Gallery: A glimpse into the history of an Essex parish
PUBLISHED: 12:00 18 March 2010 | UPDATED: 07:35 30 May 2010
A VIEW of parish life as far back as the 1830s was brought to life at a unique historical event in Duton Hill. Historians and parish folk alike gathered at the Three Horseshoes Pub to flick through leather-bound rates books. The books were found by Andy C
A VIEW of parish life as far back as the 1830s was brought to life at a unique historical event in Duton Hill.
Historians and parish folk alike gathered at the Three Horseshoes Pub to flick through leather-bound rates books.
The books were found by Andy Cooper, a Duton Hill resident. After renting a barn for his work in nearby Lindsell, Mr Cooper stumbled upon an old box which, upon further discovery, contained the archive material.
Included in the books is the rates paid by the landowners of the day in the parish of Great Easton, with some of the documents stretching back as far as the 1830s.
Pub landlord Derek Connell, who organised the event, said: "The books had been preserved rather well, considering they had been bunged in a barn and left for decades.
"It was so fascinating to look back into the history of this aspect of the parish, and to see all this wonderful spider-writing going back 150 years.
"I'd already looked into the history of this pub and knew something of the landlord of that time, but it was nice to see two or three examples of his signature on paper, and to know how much rent he paid.
"These books are a real find for many us in the village, particularly to come across some recognisable family names.
"It's not silver or gold but real treasure."
Of the event itself, he added: "This was social history at its best."
The documents have been researched by Essex Recorder for the area, Alf Wright, and could end up at the Essex Record Office in Chelmsford.