Traction Engine at Builden End

This carefully posed photograph is nonetheless delightful and shows the degree of labour once employed locally, for there are 14 individuals in view. Note the high chimney stack of the engine to minimise the risk of straw fires. This is believed to be in Builden...

Traction Engines: Arthur Cane

These photos were taken on the 1st May 1928. Arthur Cane (born 1904?) worked for Drage & Kent of Chrishall working with the steam plough teams. Two engines, one at each end of the field would pull the plough by a cable turned by an horizontal cable drum under the...

Drage & Kent’s “Gyro Tiller”

This incredible beast of a machine was also known as a Diesel Rotary Plough and was made by Fowler of Leeds, who were better known for the manufacture of steam locomotives and traction engines. It was a real monster and was used for breaking up the heavy clay Essex...

Haymakers

Workmen pictured at Reservoir Hall Lane, Great Chishill c 1935. Tim Harvey is in the front row with the pipe and back row left to right are believed to be Ron Reed & Chummy Harvey. Karen Rogers of South Wales writes (July 2010): "I'm descended from Thomas Rogers...

Working the fields the old way

Looking towards New Farm, Chrishall from Chiswick Hall, these men are hoeing out the weeds. Two individuals appear to be left handed.  Notice the lack of trees and hedging along the main road which means you can see New Farm very clearly.

Haymakers with hoops

The Haymakers. The willow hoops on the end of the scythes helped to control how the hay fell once cut. From left to right: William Revell   Amos Pitches    William Cranwell    Albert Drury    Leonard Flack    Herbert Flack...

Reapers

Chrishall Reapers: Amos Pitches, Walter Webb, Timothy Harvey, Charlie Banks, Alfred Walters, Billy Barnes, Albert Reed, Fred Reed. This team was swanging charlock.  To 'swange' (pronounced swonj) was to cut off the flowers of the weed before they seeded.  The tools...

Chiswick Hall Farm Records 1945

I wonder if the owner of Chiswick Hall in 1945 realised how far his new Farm Record Book would travel in it's lifetime? To be honest he was probably much more concerned about how he (or she?) was going to fill it in and exactly what they were going to grow where in...

Plough Team 1917

A plough team from Chrishall in approximately 1917.  This might have been one of the last jobs this set of engines did with Drage and Kent as these engines were known to have been sold during 1917. They are: (Lionel) Stanley Clarke on the engine.  Then left to right:...

Ploughing, Drage and Kent 1950

Three more photographs of Drage and Kent engines in work. The largest photo below was taken in 1950 and the gentleman standing on the left is Charles Cranwell who can also be seen on the 1917 photograph here where you can also see an excellent film showing how this...

 

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.)

Recent updates to existing content:

Wenden Lofts Mill

Wenden Lofts Mill

Wenden Lofts’ Mill “Miss Nellie Smith who lived at Hamlet House, Pond Street, is shown on the photograph as a young girl on the steps of the Mill. Her family lived at Hope Farm and farmed the land round about. The Mill was taken down very soon after the First World...

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Chrishall Windmill

Chrishall Windmill

For nearly two hundred years Chrishall had it’s own windmill. It stood next to Mill House on Mill Causeway and was a post mill, probably very similar to Chishill Mill. The mill was made of wood and could be turned around a main central post so that the sails were into...

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The Royal Observer Corps

The Royal Observer Corps

The following article was written by Joe Hagger who was one of the village cobblers or shoe-makers and lived in the cottage that faces the green next to The Red Cow. (This article is published as written and the language reflects the time at which Mr Hagger was...

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