March 2018 Meeting


Talk on the History of Harlow up to 1947

by Ryan Karolak



Resume of the Talk given by Ryan Karolak on The History of Harlow up to 1947

Ryan Karolak, curator of Harlow Museum, gave a very scholarly and interesting account of the history of Harlow covering the period up to 1947, which was much appreciated by the well attended meeting. He will follow this in September with a presentation on the development of the New Town. 

From archaeological evidence, the Harlow area has been settled for about 40000 years. The topography of the Stort valley fulfilled the needs of shelter with plenty of water and woodland for materials and food. Local tribes lived in mud huts with timber supports and thatch for insulation and roofing. The Romans built a few villas and a Temple dedicated to Minerva but did not establish a town. The Temple expanded during Roman Rule, and excavations have found over 6000 objects – coins, bones, pottery etc. Modern place names reflect many of the local Saxon manors but no local administration such as a town was established. Harlow (Haerlowe) is thought to derive from Haeg roweroughly translated as “temple hill”, whilst the Temple per sebecame disused due to its pagan past. After the Conquest, the Saxon parishes/manors of Harlow, Latton, Nettleswell and Parndon were given to Norman Lords, for example to Adolf de Merk in Latton. This became Mark Hall manor and where Elizabeth I stayed during one of her progresses. Potter Street derives from the pottery trade, and a market/fair was established about 1500 on Common Land at Bush Fair which survived many centuries. The Rev Joseph Arkwright, son of wealthy industrialist and landowner Richard, inherited the Mark Hall estate and in 1824 took up residence at Latton Priory (now the Moot House) and acquired land at Parndon in 1860. Son Loftus married Elizabeth, a noted artist, who re-decorated Parndon Hall after the couple had it rebuilt. By 1900, Harlow (ie Old Harlow) was a small village of about 2000 inhabitants, whilst the other parishes remained small hamlets. The Gilbey family leased Mark Hall in 1893 and a number of significant members were brought up there. The Harlow area remained mainly agricultural until the end of WW2.


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              Provisional Programme of Events 2019


                  This Programme is correct as at 15th Jan  2019, but is subject to change due to unexpected events.  

              Every effort will be given to notify members of any changes in good time via this web-site and via e-mail





"Carpenters and Undertakers"


The Ellcocks of Little Hadham



Felicity Brimblecombe



Wednesday 20th Frebruary, 2019


at 7:45 for 8:00pm


Little Hadham Village Hall





2019 Programme

Mon Jan 21           GR                Annual  General Meeting  & Film                                                        Members

Wed Feb 20          LHVH            "Carpenters and Undertakers" The Ellcocks of Little Hadham"        Felicity Brimblecombe

                                                                                                                                                             Introduced by Mike Smith                                                      

Mon Mar 11          GR                 200 years at Much Hadham Forge, History & Restoration               Robin Webb

Mon Apr 8             GR                The Suffragette Movement                                                               Elizabeth Eastwood

                                                                                                                                                             Introduced by Amanda Halliday

Wed May 22       LHVH               TBA LHVH booked - Members Night or Film                                   Members

Jun  TBA                                     TBA Possible walk                                                                           TBA

Mon Jly15 or 22    GR                 Evacuees at Much Hadham       (possibly 29th Jul)                         Cristina Harrison

Wed Aug 21         LHVH             The Lady under the Carpet                                                               Helen Gibson

Mon Sep 9            GR                 Restoration Bells St Andrew's Much Hadham                                 Robert Friskey

Mon Sep 22         Visit                 St Andrew's Much Hadham - Follow up to above                            Robert Friskey

Mon Oct 14           GR                 Henry Parker, 10th Baron Morley, his daughter Jane Boleyn

                                                    and the Cadaver Tomb                                                                     Philip Hays 

Wed Nov 20         LHVH             Buntingford Line, Part 5                                                                    Stephen Ruff

Mon Dec 16         GR                  Annual Social                                                                                  Members 


GR = Green Room, Much Hadham, Village Hall, 7:45 for 8:00pm
LHVH = Little Hadham Village Hall, 7:45 for 8:00pm

MHGT = Mission Hall, Green Tye, 7:45 for 8:00pm

TBA = To be Arranged