At Work

For many years Chrishall was solely an agricultural village with farming providing so much of the work.  However up on the hill top you also had to be fairly self-sufficient with the nearest towns of Royston and Saffron Walden each five miles away in opposite directions.  So as well as the farms you find local business: shops: bakers, butchers, post office and telegraph office; somewhere to get your boots made or mended.  Those trades connected with farming such as the wheelwright, blacksmiths and farriers, a horse breeder and rabbit breeder too. There was a coal merchant and at one time the windmill to grind the grain produced from the fields.

As transport developed so did the village businesses so we see garages and bicycle shops appearing.  And one of the larger business to run from the village, Drage and Kent with their traction engines.  And coming to more modern times the bus station and haulage businesses.

In this section of the website we look at Chrishall at Work.

Click on a photograph or article title to read more.

Chishill Well and a local water diviner

Chishill Well and a local water diviner

While rummaging through a file of articles recently I found this fascinating article about the digging of Chishill well. We don't know where the well was, or where Twelve Acres was for that matter. Someone must know?? We also don't know the name of the water diviner...

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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 three 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...

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A period of unrest leads to road improvements!

A period of unrest leads to road improvements!

1830 Wheat 64s 3d per quarter. A changeable summer. Accounts of the harvest vary, some recording a good harvest and some estimating it as less than average. Blizzards in mid-January and severe frosts in February, March was fine, warm and excellent for sowing. July was...

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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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Chrishall at work

Chrishall at work

Trying something a little new for you today - a flip book of some "Chrishall Industry".  Give it a moment or two to load, particularly if you are on a slow connection.  

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Traction Engines: George Swann

George Swann was another of the Drage & Kent drivers.  While he didn't live in Chrishall he worked with many of the men who did of course. Summer 1928 - George Swann driver, aged about 16 These photographs are kindly reproduced with the permission of Clive Flack...

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Ploughing, Drage and Kent 1950

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...

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Plough Team 1917

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:...

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