made to build a tennis club pavilion by Helen Tennis Club.

5. The plan submitted by Mr Wright to build a bungalow as a substitute for the shed presently situated by the pond at the top of Wood End Green have been turned down. It was suggested by Mr Bradley that this was a pity, and agreed by all that Miss Winmill should write to the planning authorities asking on what grounds the application has been refused.

1976 17th May Henham Conservation Society, risk to O.S.C.A.

The Old School building will cost an estimated £1,000.00 to repair the outside. The Estates and Valuation Office have written to say that if the building is not to be used, they will attempt to sell the freehold. If no buyer comes forward, it is likely that the building would be demolished.

1978 Henham Conservation Society,

A meeting was held on the 15th May 1978. Concern was expressed over the closing of the village shop. It was believed that The Bell is to be placed on the market. If this happens the situation will have to be carefully watched in view of the importance of this central site.

1978 Henham Conservation Society,

A meeting was held on Monday 25th Sept. 1978 where it was reported that the planning application for the change of use of The Bell to a private dwelling has been approved but the proposal to build two houses on adjacent plots have been rejected

1978 Henham Conservation Society, Newsletter no.26 Winter 1978/9. Two records of village life in Henham some 60 years ago (about 1918)

1979 Henham Conservation Society, OSCA gets permanent heating and false ceiling essential with fuel costs.

1980 Henham Conservation Society, July 1980
Of 160 members, 72 had not paid their annual subscriptions. In 1980 101 out of 178 members had not paid their subscriptions.


Mr and Mrs Bar-Sim, Henham House Mrs G. Madden, Mount House
Professor and Mrs Banatvala, Little Acre Mr and Mrs White, The Willows
Mr and Mrs Bowser, Birds Farm Miss J Windmill, Church End
Mr and Mrs Davis, Friars Cottage Mr and Mrs McDonald, Forrest Cottage
Sir Clifford and Lady Hammett, The Bury Mr and Mrs Moore – Coulson, Church Street
Mr Miles Hammett, The Bury Mr and Mrs Frost, Henham Stores
Mr Nigel Hammett, The Bury Mrs Dixon, Church Cottages
Mr David Hammett, The Bury
Mr and Mrs Christie, succeeded by Mr and Mrs Barnett, Bays Cottage Mrs Taylor, Yarrow Cottage
Mr and Mrs Dyson, 4 Wrights Piece Mr and Mrs Good, The White House
Mr and Mrs Greenop, Beech Cottage Mr and Mrs Porter, Bell House
Mrs. E. Cleyndert, 1 Wrights Piece (Mrs Avery now) Mr and Mrs J.G.L. Griffiths-Jones, 5 Wrights Piece
Mr and Mrs Smales, 3 Wrights Piece
Mr and Mrs P S Corduroy, Keyham House Miss P Maitland, Barley House
Mr and Mrs Calder, 2 Hall Close Mr and Mrs Nicholson, 5 Hall Close
Mr and Mrs Binks, Thatch End Mr and Mrs Pickard, 6 Hall Close
Mr and Mrs Edington, Snow Cottage Mr A.L. Samuelson, 1 The Row
Mr and Mrs Fryer, Minley Mr and Mrs Eatough, Pigtle House, Hall Close, superseded by Linda Peake
Mr and Mrs K Sammon, 4 Hall Close Mr and Mrs Tudhope, Appletree Cottage
Mrs Maitland, Barley House Mr and Mrs Heslop, 4 Hall Close
Mr J Maitland, Barley House
Mr and Mrs Gillespie, The Hollies, Wood End Green Mr and Mrs Tissot Van Patot, Green End Cottage (since moved)
Mr and Mrs Hands, Chestnut Cottage Mr and Mrs Weyers, Dragonholt (leaving)
Mr and Mrs Meadmore, Prompt Corner Mr M. S. Whittley, Easter Cottage
Mr and Mrs Mitchell, Wood End Cottage Mr and Mrs M Edgar, 1 Wood End Cottage, Wood End Green
Mrs L Renwick: Elmdene, Chickney Road Mr and Mrs J Cox, Badgers Cottage, Wood End Green (moved away)
Mr and Mrs P Smyth, Castanea, Wood End Green Mr and Mrs H. F.Clow, Orchard Cottage, Woodend Green
Mrs Gill, Pleasant Cottage Mr and Mrs Grange, Green View Cottage
Mr J Smith, Henham Lodge Farm Mr and Mrs Sinnott, The Barn, Woodend Green
Hughes, 54 Mill Road
Mr and Mrs King, Cedarwood
Mrs Bannehr, The Haven, Carters Lane
Mrs Parkin, Elmic
Mr and Mrs Bradley, The White Cottage Carters Lane
Miss Pimblett, Cedar Cottage, Crow Street
Mrs Dent, 56 Mill Road
Mr and Mrs Redfern, 42 Mill Road
Mr and Mrs Eaton, 40 Mill Road
Mr and Mrs Saunders, The Cedars, Carters Lane
Mr Doe, School House
Mrs Platt, Willowbank, Crow Street
Mr and Mrs Fowler, Glebeside Cottage, Carters Lane
Mrs Suckling, 7 Sages
Mr Michael Foot, 48 Mill Road
Mr Foster, Heathfield, 19 Crow Street
The Rev. and Mrs Brian Green, The Vicarage
Mr and Mrs Brian Gell, Cooper Hall, Crow Street
Mr Browning, 5 Vernons Close Mr and Mrs P J Smith, 13 Vernons Close
Mr and Mrs Chamberlain, 16 Vernons Close (leaving) Mr and Mrs C A Whipp, 28 Vernons Close
Mr and Mrs Gunning, 51 Vernons Close Mr and Mrs A Francis, 32 Vernons Close
Mrs Morgan, 16 Vernons Close (leaving)
Mr and Mrs Douthwaite, Whitfield Court, Old Mead Lane Mr & Mrs John Fellows, Old Mead, Elsenham
Mr and Mrs McDonald, The Barn, Old Mead Lane Mr R and Mrs Gillian Coleby, Rough Apple, Pledgdon Green
Mr and Mrs Toynton, Wildharn, Old Mead Lane Mr & Mrs Martineau, Jock Farm, Little Henham
Mr and Mrs Le Count, Cott-Moor, Old Mead Lane (formerly Mr & Mrs Mower) Mr and Mrs R. L. Smith, Pledgdon Hall, Henham
Mr RG Plumb, Rosemead, Old Mead Road Harvey, White House, Pledgdon Green, Henham
Mr and Mrs Haydon, Pledgdon Green, Henham


1980 Sept. Henham Conservation Society – Best-Kept Large Village Award – For the fourth time since its initiation 25 years ago, Henham has been awarded the Whitmore Trophy for the best-kept village in Essex. The competition was keenly contested as no fewer than 77 villages entered the competition. The award will encourage all residents to increase their efforts to maintain the greens and gardens in as good a condition as possible throughout the year

1981 Henham Conservation Society
1. In late September 1980, two young amateur archaeologists, working under the surveillance of Mr James Smith, found in Great Hall field, Henham Lodge, coins, pottery and oyster shells. The site was visited in early October 1980 by the county archaeologists. It is now scheduled as a Roman farming complex.

2.Village Shop – The re-opening of the village shop is a most welcome development. The Society wishes the new owners, Mr & Mrs Frost, success in their venture.

3. The well-known broadcaster, Brian Johnston, is to visit Henham on 24th March to make a “Down Your Way” programme.


In light: the strangest jumping around

1951 750
1961 729
1971 1081
1981 1193


The Common Fields of north-west Essex, on the edge of the great Midland open field system, were not enclosed till very late; the reasons for this are obscure. In Henham, it was not until the middle of the 19th century that 630 acres of arable land were enclosed, And the enclosure act of 1850 shows the hard, straight boundaries mapped by the Parliamentary Commissioners. Yeoman farmers and cottagers, were allotted compact blocks of land instead of holdings of scattered strips.

The Tithe Award of 1840 lists the names of owners and tenants with numbers referring to dwellings, fields or strips on the Tithe Map, and of all the means of research, these are the most valuable. With these numbers, which re-appear on the Enclosure Map of 1850 field names are given, but even so, with boundary alterations, many names cannot now be traced.

A Conveyance, May 1850, (owned by Mr. J. Pimblett, Parsonage Farm, Henham) to Joseph Baxendale, Lord of the Manor, when compared with the 1st Edition Ordinance Survey, 25″, 1877, shows that within those 27 years, Henham Lodge Farm, to the north-east of the parish, lost at least eight of its fields by the removal of hedgerows.

Significance of Field names

Coneygar and Little Coneygar, Parsonage Farm – probably where rabbits were reared for the use of the Lord of the Manor

Ley – where often stock was tethered instead of free grazing