(The following article was written by Irene Cranwell) I suppose everyone has a favorite saying, or sayings – nearly 60 years ago Richard Llewellyn was the author of one of mine.  He wrote “There is no fence or hedge round time that has gone.  You can go back and have...

Village Green 1940s

Photograph from the Bruce Drury Collection View from Church road towards Martenholme in the 1940s or early 1950s. Note the (red & white?) kerbs - was this a wartime safety measure? The gates you can see in the centre of the picture were apparently, at one...

Martinholme and The Green

Another picture of Martinholme here taken from further back near Ede Negus's cottage.  You can see how much the pond encroached on the road and also how much narrower the roads were then.

The Red Cow and brushwood

The Red Cow looking much smarter here and what looks like large piles of brushwood, stakes and poles stacked around the small shed that is now where the Red Cow car park is.  It looks like someone was perhaps running a fencing and hedging business - do we know any...

The Post Office at Martinholme

Martinholme clearly marked here as Chrishall Post Office.  Run by the Chambers family for many years, this was apparently not only the Post Office but one of the several village shops in the village at that time.  Not only was it well stocked with anything you needed...

The Red Cow in harder times

The Red Cow as a basic drinking pub rather than the lovely restaurant and activities provided by the pub today:

The Green 1920s?

The Green at Chrishall looking somewhat different to what it does today.  This postcard is undated but possibly comes from the 1920s?  It is obviously after the War Memorial was placed on the Green but I'm not sure when those large telegraph poles appeared in the...

Hicks Butchers, Church Road.

This photograph dates from, we think, around the 1930's, and shows Mrs Hedley Hicks holding one of her sons, Frank, and her daughter May standing beside the fence.  Just next door to the left you can see Hedley's butchers shop.  If you look very carefully you can see...

War Memorial

The War Memorial without railings: October 2015 World War I - 1914 - 1918 Chrishall lost eight men in the First World War and another 45 villagers are listed on a board in the Church as serving their country in one way or...

Morris Dancers

Cotswold Morris Dancers beside the war memorial with the Red Cow in the background. Appropriately, a Morris 8 is parked on the far side of the green! Premier's bus garage - since redeveloped with housing - can be seen in the photo below.


Welcome to this website about the community of Chrishall in Essex.

Chrishall is a small village on a hilltop in the very north west of Essex, close to the borders of Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire, in the East of England.   This website is particularly aimed at the local community and the genealogist who perhaps has never visited Chrishall and wishes to visualise the kind of community whence his or her ancestor came. It is run by…

Chrishall Archive Group logo

“I stumbled accidentally across some aspects of its history, and began to learn and think more about it, but then – as I studied the records – people began to rise up out of them. Where before I had seen only names on lists, individual characters began to shake their shoulders and stand up. It was as though these dead were being awakened, resurrected. They seemed close, as though they had something to say.”
(quote from In a Country Churchyard by Ronald Fletcher. Although this quote refers to Westleton in Suffolk, we hope you come to feel the same about Chrishall charcters and history.)

Events Calendar

Date and time Event Details Venue
Sunday 26th May 2pm - 4.30pm Archive Open Brand Pavilion
Sunday 23rd June 2pm - 4.30pm Archive Open Brand Pavilion
Saturday 20th July 2pm - 4.30pm Archive Open Brand Pavilion
Sunday 18th August 2pm - 4.30pm Archive Open Brand Pavilion
Sunday 15th September 2pm - 4.30pm Archive Open Brand Pavilion

Featured articles and content:

Chrishall village walks

Village Walks

If you are in Chrishall why not enjoy one of our local Village Walks? These short walks take you around the local area following an area of interest. If you want more information there are QR codes with each walk which connect with articles on the website here.If you...

Church Seating Plans

Church Seating Plans

Robert Brand, farmer, who farmed Builden End farm in the 1800s was also a writer. He wrote down everything, and what is more he kept it. Although we only have part of his collection of papers he gives us a wealth of information about Chrishall, as well as other places...

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Mr Guthrie, Evangelist

In the 1950s Mr Guthrie, a local JMVC evangelist would come to the village and hold children’s Bible meetings in the field between Wire Farm and Barleymans. This is remembered by Bruce Drury and mentioned in a document on the Saffron Walden Community Church website.

Counting the Acres

The number of Acres in the Parish of Chreshall taken from the Surveyors Papers and Accounts 1778 Arable inclosed 616 Meadow ground 167 Common-Field Arable 985 Pasture or Feeding ground 270 Total 2039

Sorting the tythes

Memorandum Jary 5th 1721

I obtained an Order from the Justices of the Peace at ye Petty Sessions held this day at Newport that the occupior of the Mill in Chrishall shall pay yearly for Tythe eight shillings to the Vicar the Mill having payed Tythe before …. whether this be sufficient but ’twas all that could be Recovered by Me

Tho: Melvill. Vicar.

Bronze Age Hoard

Items from a Bronze Age Hoard that was found between Chrishall and Elmdon in the 18th century can be seen on the British Museum’s website here.

Music in the Church

William Cranwell stoolBefore the Church had an organ, singing was accompanied by William Cranwell on clarinet, and two of his brothers, John on the bass viol and Clear on the viola or violin.

Pictured left is the little stool that William used to sit on to play his clarinet.

Spooky Tales

Spooky tales? It seems that Chrishall was the place that MR James based his ghost story “The Story of a Disappearance and an Appearance”, according to several sources including this one. A copy can be purchased from Amazon if you are feeling brave!

Bonfires on Jigneys

We used to have huge bonfires on Jigneys for Bonfire Night.  Mr Crocker would provide tyres to burn! (1930’s/40s. ER.)

Circus at Broad Green

I remember there being a circus once on the small field on the corner between Broad Green and Palmers Lane.  (1930’s. BR.)

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