Queen Elizabeth II and the Epping Forest District

On 9 September 2015 Queen Elizabeth II claims the title as Britain’s longest reigning monarch, having reigned since the age of 25.

She acceded the throne in 1952 following the death of her father and has reigned during a time of great change in technology and the transformation this has had on the world.

Queen Victoria previously held the title of longest reigning monarch.

The Epping Forest District has a number of connections with Queen Elizabeth II, including a visit she made as a Princess prior to acceding the throne.

She made a visit to Grange Farm in Chigwell in 1951 and was the first person to sign the visitor book there. The Museum is lucky to have this in the collection and below you will see her signature.

The Museum also has a collection of images showing street parties and events for Queen Elizabeth II coronation.

Here is a small gallery of images:

 

Waltham Abbey’s old schools

Below is a small gallery of images of schools and Sunday schools from our archives.

Find more images of Waltham Abbey at efdhistory.org.uk

 

Waltham Abbey Stonework

As part of the redevelopment project the museum has decided to undertake an assessment of some of the collections. One area of the collection that is being assessed is the stonework from the Augustinian Abbey Church.

The Abbey Church has a long history dating back to the seventh century when a wooden church existed on the current site. At this time Christianity was coming back to England. The church has within its collection a small book clasp which features eagles and a fish in the Salin II style. Both these animals have links to Christianity therefore it is likely this clasp dates to the earliest times in the church’s history.

Book Clasp

This church was then enlarged on the same site in the ninth century and later the Holy Cross was installed at the church.

The next stage in the church’s history comes during the time of Harold. After he was cured of a skin disease by the Holy Cross and as a response to Edward the Confessor building Westminster, a new church was founded on the site in 1060 by Harold.

Following Harold’s death at the Battle of Hastings Henry I builds a church which is similar in structure to today’s church.

The Augustinian Abbey Church was then built by Henry II in 1177 as part of his penance for the murder of Thomas Becket. The museum’s stonework collection comes from this part of the church’s history. Below are some computer generated images of what the Augustinian Abbey Church would have looked like.

The Augustinian Church was later demolished in the reformation during the reign of Henry VIII (1536) and the stonework was used in various parts of the town.

After several excavations the museum now holds a number of pieces of stone from the Augustinian Abbey in the collection which are being assessed as part of the Museum’s redevelopment project. Here are some images of the stone work within the collection.

James Paul Andre’s Sketches

James Paul Andre the Younger was a London based artist, active between the years 1823 and 1867. He painted landscapes of many English counties in oil. His work was exhibited at the Royal Academy, Suffolk Street Gallery and the British Institution. Among some of his listed works are views of Woodford Bridge, Loughton Church and Hainault Forest.

Below is a selection of images from an album of works by Andre in the museum’s collection.

The Windmill at Chigwell Row

Windmill at Chigwell RowThis Windmill stood about 270 yards south-east from the south side of Lambourne Road opposite the junction with Vicarage Lane. The first mill here was erected in about 1610. The mill was struck by lightning in 1842 and burned down.

The James-Paul André album of watercolours shows four views of the windmill, three of the mill and its immediate surrounding area, and a fourth from a distance, possibly painted from near the top of Manor Road at the junction of Hainault Road and Fencepiece Road.

Hainault Forest

Hainault Forest

For over six hundred years Hainault Forest was part of Waltham Forest. All this changed in 1851 when an Act of Parliament was passed for the disafforestation of Hainault Forest, and this led to the destruction of 100,000 oak, hornbeam and other trees. The cleared land was sold for farms. A little woodland remained to the north of the King’s Wood, mostly in Chigwell and Lambourne parishes. However, by 1900 the bulk of the remaining woodland was in the private ownership of the Lockwood family of Bishops Hall, at Lambourne. Edward North Buxton, who had played a key part in the fight to save Epping Forest in the 1870s, could see the need to secure the last remnants of Hainault Forest as an open space for the public. In 1902 he persuaded the London County Council to purchase 801 acres of land formerly Hainault Forest in Lambourne and Chigwell and Foxburrows Farm. The ‘new’ Hainault Forest which exists today was formally dedicated as a public open space in July 1906.

Snaresbrook

snaresbrook-early-moonlight

The Eagle Pond at Snaresbrook is an ancient pond that is shown on maps surveyed in 1773 (Chapman & André) and 1745 (Rocque). It was formed in the early eighteenth century by damming the valley of the ‘Snares Brook’ and was at that time called ‘Snares Pond’. It adjoins the Snaresbrook Road that runs west from the Eagle Hotel, once a coaching inn on the main Woodford Road from London to Newmarket until 1829.

The watercolour painted by James Paul André in 1839, shows the pond from the west end. In the distance can be seen the Eagle Inn. Today the east end of the pond is shrouded with trees but the Inn can still be seen directly opposite the end of the Snaresbrook Road. The Royal Infant Orphanage was yet to be built at the time the picture was painted.

‘Near Loughton’

Near LoughtonThe picture shows the head of a lane, descending into a valley, and in the distance a substantial mansion with a red-tiled roof. The most likely location from which André painted this picture is at Rolls Corner on the Chigwell to Abridge Road, looking down Chigwell Lane. The house in the picture may be the artist’s impression of Loughton Hall which had been burned down in 1836, and which was not replaced until 1876.

Waltham Abbey’s Other Churches

Here is a small gallery of images of some of the other churches in Waltham Abbey from our photographic archive.

To find more images of Waltham Abbey and the district visit our local history website efdhistory.org.uk

What will feature in the redeveloped Museum displays?

As you might have seen in our recent blogs, the building work at the museum is well underway and the building itself is starting to take shape. While this work continues the Museum team are starting to plan and select objects to go on display in the newly redeveloped museum.

Over the coming months we will be giving you a sneak peak at some of the objects will be displaying!

Our first sneak peak is the whipping post:

195-Waltham-Abbey-Whipping-Posts-and-Stocks-q75-330x500

The Whipping Post dates to 1598. It is over 400 years old. It was used to punish people who had committed crimes in Tudor times. The person’s arms were locked in at the top so they couldn’t move or escape.  They were then whipped as a punishment for their crime.

Below are some images of the whipping post being unpacked and measured for its new case at the museum.

Waltham Abbey Event Images

Here is a small gallery of images of various events in Waltham Abbey from our photographic archive.

To find more images of Waltham Abbey and the district visit our local history website efdhistory.org.uk

Waltham Abbey Houses

The museum has a fantastic collection of photographs of Waltham Abbey and the surrounding district. For this blog we thought we would share images of some houses in Waltham Abbey from our collection.

Find more images at efdhistory.org.uk

#VolunteersWeek – Backlogs and Ephemera

In our last volunteer blog update, we explained how our volunteers had been assisting staff in repacking and relocating objects at our off site collections store. Since January, we have recruited five new volunteers, from all different walks of life – some are students, some are recently retired and some are wishing for a change of career – but they all have an incredible amount of enthusiasm and diligence in common. In this blog we’ll give you a catch up of what our volunteers have been doing with us, and why they get involved in the first place!

In mid January all new and existing volunteers took part in documentation training workshop with Katie, the Volunteer Coordinator and Jill, the Collections Officer. Through this they learnt the essentials of museum documentation, and the journey our museum objects go through in their time with us.

With their new found documentation training skills, our volunteers have been assisting Katie, the volunteer coordinator, in going through our ‘recent acquisitions backlog’. This is essentially the same as a build up of paperwork, or bits you haven’t had a chance to look at, in your home, or non museum office. Our backlog ranged from a 20 strong collection of spectacles to romantic love letters.

We all swiftly discovered our favourite things to register into our collection; everyone found their own particular interest – even if it was nothing that they’d previously thought of before. Everyone learnt to spell ephemera correctly, and we all got pretty clued up on its definition – ‘Ephemera is any written or printed matter that is meant to be temporary, or throwaway. The word derives from the Greek, meaning things lasting no more than a day. Some examples of types of ephemera are advertisements, letters, postcards, posters or tickets. It’s a funny thing to collect these, but they provide a wonderful example of normal life throughout the decades.

Favourite Objects

As well as our favourites, objects hauled out of the boxes proved to be really useful and downright strange.

Since January, our volunteers have undertaken an impressive 323 Hours with us and fully registered a whopping 426 objects for the museum.

We are incredibly proud of our volunteer team, and we’re very thankful that they devote their free time with us. We recently nominated our collections volunteer team for 2015 SHARE Volunteer Awards in the Behind the Scenes Award category. The volunteer collections team has been nominated for their contributions and fantastic work during 2014.

Our volunteers have joined us for all sorts of reasons, below is a collection of all the words used when our volunteers were asked ‘why are you interested in volunteering with Epping Forest District Museum?’

Volunteer Word Cloud

Our collections volunteers are getting a bit of a break whilst we prepare our museum collections for relocation back to the new Epping Forest District Museum and their new home in our onsite collections store. But we will be starting new projects in the autumn and finding more new learning experiences!

We will be looking for new volunteers to join us, in both the collections team and other aspects of the museum so keep an eye out for adverts in the next six months.

Waltham Abbey Market Square

We often share images of the Market Square in Waltham Abbey on our social media sites and thought we would make a little gallery of some of the photographs we have.

Find more images of Waltham Abbey and the district at http://www.efdhistory.org.uk