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.


Hadhams logo

              Provisional Programme of Events 2019


                  This Programme is correct as at 12th Sep 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









Hertfordshire's Link to the 


Slave Trade




its Abolition



                                                                          Replaces talk on Baron Morley and the Parker Family 

 as Speaker had to postpone due to illness


Monday 14th Oct 2019



Meet 7:45 for 8:00pm at 


                        Green Room, Much 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 -  Hertfordshire Connection                   Elizabeth Eastwood

                                                                                                                                                             Introduced by Amanda Halliday

Mon May 20         Walk               A Walk around Braughing - Meet Braughing Ford 7:00pm               Led by Sheila White

Mon Jun 10           GR                 History of "Timing by the Sun"                                                         Mike Clark                                                                                   

Mon Jly 29            GR                 Unpacking the Evacuee Story in the Hadhams                          Cristina Harrison

Wed Aug 21         LHVH             The Lady under the Carpet                                                               Helen Gibson

Mon Sep 9            GR                 Restoration of the Bells St Andrew's Much Hadham                       Robert Friskney

Mon Sep 23         Visit                 St Andrew's Much Hadham - Follow up to above                           Robert Friskney

                                                    Meet at the Church at 7:00

Mon Oct 14           GR                 Film on Hertfordshire's Link to the Slave Trade                               A replacement for  Philip Hays

                                                    Philip has had to postpone his talk due to a sudden medical emergency 

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

Walk = Meet @ Braughing Ford 7:00pm

Visit to St Andrew's Church 23 Sep meet at the Church 7:00pm




 Provisional Calendar of Events 2020



Mon 13th Jan         GR              Annual General Meeting                                                          Members

Mon 10th Feb         GR             History of Stansted Abbots                                                      Linda Gifford

Mon 9th Mar          GR              Puritans, Pilgrims and Presidents

                                                 US and Hertfordshire Connections                                          Elizabeth Eastwood

Mon 13 or 20 Apr   GR             Provisional date for talk on the Doll Family                              Jerry Browne

Mon 11 May           GR             Provisional date for "Time Team" Talk                                      Bob Read

Mon 8 or 15 Jun     GR             Provisional date for follow up walk in Hatfield Forest               Bob Read

Mon 7 or 14 Jul      GR             Possible day out in St Albans                                                   Jerry Browne

Mon 11 Aug            GR             Free at Present

Mon 14 Sep           GR             Growing up in Harlow                                                                Janine Wignall

                                                 Working at Beecham Harlow                                                     Mike Clark

Mon 13 Oct            GR             Provisional date How to get started on Military History             Jerry Browne

                                                on possibly 2021

Mon 16 Nov           GR             Buntingford Line (Continue)                                                      Stephen Ruff

Mon 15 Dec           GR             Annual Social                                                                            Members



It is hoped to firm up this programme during September.

Jan, Feb, Mar,Sep, Nov and Dec are all arranged as at Sep 12.