Virtual Library

A catalogue of 70+ items of literature by or about past and present

 residents of Goldhanger, together with published and unpublished material about the village.

Recent additions are marked *  Scroll down the listing in chronological order, go to the latest item,

or use this alphabetic index…

                      --------------------------- local characters and authors ---------------------

 --- places---

Allingham, Margery

Frost, Crawshay (1)  (2)  (3)  (4)

Padfield, Ann

Beckingham Hall   *

Atkinson, Revd John (1)   (2)

Gardner, Revd Frederick

Rose, Mary

Chequers Inn (1)  (2)   *

Banyard, Vysian

Hay, Linday Fitzgerald (1-4)

Rudsdale, Eric

Conservation area

Benham, Maura (1)  (2)   (3)  (4)

Hebborn, Eric

Salter, Dr Henry

Falcons Hall

Bushell, Peter

Horsley, Mary

Shuckburgh, Revd Charles

Flight Station (1)  (2)

Canning, Joseph (1&2)

Howes, Revd Edward (1)  (2)

Smith, Graham


Christian, Ewan

Jenkins, Sir Gilmore

Southgate, Cyril

Goldhanger Woods

Christy, Miller (1&2)

Key, Lorna

Tegerdine, Linda


Claydon, Beryl

Lee, Mary & Cathrine

Webb, Elizabeth (1-4)

Lt. Totham

Coe Coape, Henry (1)   (2)

Mann, Bernard & bellringers  *

White, Janet   *

Parish magazines

Cohen, Jack

Mansfield, Ernest (1)  (2&3)  (4)

Thorby, Chris  *

School magazine   *

Corina, Maurice

Morant, Philip  

Wilkin, John   *


Doyle, Paul

Moore, Tony

Wilkin, Stanley

Stone in The Square

Fitch A E 

Newman, David (1)  (2)  (3) (4) *

Williams, Revd Dr Daniel (1-2)

Study Centre in the school  *

Fielder, Karen

O Connor, Teresa

Woodward, Walter


Padfield, Peter (1&2)



Wesleyan Chapel









Register of baptisms, marriages and burials

covering the years 1558 to 1752


Location: Essex Records Office  D/P 79/1/1

(also see the 1754 entry)


About... St Peters Church







Short Arithmetick:

or The Old Tedious way of Numbering

Reduced to a New and Brief Method

Revd. Edward Howes wrote and published this book while Rector of Goldhanger.

More at…  The Revd Edward Howes


Pages: 90

Location:  the British Library






Gospel-truth, stated and vindicated

The Revd Dr Daniel Williams wrote this book and many other books while owner of Beckingham Hall and much of the land to the north of Goldhanger.

More at…  The Revd Dr Daniel Williams



Location:  This and his many other books are in the Dr Williams Library at..

14 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0AR








Register of baptisms, marriages and burials

covering the years 1754 to 1812


Location: Essex Records Office  D/P 240/1/3

      (other registers are available in ERO)


About... St Peters Church











Churchwardens Accounts Book

covering the years 1754 to 1861


Location: Essex Records Office  D/P 79/5/1


About... St Peters Church







History and Antiquities of the County of Essex

written by Philip Morant in 1758, this very large book has 6 pages of locally relevant information from that period.


Pages:  6 out of 810

Location:  Maldon Library

The relevant local pages are at... Morant extracts






Practical Discourses on Several Important Subjects

This book was published after Dr Daniel Williams death from manuscripts he left behind.

More at…  The Revd Dr Daniel Williams



Location:  This and his many other books are in the Dr Williams Library at..

14 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0AR






The Diaries of the Revd Charles Verney Shuckburgh

The Revd Charles Verney Shuckburgh was Rector of Goldhanger(1797 - 1834)  and also Rector of Langford. He is recorded to have written a diary 20 volumes long, and only one volume is said to remain in existence.


Location:  unknown







St Peters Church accounts books

Churchwardens accounts from 1862 to 1969

Church tower fund, 1923 to 1926

Churchyard fund, 1924 to 1928


Location: Essex Records Office  D/P 79/5/1


About... St Peters Church






Villa and Cottage Architecture   published by Blackie & Son.,

contains a detailed description of the then new Goldhanger Rectory designed by famous Victorian architect Ewan Christian over 4 pages of text. This are followed by a complete set of the architects plans and elevations, plus 3 impressive lithographic drawings of the east, south and west elevations.   extracts here


Relevant Pages:  7 of the 112

Location:  the digital archive, ERO I/Mp 154/1/3

                  the drawings are frequently offered on ebay




Walks and Talks Travels and Exploits

by the Revd John Christopher Atkinson, who was born and brought up in Goldhanger. His father was a curate in the village. Although he spent most of his life in Yorkshire and wrote many books, his first two were written while in Essex.

More at…    Revd. John Christopher Atkinson


Pages:  433

Location:  occasionally offered on ebay

and read on-line at…




The Ringwoods of Ringwood

by Mervyn Merriton, whose real name was Henry Coe Coape. He was a wealthy Goldhanger landowner and resident in the mid 1800s. Fifteen literary works by H C Coape, covering novels, play, operas and short stories, have been identified. The Ringwoods of Ringwood is probably his best known work.  More at…  Henry Coe Coape


Pages:  998 published over 3 volumes

Location:  reprints are available on-line

Can be read on-line at…




Maldon and the River Blackwater

by Edward Arthur Fitch, between 1894 & 1899

(there were several versions)

E.A. Fitch (1854-1912), was Mayor of Maldon in the late 1800s. He was a farmer, ornithologist, historian, antiquarian and author, and was president of the Essex Field Club.


Pages:  3 of local interest out of 100

Location:  Maldon Library + Fitch extracts here








British Birds’ Eggs and Nests

Written by the Revd John Christopher Atkinson, see above.

More at…    Revd. John Christopher Atkinson


Pages:  122

Location:  occasionally offered on ebay

and read on-line at…





Goldhanger Woods

A children’s smuggling and romantic story written by sisters Mary and Catherine Lee while staying at Tiptree Priory, on Tiptree Heath. The Goldhanger village portrayed does quite fit the one we know.

See… Smuggling


Pages:  88

Location:  occasionally offered on ebay




In a Jesuit Net, A Story of the Time of Louis XIV

by Henry Coe Coape,  wealthy Goldhanger landowner and resident in the mid 1800s. This is one of fifteen literary works by H C Coape, covering novels, play, operas and short stories. (see above)

More at…  Henry Coe Coape


Pages:  390

Location:  Originals and reprints available on-line





1895 -1940




Bound Copies of  Goldhanger Parish Magazines

A large bound book that includes a wealth of information and many articles written by the Revd Frederick Gardner, Rector of Goldhanger and Little Totham between 1893 and 1936. It also includes many parish magazine reports during the Great War.


Location:  Colchester Library, Local Studies section ref: E.GOL.1









Local Postcards

Over 130 postcards of village scenes have been found, and copies but not the originals, are held locally. Samples are shown on this website at…  Early postcards


Location:  local digital archives







The History of Salt Making

by Miller Christy, a well known Essex historian and archaeologist, and who wrote many books and articles in his time. This article is bound and preserved in the Colchester Library and has a lengthy description of the excavation of the Goldhanger Red Hill, at Bounds Farm.  See… Salt extraction in the Blackwater


Pages:  15

Location:  Colchester Library ref: E.664.4





The Goldhanger Stone: What is it?

This article was also written by Miller Christy, and is bound and held in the Maldon reference library, and includes an early photograph of the stone just resting in The Square.

Reprinted from: Trans. Essex Archaeological Society, Vol. 11, new series, Part 1, 1909.

See..  Stone in The Square


Pages:  3

Location:  Maldon Library, ref: E.GOL.913






ASTRIA - The Ice Maiden

Ernest Mansfield’s first novel has a significant autobiographical and science fiction content. The complete book is available on-line at… Astria - the Ice Maiden    More about…  Ernest Mansfield


Pages:  157

Location:  with the local archivist, believed to be a rare copy.






Northern Exploration Company Shares Prospectus

Largely written by Ernest Mansfield.

More at…  Spitsbergen Prospectus


Location:  Norwegian Polar Institute






Ralph Raymond

Ernest Mansfield’s second novel also has a significant autobiographical content, being based on his experiences in New Zealand.  See.. Ralph Raymond summary (pages 72-76 of Mansfields articles)

More at…  Ernest Mansfield


Pages:  344

Location:  copy with the local archivist, and occasionally on ebay






Northern Exploration Company “Marble Island”

Shares Prospectus

Largely written by Ernest Mansfield

More at…  Spitsbergen Prospectus


Location:  Norwegian Polar Institute








Encyclopaedia of Modern Pig Farming

Farm management information together with advertisements for the Tiptree herd of “Large Black” pigs, written by Stanley S Wilkin.

More at…   Stanley S Wilkin


Pages:  32

Location:  occasionally on internet bookshops







An English Village - Goldhanger

This delightful small booklet written by school girl Mary Horsley while staying at The Parsonage in Head St., Goldhanger. It contains several period photographs.

There is a sample in…  Ancient Goldhanger Documents


Pages:  16

Location:  digital copy in the local archives






Dr. Salter’s Diaries

Dr Salter's diary and reminiscences from the year 1849 to the year 1932 contain many references to Goldhanger.

See… Dr Salter's diaries

Relevant pages:  about 30 of the 404

Location:  Maldon Library at E.TOL.2.920, and occasionally on ebay


          No cover seen

Rifle Company and Platoon Tactics

Non-fiction, by Major Lindsay Fitzgerald Hay. Not seen.

Pages: 52

Location:  seen on eBay in the past






Goldhanger School magazine Jubilee Number

Produced for the King’s jubilee. It has 36 pages of descriptions of the village and poems written by Village School children in their own handwriting.


Pages: 36

Location:  at... School magazine

this high resolution version may be slow to open.






The History of Beckingham

This booklet by W L Hall gives the history of both Tolleshunt Major Church and Beckingham Hall and has many illustrations.


Pages: 38

Location:  the paper archives

Some of the information in this booklet was used in the creation of...

A history of Beckingham Hall






It wasn't a nightmare

Major Lindsay Fitzgerald Hay first novel while living at Folly Faunts, which was said to be semi-autobiographical.

See..  Major Lindsay Fitzgerald Hay


Pages: 287

Location:  copy with local archivist





The Terrible Hand   and  No Mean Tartar

Two novels written by Major Lindsay Fitzgerald Hay that follows on from his previous book and is said to be semi-autobiographical.

See..  Major Lindsay Fitzgerald Hay


Pages: 288 & 264

Locations:  not known







The Oaken Heart

Margery Allingham’s only non-fiction work covering a period of WW-2 between 1938 to 1941 written at the request of her USA publishers in support of the call for the USA to join the war effort. For "security reasons" the names of the villages were changed    eg Goldhanger is “Goldenhind” and there are several references to the village and the surrounding area in it.


Location: libraries and online








The Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation

Sir Gilmore Jenkins lived in Goldhanger house in the 1950s and 1960s. He was Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation and wrote this book when he retired in 1959. The book has not been seen and presumably has no Goldhanger content.

See..  Sir Gilmour Jenkins


Pages: 231

Location:  ebay and on-line second hand booksellers






An Introduction To The Birds Of Hong Kong

Written by Maura Benham while working in Hong Kong and before she retired and moved to Goldhanger. More about… Maura Benham


Pages: 97

copy with the local archivist, and occasionally on ebay








The Titanic and the Californian

Written by Peter Padfield while living in Fish St in the 1960s. Peter has since published over 30 books all with nautical themes.

More about…  Peter Padfield


Pages: 318

Location:  Essex and Suffolk libraries and occasionally on ebay







An Agony of Collisions

The second book written by Peter Padfield while living in Fish St. More about…  Peter Padfield


Pages: 204

Location:  occasionally on ebay




Pile it High, Sell it Cheap

Biography of Sir John (Jack) Cohen, founder of  the TESCO supermarket chain, written by Maurice Corina. Cohen’s of Little London Farm, which is within Goldhanger parish and his creation of “Goldhanger Fruit Farms” in Tolleshunt Major is described in chapter-7 of the book.  See… Local characters from the past


Relevant pages:  about 15 of the 204

Location:  Colchester Library, Local Studies, E.GOL, and occasionally on ebay






From Black Dog to Black Sheep - A Higham Family Tree

This booklet by JRS Higham describes the members of the family who lived at Highams Farm in the 15th and 16th centuries and includes a sketch of the farmhouse and its Crown Post roof structure.


Relevant pages:  4 of the 78

Location:  the paper archives

The 4-pages are available on this website




Goldhanger - an Estuary Village

The first and only published book on Goldhanger history, written by Maura Benham. The complete book is available on-line at…

Maura Benham Book                   More about… Maura Benham


Pages: 88

Location:  copy with archivist, many within village

and occasionally on ebay






Goldhanger Study Centre

An A4 size booklet with information for teachers and students with sketches and descriptions of the houses in Fish St. produced at a time when the Village School was being used as a study centre by St Edwards school, Romford.


Pages: 9

Location:  at... Study Centre booklet






The Story of Tiptree Jam, the First Hundred Years 1885-1985

Written by Maura Benham. 

There is much more about… Maura Benham on this website.


Pages: 56

Location:  Essex libraries, ref: E.TIP.664.83  and on-line








Byrthnoth’s Last Journey: from Maldon to Ely

A short booklet written by Maura Benham


Pages: 15

Location:  Maldon Library, ref: E.248






Drawn to Trouble - Confessions of a Master Forgers 

The autobiography by Maldon artist and forger Eric Hebborn.

The book has a full chapter about Crawshay Frost's influence on his career. An extract is in... Crawshay Frost


Location:  copy with archivist, Essex libraries, ref: 750 HEBB  and on-line





The Story of the Wesleyan Chapel in Goldhanger

A short booklet written by Maura Benham

More about… Maura Benham


Pages: 11

Location:  copy in the digital archives

and Colchester Library, Local studies E.GOL.287






A Study of the Chequers Public House

in the Village of Goldhanger

written by Janet White in the 1990s

A manuscript of an architectural study of The Chequers Inn undertaken in the 1990s. Janet had permission to access the roof space and took rare photos of the ancient beams and wattle & daub partitions, which are included in the report. Some of the information in the report was used in the creation of the The Chequers webpage.


Pages: 11

Location:  the digital archives, and here... the manuscript






Falcons Hall, an architectural study

written by Ann Padfield in 1995

A report of an investigation to identify the separate construction dates of the parts of the buildings and its wings.

See... Farms - Falcons Hall


Pages: 6 - including several plan and elevation sketches

Location:  copy is in the digital archives





The Story of Tiptree Jam – beginning the second 100 years

written by John Wilkin in 1995. This is a sequel to The Story of Tiptree Jam, the First Hundred Years written by Maura Benham in 1985. This was written by John who lived at Bounds Farm, just before he retired from the position of Chairman of the company.


Pages: 6 - including several photos

Location:  a copy is in the paperl archives






History Group paper archives

In the 1990s the local history group accumulated a filing cabinet full of paper records of village history. This was used as the basis of several history exhibitions in the village. Although now largely digitised (see the 2004 entry), the filing cabinet and paper is still maintained and the material is still accumulating.







An autobiography of and by Graham David Smith. It has many references to Maldon artist and forger Eric Hebborn and of visits to  Crawshay Frost  in Fish St.


Relevant pages: 5 of the 255

Location:  available on-line, not seen




Fields of the First

The history of aircraft landing grounds in Essex used during the First World War, written by Paul A Doyle. When the First World War began Essex had no military aerodromes, but by the end thirty one had been laid down for use by all three services. Goldhanger was one of them and this book gives its history, describes the site and has some photos. See… Flight Station


Relevant pages: 5 of the 112






The Goldhanger Millennium Calendar

A two year calendar designed by Tony Moore and David Newman covering the years 1999 & 2000, produced to celebrate the Millennium and to record village life both before and at the time. It was designed to be cut in half to create a permanent booklet. Several hundred were sold in aid on St Peters Church. See… The Millennium Calendar


Pages: 27 all with pictures

Location:  copies in the archives and around the village






A History of Folly Faunts House

written by Peter Bushell in 2002, who was the author of…

“Tracing the History of Your House”. Thsi booklet gives both the history of the building and those who have lived there.

See... Farms - Follyfaults


Pages: 9 page booklet, which is an abridged version

Location:  a copy is in the digital archives






The Early Goldhanger Memories

In 2002 Cyril Southgate wrote his Early Memories Goldhanger from his childhood in the 1930s including his recollections of being in the village during WW-2.  They are at…  Cyril Southgate's memories


Pages: 8

Location:  on this site & copy in the local archives





Digital version of the History Files

The paper archives were progressively scanned to provide a source of digitised material for local history presentations. Over several years, more than 70 copies of these files were distributed on CDs and DVDs locally and to former residents throughout the world. More recently a subset has been put on the internet (see the 2011 entry).

Pages: 3000+ (if ever printed)








Madrigal and…

Over a 3 year period Betti Webb wrote four children books...

Madrigal the Secret Witch

Madrigal's Midsummer Magic

Madrigal and the Magician

Madrigal and the Bent Broomstick


Location: available locally and on-line






Little Totham - The Story of a small village

Lorna Key wrote and published the history of Little Totham, which includes a chapter about the Revd Frederick Gardner, who was Rector of both Little Totham and Goldhanger. It describes to the Rector’s involvement with the Spitzbergen expeditions.


Relevant pages: 6 of the 127

Location: in Essex libraries, ref: E.TOT.2






Funeral of a Bellringer

A 30 minute programme broadcast on BBC Radio 3 that recalled the bell ringing life of the former Goldhanger Tower Captain, Bernard Mann. The voices of the more recent Tower Captains can also be heard.

Listen: to a short extract at... Funeral of a Bellringer

Location: a copy of the full audio is in our Digital Archives





Once Upon An Island

Written by Joseph Canning, who spent his childhood in Goldhanger and went to the village school… “It is written about places that exist and characters I knew. I grew up along the estuary and in the village I describe”. The character in the book “Horatio Crockshay Volwycke-Hoar” is remarkably like the one and only… Crawshay Frost

More about…   Joe Canning and his other ten locally based books

Pages: 480

Location: Maldon library, ref: E.823,   and on-line




Olive’s Boys

Written by Joseph Canning, who spent his childhood in Goldhanger and went to the village school. The book is assumed to be semi-autobiographical… London 1940, the Blitz in London is at its height, amid it all a young mother Olive fights against the odds keep her seven children, defying the bombs and the authorities. She returns to the village where she was born.

More about…   Joe Canning and his other ten locally based books

Pages:  308

Location: on-line bookshops








History of St. Peters Church

A small booklet on the history of the Church written by David Newman


Pages: 32

Location: on sale in St Peter’s Church

and similar information  is at… St Peters Church







The Licence

Memories of a Chequers Inn by former landlady Mary Hulbert, now Mary Rose.

More about…  The Chequers Inn


Pages: 138

Location: many copies within the village and on ebay






Goldhanger Conservation Review & Character Appraisal

Written by Karen Fielder et al, for Essex County Council. It was much criticised at the time by the village history group for its many inaccuracies. A revision was promised by was not forthcoming.

See…  The Goldhanger Conservation Area


Pages: 71

Location:  Digital archives & Maldon District Council’s website






Goldhanger Historic Settlement Assessment

Written by Teresa O' Connor on behalf of Essex County Council as part of the Conservation Area Review (above). It contains many useful maps, listing of monumental sites, bibliography and other historical information. See…  The Goldhanger Conservation Area

Pages:  50

Location:  Digital archives & Maldon District Council






Round to Midnight

“A partly true story” and “an eerily atmospheric tale of an evil spirit” written by Linda Tegerdine, who previously lived in Goldhanger and based this novel on her experience of a property in the village.


Pages:  250

Location:  on-line bookshops




Prospero's America

Written by Walter Woodward

This book refers to, and quotes, some 25 letters that the Revd Edward Howes, Rector of Goldhanger wrote to his friend John Winthop, Governor of Massachusetts in the 1600s.

More about..  Edward Howes  and his relationship with Governor John Winthop


Relevant pages:  about 50 of the 317

Location:  Google Books & on-line bookshops






Goldhanger in the Past  - on the web

From 2011 onwards a subset of the local history off-line material (see 2004) has been maintained on the web. After some initial local publicity, the material was found and indexed by search engines, and extensive local historical information can now be found by searching. More material has been regularly added.

Webpages:  170+   as of 2019

A4 pages:   1500+   if ever printed







Journals of Wartime Colchester

Eric Rudsdale’s diaries from WW-2, which have many references to Maura Benham as a young girl and friend of Rudsdale when she was living with her family in Colchester. Rudsdale's role as a curator and air-raid shelter superintendent at Colchester Castle during WW-2 gave him the perfect opportunity to record life on the home front.


Pages:  223

Location:  Essex libraries Ref: E.COL.1.940.53161  and on-line bookshops. Short extracts in.. Maura Benham






Heybridge in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

By Beryl Claydon. Bentall Engineering played a big part the history of Heybridge. As the company was founded by Goldhanger farmer William Bentall and was based on his Goldhanger plough invention, the history of the Bentall family and the company takes a major part in this book.  See.. Local characters from the past


Relevant pages:  about 15 of the 228

Location:  local book shops and on-line








Time Traveller Jamie Tate: To Colchester

A children’s book written by Vysian Banyard, Goldhanger Parish Clerk.


Location:  on-line bookshops





Ernest Mansfield - Gold or I’m a Dutchman

Biography of Ernest Mansfield, Goldhanger resident and gold prospector in the early 1900s, written by Susan Barr (Oslo), Greg Nesteroff (Nelson, BC) and David Newman.

More about…  Ernest Mansfield


Pages:  192

Location:  Maldon Library Ref: "B/MANS-622.3422092".

A short extract is at... Gold or I’m a Dutchman






A History of Goldhanger Aerodrome

A draft chapter of a planned book by Charles Marshall kindly given to the Goldhanger History Group as part of preparation for a Zeppelin Busters presentation commemorating the 100 anniversary of the opening of the Aerodrome / Flight-Station.


Pages: 24

Location: Digital archives






Goldhanger in the Past

This book written by David Newman was sold to raise funds for St Peter’s Church and the Village Hall improvement project. It was produced using material on this website and includes over 300 images.


Pages: 160

Location: now online at: Goldhanger in the Past






Life Journeys: The Wisdom of all the Ages

Chris Thorby wrote and published this book in the last few years of his life while suffering from a debilitating illness.


Pages: 180

Location: online bookshops

Colchester Library 509


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