McMaster (dec) the Mount Bures historian was convinced that the centre
of the village as we know it today,
was located in a different position many years ago.
The Village today
The centre today lies between The Church and the level Crossing, together
with Craigs Lane (formerly Cracks Lane).
In Craigs Lane the oldest establish building is the Village
Hall, previously the School, built in 1873.
At the junction of Craigs Lane and Hall Lane we have the "Old
House" possibly dating back to the 1600`s.
In Hall Lane the oldest property would be Yorklettes dating back to the
1600`s or earlier,
which we know in 1857 was a Beer House and General
By the side of "Old House" once stood a Blacksmiths
Discounting the Hall
and Church, we are left with only three properties that date back earlier
Motte, Church and Hall
we associate a Church or Place of Worship being at the centre of the community.
It is feasible that at Mount Bures, this may not be the case.
The Mount was erected possibly during the Norman
Conquest and the reign of William the Conqueror, circa 1066.
It would have served no usefull purpose elsewhere in the village, as its
current location is the highest elevation in the surrounding area.
This was followed by the Church, which
is likely to be Norman and built beside the "Fortress Motte"
Then it follows that the original
"Hall" (built circa 1500) owned by the wealthy Sackvilles, would
have been erected near to the Church.
It becomes obvious that the Motte, Church and Hall, have a close association
with each other.
Ref:- Mount Bures, its Lands and its People
Now consider an alternative
site, for the centre of the community:-
The map to the left indicates a conurbation
of properties along the Colchester Rd (red)
with its junction with Peartree Lane (brown)
All of these properties date back to the 16
Peartree Lane leads south past "Olivers"
to another group of properties.
Cottage - Cottage on this land held by John Lorkin, circa
1813 Divided into two and
sold to Isaac Clover.
However, the bungalow we see today was built around 1830.
Thomas Doe recorded as miller and
shopkeeper in 1848 - was this cottage his shop ?
1947 and now the home of David and Gillian Cowlin.
At one time this was the Post Office and General Store. Even today
you can see the outline of the Shop Door at the front of the property,
where it was subsequently bricked up and rendered.
Ida McMaster published this map, detailing the area around Wythers
Farm, Elms Farm and Wellhouse Farm.
The majority of these properties
date back to the 1600`s or even earlier.
On the centre of the map lies Piotts Tye, Tye was a mediaeval name
There would have been a plentiful
supply of water as Martins Brook ( see above map) runs from this
area, down under Colchester Rd and eventually into the Stour.
The adjacent map also indicates a "Pond Field and Hither Pond
Field", surely indicating again the presence of water.
Did Martins Brook drain from these
two fields ?
One resident recall the village allotments
being in the area of Piotts Tye.
Looking more closely
at the area around Wellhouse and the Windmill, we have many properties
that have long since been demolished.
(a) Demolished semi-detached cottages.
(c) Demolished property circa 1838,
with garden, orchard and pasture of 2 acres.
Records indicate Thomas Kerrington held the property in 1627.
(f) Demolished Cottage called Scotts
Records indicate held by Edward and John Nolling 1727.
(g)Demolished property circa 1838 with one acre of land.
(h) A tenement of 8 acres of land,
sometimes called Barbours.
WellHouse:- Farmhouse built circa 1760.
However, records show that in 1577 this land was owned by Wormingford
Manor and may have had property attached.
It was subsequently demolished
around 1950, most probably the same time as the Mill.
possibly constructed circa 1811
into account there were only three properties around the Craigs Lane area,
this suggested alternative site must be worthy of consideration.
(a)Piotts Tye or "Village Green"
(b)Why a General Store and Post Office along Peartree Lane, when today
it would seem out of the question for it to be in such a remote location.
were in the local area.
(d)Why the proliferation
of houses in such a small area.
(e) Plentiful supply of water.
Acknowledgment to John Cowlin for his valuable assistance
Ref:- Mount Bures its Lands and Its People by Ida McMaster