ESSEX-UK-L ArchivesArchiver > ESSEX-UK > 2000-08 > 0965736863
From: "Anne Major" <>
Subject: More Essex!!
Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2000 22:14:23 +1000
A lot of you have asked for more, so here it is, some myths and legends this
St. Andrew's Church was founded by King Canute to commemorate his victory in
battle on the hill where the church now stands. Though lawns surround the
church today, legend says that after the battle no grass would grow on the
'bloodstained' hill. In medieaval times, a shrine in the church was said
to bestow fertility upon women. The shrine was lost at the Dissolution,
but the church retained its reputation as a lucky place in which to marry.
The 16th century church of the Holy Cross, near Basildon New Town, is said
to be haunted by a red-robed figure. No one knows the ghost's identity,
but there is a local tradition that he might be one of the two rectors of
the church who were expelled at the Reformation. Residents claim to have
seen this ghost walking through solid objects near the church.
This is the only town outside Kent and Susex which is a member of the Cinque
Ports - ports on the south-east coast with ancient privileges. It is
described in an Elizabethan charter as being 'a Limb of the Cinque Port of
Sandwich', and on the first Monday in December a Deputy of the Cinque Port
Liberty is elected from among the Freemen of the town. At a ceremony which
takes place in the belfry of All Saints Church, the Deputy swears allegiance
to the Mayor of Sandwich; he then visits the Mayor and presents him with
fifty pence for Ship Money. This is probably a relic of an ancient tax on
southern ports to provide ships for the defence of the realm. (An Index to
this tax - 1662 I think - is at the ERO, someone like to go and look up
TUNSTALL for me please??!!)
The name of the pub, The Bald Faced Stag, recalls a hunting ritual which
took place there every Easter Monday from the 12 century to the 1880s. A
tame stag, decorated with ribbons, was released in Epping Forest and hunted
by up to 500 riders of all classes from 'dandies and dustmen' to the
'nobocracy and snobocracy', all dressed in colourful and motley clothing.
After the unfortunate beast had been hunted to death, handfuls of hair were
snatched from it face as trophies of the chase.
Legend says that as long as the tower of St. Nicholas Church stands, there
will be seven witches in Canewdon. The last known master-witch was George
Pickingill, who died in 1909; he used to extort beer from farmers by
threatening to stop their machinery by magic. A headless witch
occasionally materialises near the church and drifts down to the river.
Anyone who meets her is whirled into the air and deposited in the nearest
ditch! (Too much time in the Bald Faced Stag I think!!).
Canvey Point, Canvey Island:
On moonlit nights, a patch of mists drifts over the lonely mudflats, shortly
resolving itself, to some eyes, into a ghostly Viking. Legend says he is
one of the old Norse raiders, and is still seeking a ship to take him home.
The old village, which stood about a mile away from the present one, was
completely destroyed by fire about 500 years ago. Legend says that the
fire was started deliberately in order to cleanse the village after an
outbreak of plague. The victims of the plague were buried in a single
grave, whose site is marked bya yew tree, and it is said that on no account
must that part of the churchyard by opened. Shadowy figures have
occasionally been reported dancing about the ancient grave.
If you're enjoying this, I have a bit more I can send. I don't want to be
in trouble for being off topic, although it is all about Essex, and rather
fun I think. Be back tomorrow night,
Anne - Oz
|More Essex!! by "Anne Major" <>|