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Heritage Winter Talks 2023/24

We host five Heritage Winter Talks each year. These are free to the public and are hugely popular. Each talk focuses on an aspect of local heritage or history.

Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Each talk lasts approx.1.5 hours. There is no need to pre book.

10 November 2023: Tim Howson 

Venue: Friends Meeting House, Butt Lane, Maldon

Talk: Creeksea Place: new research into an Elizabethan mansion

Dating from the late 1560s, Creeksea Place is one of the most important Elizabethan brick houses in this part of Essex. Major renovation work in 2020 was informed by a detailed study of the building’s structure and history. A subsequent excavation by the Burnham U3A Archaeological Group uncovered the foundations of an original lost wing of the house, shedding light on the building’s original form.

5 December 2023: Tim Howson 

Venue: Tollesbury Congregational Church

Talk: Tollesbury’s Medieval and Tudor houses

In the Middle Ages Tollesbury was one of the richest parishes of eastern Essex. It hosts one of the best collections of medieval and Tudor timber-framed houses of any parish in the Maldon District, including the district’s oldest dated house. This talk will explain what we have learnt about this architectural heritage and the opportunities to learn more.  

19 January 2024: Kevin Bruce

Venue: Friends Meeting House, Butt Lane, Maldon

Talk: The Bishops of London and their Palace at Southminster Hall

Following the discovery of interesting parch marks on the lawn of Southminster Hall in 2019, Burnham U3A Archaeology Group carried out a two-year excavation revealing foundations of a substantial stone building.  Stone buildings are very uncommon in Essex and this proved to be the remains of one of the palaces of former bishops of London.  The talk describes the dig and the history surrounding this important discovery.

9 February 2024: Hilary Brightman 

Venue: Friends Meeting House, Butt Lane, Maldon

Talk: Renovating an Essex farmhouse: Woodbarns, Belchamp St Paul

Hilary is a conservation-accredited architect with over 25 years’ experience working with historic buildings across Essex and Suffolk. Her purchase of a 15th-century Essex farmhouse in 2019 provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to act as both architect and client, allowing her to renovate the house in exactly the manner she considered most appropriate and sympathetic. This talk will explain the journey she went on and the lessons she learnt.

8 March 2024: John Smith & Tim Howson 

Venue: Friends Meeting House, Butt Lane, Maldon

Talk: Recent Discoveries at 18 and 20 High Street, Maldon

Dating from the 14th century, number 20 High Street is one of Maldon's oldest timber-framed buildings. It is part only of a larger house which formerly extended over the site of 18 High Street, and for several centuries, until 1735, was an inn, the Saracen's Head. The talk will discuss aspects of the building's documentary history from the fifteenth century, including its role in the town's economy, and will set out and explain the results of recent structural investigation.