News from Essex Hundred

Another Late Monument

Stratford Martyrs
Another late monument

Another late monument courtesy of the Victorians, put up over 300 years
after the event.  On 27th June 1556 eleven men and two women were burned at the stake at a spot by St John the Baptist Church in Stratford Broadway formerly in the Essex county borough of West Ham.

This event is just one of the chapters in London’s Metropolitan
Essex, now available from bookshops or online.

Late Monuments

The monument to the Royalist commanders Sir Charles Lucas and Sir George Lisle in the grounds of Colchester Castle.

The two men were executed on that spot following the siege of Colchester in 1648 by the parliamentary forces of Oliver Cromwell.


However the monument was erected 250 later during the Victorian era.

For more on the siege of Colchester, a copy of

Available from book shops on earth or dealers in cyberspace.

Battlefield Essex



is the eighth book in the Essex Hundred series.

  Although part of the title is called Battlefield, it is not a military reference book. In the last 2,000 years there have been a number of bloody battles on Essex soil, but there too have been several conflicts that although sometimes violent didn’t involve the loss of life. In many cases these conflicts have been hyped in contemporary media as a ‘battles’ and the term has stuck. The prime example of this was the long running dispute in the 1920s in Thaxted in what was known the ‘Battle of the Flags’. To our knowledge although there was damage to property, no one was killed or even seriously injured during this battle.

The county has been on the in front line in England since the time of the Vikings raiders 1,500 years ago and the book examines the various defensive measures put in place to deter or thwart potential invaders. Fortunately in recent times what might be called ‘foreign’ invaders haven’t set foot in Essex, although it is questionable whether the forts and other defensive measures created were much of a deterrent. During the course of both World Wars the county suffered from enemy bombings and Essex has also had its fair share of munitions factories and weapons testing facilities.

Following the end of World War II, (a hot war), a cold war commenced almost immediately and a site near Ongar became a key installation for planning the aftermath of a nuclear strike.

In Battlefield Essex as in our other Essex Hundred titles, we have done our best to record some of the memorable events, people and places that have played a key role in the development of the county of Essex.

ISBN 9780993108358 RRP £9.99

FULL CIRCLE Now available

Now available

Full Circle

The Rise, Fall and Rise of Horse Racing in Chelmsford

David Dunford

          Step back 200 years and the most eagerly awaited highlight of the social calendar was the local horse race meeting.   They were so popular that nearly a dozen towns and villages in Essex held them and they drew thousands of spectators.  However the most successful of these were Chelmsford Races held on Galleywood Common just three miles from the town centre.

The races had an attraction for everyone across the great social divide — not just the racing itself but also the many social events that went on in conjunction with it.  Horse racing in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries was very different to the sport we know today.  Organised gambling was unknown and betting was largely confined to the upper classes.

The history of Chelmsford races might have ended in the dark days of the 1930s had it not been for a local entrepreneur, John Holmes.    In 1997 he bought the old Essex Showground at Great Leighs, five miles to the north of Chelmsford.  A £30 million all-weather track was built and marked the return of racing to Chelmsford for the first time in more than 70 years.   Sadly, the venture faltered and the course went into administration in 2009. However a syndicate headed by Fred Done rode to the rescue. In 2015 Chelmsford City Racecourse held more than 50 meetings.  It also began hosting other events such as concerts, comedy and murder mystery nights – social events that echo those associated with horse racing in Chelmsford 200 years ago.

Full Circle is brought to life by former BBC editor and presenter David Dunford and packed with over 100 period and contemporary images. An absolute must for readers of local and social history.


ISBN 9780993108358 RRP £12.99 available through the usual trade outlets

Essex Hundred Publications