Sneak Peak: Objects going into the Museum’s new archaeology display

Catherine Hammond, the museum’s Education and Outreach Officer, has been busy at the stores selecting objects for the Archaeology display in the new museum which is due to reopen early 2016.

‘I’ve been trying to find objects from all different periods of history and from different locations around the District. My aim is to show how long people have lived and worked all over this area.

As you go through box after box, taking photos, checking lists and making sure everything is recorded properly, it can be easy to forget what an incredible amount of history has passed through your hands. Its only now looking back through all my photos of potential objects I realise I took a journey through 5000 years worth of history in about 7 hours! One of the most exciting objects I found was this Neolithic bowl from Waltham Abbey. It is around 5000 years old and hasn’t been on display since it was sent away for conservation work.

Neolithic Bowl

Neolithic Bowl

Sometimes an object gives a direct link with the past when it shows what we have in common with people who lived here over 1500 years ago. These Roman tweezers used by a Roman lady to tidy her brows have hardly changed from ones we might use today.

Tweezers

Tweezers

As a horse lover, I can’t resist including something horse related, but I didn’t expect to find this ornament, made from a horse’s tooth! It dates from Saxon times and was found near Nazeingbury.

Horse Tooth

Horse Tooth

Sadly, some objects have no information with them so we have no way of knowing how old they might be or where they were found. This Axe Head is one such mystery object, but such a good one I’m tempted to include it.

Axe Head

Axe Head

My favourite find of the day had to be this Giant Mug, found in York Hill, Loughton. I happened to look in an unusual shaped box and was delighted to uncover this. After a day spent sorting over 150 objects from over 5000 years worth of history, I wished I had a mug as big as this for a cup of tea.’

Giant Mug

Giant Mug

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.

New Touring Exhibition – Mythical Creatures

Mythical Creatures is a NEW regional touring exhibition produced by Epping Forest District Museum and co-curated by students from Epping Forest College. Mythical Creatures is funded by Arts Council England and Royal Opera House Bridge. This exhibition is free to hire for venues in the East of England.

Here are some photographs from the exhibition.

The Pubs of Loughton and Ongar

If you follow us on Twitter or Facebook you may have seen our Pub of the Day campaign. The museum has a fantastic photograph collection showing the pubs of the district so we thought we would share them with you.

Here are some great photographs of some of the pubs in Loughton and Ongar from the campaign.

Artwork of the Month – Octavius Dixie Deacon

Octavius Dixie Deacon, a Loughton Artist



Goldings Hill, Loughton

Octavius Dixie Deacon was born at Bow in 1836. His father owned Samuel Deacon and Co., an advertising agency which Octavius described as the oldest in England, established in 1812.

We know very little of his early life; however, with the media contacts of the family business they must have been kept up to date with the latest events and the latest celebrities.  

Octavius Dixie Deacon married Louisa Anna Horncastle in 1868.  The young couple lived in Stoke Newington where their first child, Elgiva, was born, moving to Grove Street in South Hackney and then to Goldings Park Road (now Goldings Road), Loughton in 1874.  Their house was the first on the south side of the road and had a 200 ft long garden.  They lived there until 1888.


By 1888, the Deacon family had moved to the top of Upper Park Road.  Their new house, Kettering, had been largely designed by Octavius himself, although the project was managed by Edmond Egan, the Loughton based architect who designed the Lopping Hall.  This house was demolished in the 1980’s.

In 1998, Epping Forest District Museum acquired a collection of letters, books and sketchbooks connected with Octavius Dixie Deacon and some of his large family of nine children.

The drawings and pictures in this collection show life in a small rural village in Victorian times.  From examining Deacons’s sketches, one gets an image of a caring and loving family.  Octavius often recorded his children’s lives in his drawings and also produced sketches for their entertainment.

Octavius Deacon died on December 13, 1916.


Festive Art in Epping Forest District Museum’s Collection

In the spirit of the season we thought we would share some seasonal art work from the Museum’s collection with you.
As some of you might be aware the museum houses a great collection of art from a variety of important and renowned artists that have strong connections with the district.
Here is a little more information about them and some of their festive and season inspired art.

Walter Spradbery
Walter Spradbery was a renowned commercial artist, who lived in Buckhurst Hill. He was best known for his travel posters which were commissioned by London Transport and a number of rail companies which later became British Rail. His early work was influenced by William Morris and the New Art movement which can be seen in his exact attention to detail.

Haydn Mackey
Haydn Mackey was also a commercial artist and a close friend of Spradbery. The museum’s collection house prints, drawings, watercolours and oil paintings by Mackey showing his great skill. He has an international reputation as a painter, illustrator and war artist.

Mackey lived in the Vicarage, Waltham Abbey for a while during the 1930’s.

Both Spradbery and Mackey served together in the Royal Army Medical Corps during the First World War and both had close links to Walthamstow School of Art & Buckhurst Hill Community association.

Octavius Dixie Deacon
Octavius Dixie Deacon was a publisher, businessman and artist who lived in Loughton for a large part of his life. His work shows rural village life in the Victorian period. The museum houses letters, books and sketchbooks connected to Deacon.

Deacon Christmas card design

Deacon Christmas card design