Goldhanger Lost

 

O  Cricket in the park

O  Barns Lost

O  Blacksmiths

O  Wesleyan Chapel

O  Tithe barn & Glebe farm

O  British Legion Hall

O  The Mill

O  Parish Rooms

O  Alehouses

O  Village School

O  Cottages lost

O  Petrol Station

O   Shops lost

O  Pit Cottages

O   The Chapel near Chappel Farm

Cricket in the park

The cricket field was was located behind the Rectory, now called Goldhanger House and  beside the Maldon Road. It was always known as “The Park”. Tea was usually provided in the garden of the Cricketers Inn. The first recorded landlord of the Cricketers was in 1848, so presumably the cricket pitch dates from at least that time.

31d Cricket pitch

 

The June 1919 Parish magazine reported: 

20 men attended a meeting to form a Goldhanger & District Cricket Club covering the parishes of Goldhanger, Little Totham, Beckingham and Osea Island. Subscription 5/- and upwards for playing members. Mr. Pinhey was appointed Captain and the Curate, Rev B.H. Durrant-Field Vice-Captain.  Practice nights will be on Tuesday and Thursday, and matches to be played away until after hay time.

Before the Second World War cattle were grazed in the park and iron hurdles with wheels were used to fence off the cricket square from the animals, and for many years a concrete strip was used as the pitch.

31a Cricket pitch 1957 1

The concrete cricket strip

Other activities also took place in the field during this period, such as WI organised sports days. During the war the park and the pitch were used by a searchlight battery stationed in the village.

image017

The cricket team in 1930

After WW-2 declining support made it increasingly difficult to pay the ground rent and in 1952 when the farmer disposed of his milking herd the lease for the cricket square was given up and all of the park was converted to arable land.

 

Blacksmiths

On the Tithe map of 1841 the blacksmiths shop is shown on the south side of Head St. adjacent to The Square. The 1880 Ordinance Survey map shows a “Smiths” adjacent to The Square on the north side. William Bentall, inventor of the Goldhanger plough and founder of Bentalls Agricultural Engineers, had his original models of the plough built at the Goldhanger blacksmiths before creating his own foundry and workshops in 1795.

An early photograph shows the blacksmiths and a post office opposite the Cricketers Inn in Church St. and we know Shire horses from Bounds Farm were led up through the village to the blacksmiths shop for re-shoeing. 

The Forge viewed from the road     Emeny,  Harold & George, Blacksmiths, Linn Wilkin & Susan Bunting

Three generations of the Emeny family were blacksmiths and farriers in the first half on the 20th century. George Emeny developed the business into general agricultural engineering between the 1950s & 60s. In an article published in the Essex Chronicle in 1962 Harold Emeny recalled that the business closed down in the 1932 recession. Later he said there was a time when there was so much business that horsemen frequently passed the time in the Cricketers Inn opposite waiting for their horses to be re-shoed, and by the early 1960s the trade was “down to one or two shoes a day”.

Harold at the anvil        4 blacksmiths yard, Church St

 

Tithe barn and Glebe farm

The village tithe barn was located in Church Street next the Church and is shown on the 1841Tithe map. In the first half of the 20th century the barn was part of the Glebe otherwise known as Church Farm belonging to the Page family. The barn was a low timber framed building, with gabled entrances just large enough for horse draw carts to load and unload in the dry. 

Tithe barn, in 1974       Barn from tower in 1930s

Barn front

The barn was demolished as recently as the1970s just after the photo on the left above was taken and when it was in a bad state of repair. The early postcard photo (on the right) taken from the Church tower clearly shows the shape of the barn. It was unusually symmetrical with four gables. One reason for the entrances being placed opposite each other in this way was to create draught for “winnowing” the chaff in the days before any form of mechanised drying existed. See also… Barns Lost

Judging from early photographs and postcards taken in the first half of the 20th century Church Farm or Old Rectory Farm, appears to have been a prosperous and successful farming enterprise…

Old Rectory 1900ish postcard

Between the 1920s to the 50s Charles Page and the Page family maintained extensive fruit orchards on the land to the east side of the village and for a time produced jam in the farm buildings on their land which, together with their D’arcy Spice apples, were sold all over the country.

Page ,Frank  & Fruit lorry

Common Market policy resulted in the orchards being taken out in the early 1970s and the fields were became arable land and merged into Highams Farm. By 1974 the tithe barn was in a poor state of repair and it was demolished.

 

The Mill

The mill and maltings stood on the east side of Fish Street a few yards south of The Chequers Inn. For much of its life it was a steam driven and then diesel driven mill and  finally ceased to operate in the late 1920s. It is identified and described in Essex Windmills, Millers & Millwrights  written by Kenneth Farries and published in 1985.

Although in the past there was some doubt amongst locals as to whether it ever was a windmill, records now available confirm that it was originally operated by wind power. The 1880 OS map shows a “Goldhanger Windmill (Corn)” and the windmill was noted insurance records of 1823 in the Maldon offices of the Essex and Suffolk Insurance Company as being valued at £200 a month: “The Malting on which Mr Jacob Belsham's Wind Mill is built”. The wooden tower that appears on several early postcards clearly looks as if it was once the base of a windmill. However, steam was introduced comparatively early in 1837, so no photograph of the tower with sails is likely to exist.

 

Marine maps of the Blackwater Estuary in 1800s give the “Goldhanger Mill chimney with the Church tower adjacent” as a navigation landmark and early postcards label what is now called Fish St as Mill Lane. In 1850 Edward Quy insured a steam-driven flour mill in the parish. Cyril Southgate recorded in his memoirsMy father as a young single man had arrived in Goldhanger about 1910-1911, he was a millwright by trade, and stone dresser, and was employed by the then owners of Goldhanger mill.

 

The business was listed in 1926 Kelly's directory as “Oliver Daniel and Lewis Belsham, Millers (Steam)”, and the tower and chimney are clearly visible in the background of a photograph taken in The Square of the 1937 Coronation Children’s parade, see… Early group photos.  It was a stone grinding mill until the end and is now converted into houses.

 

image015    image025

      artist impression of the windmill in Fish St               view of the mill from the Church tower

 

image027        image029

The red brick warehouse building shown in these photographs remains as a pair of cottages

Alehouses

In the past there were several alehouses in the village as well as the Chequers and the Cricketers Inns. They were probably not licensed. The locations included:

The Bird in Hand at 15 Fish St

The Dolphin at 10 Fish St

2 Fish St (more recently the bakery)

The Black Bull at 1 Church St  (the site of the garage of No.2 Head St. and is referred to on old Deeds of this property).

image035    Beehive    Bakery

Bird in Hand                                The Dolphin                                       2 Fish St

Several reasons for having so many alehouses in a village the size of Goldhanger have been given:

o     In the 18th century there was a period when a licence was not required to brew and sell low alcohol beer so as to discourage people from drinking smuggled spirits. This was the period when Hogarth recorded scenes of alcoholism in London Streets. So the alehouses were not necessarily breaking the law at the time.

o     The Methodist community also encouraged their wealthier supported to open alehouses for the same reason. This probably accounts for why the Bird in Hand was one of the ale houses, as the Alexander family who owned it were heavily involved in the Wesleyan Chapel in head St.

o     Because the low alcohol ale made in small batches on the premises, it didn’t keep for very long, and it was offered for only a short period from each alehouse on a rotor basis. A sprig of broom was hung outside the alehouse to indicate that ale was available. So it was unlikely the businesses would all be selling ale at the same time.

o     Maldon fishermen were said to spend time at Goldhanger waiting for the tide and were willing and captive customers.

o     There was ready supply of smuggled spirits passing up Fish St. from the Creek before the coastguards arrived in the village in 1820.

There are many reports of past incidents and criminal activity associated with the local alehouses in the Early court and newspaper reports. The last newspaper reference to the Bird-in-Hand was in October 1900, which referred to the “surrender of the licence”. The roadside cottages in Fish St and Church St had shutters on the ground floor windows, said to be there to protect the residents from the drunken fishermen returning from the alehouses to their boats. The shutters can be seen on these early postcards. . .

 Church street, opposite the school 1     Church street, near No

Cottages with shutters on the road in Church St.

Cottages lost

In the early 1950s over thirty cottages were demolished in the village. They were mainly tenanted or tied properties in a very bad state of repair and were condemned by Maldon Council as unfit for habitation. Ironically, some belonged at the time to the incumbent Rector and families of past Rectors which had came into their possession as part of acquiring the Benefice. Many of the owners did not live in, or even, near the village. New council houses were built on the Maldon Road to provide accommodation for those living in the condemned properties that were demolished.

Lost cottages map

As early as 1938 newspaper articles were reporting that the council recognised that 23 cottages in the village were in a poor state of repair and needed to be demolished, but a temporary reprieve was granted in response to opposition from the tenants and the second world war deferred action for a further 15 years. It made worldwide news…

1938 - Reprieve for Fish St   1938 - Centre of Smuggling   

1938 - Threathened cottages

select articles to enlarge

Although the cottages were picturesque, they were described by the tenants who had lived in them as "damp, cold with very low ceilings and little or no sanitation". By modern standard these cottages were poorly constructed softwood timbers and lath & plaster walls. Some were built of a soft porous red brick and had no damp courses of cavities. The 1820 Tithe map lists 48 cottages in the village as "tenements", and the number of owner/occupied as just 9, most of these being the shops.

Most of the demolished cottages appeared on old postcard scenes of Church St. and Fish St. The cottages shown with ground floor shutters in Church St above were some of them, as were these…

Fish St - cottages in 1915    image041

 

Shops lost

Before the arrival of the automobile and the omnibus, in the days when a pony and trap and horse drawn wagon were the means of getting to Maldon on market day, the village was largely self sufficient with many shops. Many different shops have been identified from old trade directories, although they weren’t all in business at the same time.

Lost shops map

shops from the past…

shop1  shop2  shop3  shop4

General store in the Square              cycle shop              Head St. pork butcher                 Fish St. butcher

Over the years the post office has been located in at least six different places, but there was probably no more than one at any given time. Several general stores have been identified and they may well have been two of these operating at a time, one doubling up as the post office. There was also known to be three butchers shops, but only two at the same time, one specialising in pork. Here is a summary list (as of 2013)…

 

Street

Address

Approx. Dates

         Past & Present Business

Church St

1

early 1700s

Black Bull ale house

 

1

late 1700s

Blacksmiths & butchers

 

1

1920s to 2004

Petrol & service Station

west side

3

1920s - 1980s

General Store, newspapers, hairdressers

 

31

1880s

Bakers

 

31

1800s

Shoemakers

 

31

early 1900s

Fish & Chip shop (north end lean-to)

 

33

1800 - 1870

Wheelwrights (in the thatched barn)

 

33

1848 - 1970

Public house & bakers

 

33

1848 to present

The Cricketers Inn

 

47

1980 to present

Agricultural Museum

east side

Church Fm

1900-1950

Fruit growers, Jam makers

 

School

1850 - 1977

Church of England School

 

School

1977 - 1998

London borough study centre

 

School

1998 to present

Wheatlands Nursery

 

4

1890s -1960s

Blacksmiths & Farrier

 

4

1910 - 1920s

Post Office & telephone exchange

 

4

1940s - 1950s

Doctors Surgery

 

4

1960s - 1980s

Agricultural engineers

 

14A, Coach Hs

1960s

Pan Signs,  graphic design & sign writers

The Square

 

1575 to present

The Chequers Inn

Fish St

1

1890s  - 1900

General Store & Post Office

east side

1

1970s - 1980s

Doctors Surgery

 

3

1700s - 1930s

Mill owners house & Malters

 

9-11

1700s  - 1870

Windmill

 

9-11

1870 - 1930s

Steam driven mill

 

15

1860s - 1899

Bird in Hand, Ale house

 

15

1860s - 1899

Malters

 

15

1880s - 1900s

Grocer & Baker

 

29

1900s - 1950s

Butchers

 

Bounds Fm

500BC - 1840

Salt Makers & Traders

 

Bounds Fm

1924 - 1946

Dog & Chicken breeder

 

Bounds Fm

1920s - present

Fruit growers

west side

2

1900 - 1972

Bakers

 

2

1700 - 1800s

The Dolphin Ale house

 

10

1700 - 1800s

The Dolphin ale house?

 

14

1800s

Cake & sweet shop

 

30

1930s - 1940s

Butchers

 

30

1940s - 1970s

Taxi service

Head St

1

1830s - 1870s

Blacksmiths, Farrier & Wheelwrights

south side

3

1930s

Pork Butchers

 

3

1940s

TV & radio shop

 

15

1920s

General Store & Post Office

north side

2

1760s

Clockmaker & whitesmith

(in The Square)

2

1900s - 1970s

General Store & Post Office

6

1800s - 1930s

Wheelwrights, bicycle shop

6

1900s - 1920s

Petrol station

6

1920s - 1980s

Undertakers, carpenters, builders

6

2013 - present

Salty Dogs, tearooms & gallery

 

10

1840s - 1940s?

Police house

 

8

1840s - 1940s?

School headteacher’s accommodation

 

8

1990s - present

Homeopath’s surgery

 

12

1800s

Blacksmiths & Farrier

 

12

1850s

Carpenters & saw pit

 

12

1910 - 1990s

The Parish Rooms

Lt Totham Rd

 

1970s to present

Farm co-operative - North Maldon Growers

 

Follyfaunts Fm

1300s - 1920s

Farm

  

Follyfaunts 

1960s to 2007

Verine Products, Fireplace wholesalers

 

Falcons Hall

1300s - 1950s

Farm

  

Fruitfields Fm

1920s To present

Apple & pear growers

Maldon Rd

40

1930s  - 2000

General Store & Post Office

 

34

2001 - 2005

Post Office

 

45

1900 - 1920

General store & tobacconist

 

Barns Lost

As well as the Tithe barn several other ancient timber framed barns have been lost in the village for to a variety of reasons…

Barns

Falcons Hall  had a large timber framed barn which was demolished in the 1940s as it was in a poor state and unsafe. It was replaced just after WW-2 with a redundant semi-circular corrugated iron structure.

Wheelwrights barn  next to the Cricketers Inn in Church St. was burn down in the 1970s. It just appears on two of the early postcards of Church Street. A private house was built on the site.

Hall Farm barn  was sold, dismantled and move to Tiptree heath in the 1960s, where it remains as a private house.

The Tithe Barn  was demolished as recently as the1970s. Photos exist. Two private houses were built on the site. The beams and roof tiles were sold on.

Scotts & Motts  the barn seems to have fallen down in the 1980s but some remains are still there. A photograph of an aircraft crash on the Maldon Road during WW-2 (shown below) clearly shows several buildings in the background that were Scott & Motts farm.

Bounds Farm  barn caught fire due to an electrical fault, probably in the 1990s, and has been replaces with a modern structure.

Hall Farm barn     Bounds Farm Barn

 Hall Farm Barn before being dismantled                     Bounds Farm Barn before the fire       .

Tithe barn      Maldon Rd, Charity Farm crash

         The Tithe Barn during demolition                                 Scotts & Motts Farm and barns in the background.

Ancient barns remain at Cobbs, Follyfaunts, Vaulty Manor and Highams Farms

 

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