Imperial Cleaning

Clare, Suffolk

Individuals could commission a few pictures of themselves with family, or as this illustration shows, a new object of pride to the owner. Haverhill and Stradishall had their martyrs while much larger Bury did not.

Who Are Ofsted?


Tradition is strong that the Clares had staged an assassination. King Henry I was crowned three days later. He joined the revolt against the king but later returned to support him. Richard de Clare, 3rd Earl of Hertford and his son Gilbert were two of the 25 barons appointed as guardians to Magna Carta of Richard married the heiress of the Earl of Gloucester , whose sister had been the first wife of King John.

Gilbert de Clare, 4th Earl of Hertford inherited the title and vast estates of the Earl of Gloucester. It was his son, Richard who brought the Augustinian Friars to Clare to found the mother house in England in He sided with Simon de Montfort and attended Montfort's Parliament , but then fell out with Montfort and fought alongside Prince Edward at the Battle of Evesham , when Montfort was killed.

He surrendered his lands to the king and was re-granted them. He held land in 26 English counties and also estates in Wales, including Caerphilly, Usk and Tintern.

This era represented the high point of the family as a major force in English history. On his death in , his wife Joan remarried one of his household knights and began new works at Clare Priory. She was buried in the Chapel of St Vincent which she herself had founded in The funeral was one of the major public events in Clare's history, attended by royalty and nobility, including her brother King Edward II.

Of the many miracles wrought by God's grace through her were especially Her son Gilbert was the last male de Clare. At the battle of Bannockburn in , he was accused of cowardice and treason when he recommended holding the better ground rather than attacking Bruce 's densely packed pike walls.

Against his better judgement he led the charge and was killed. One of Gilbert's daughters, Elizabeth de Burgh eventually came into the property of Clare. He was assassinated in Carrickfergus in by his Irish cousins. Chaucer the poet was at one time a page to him.

After Elizabeth's death in , he married the Count of Milan's daughter. There were wild rumours he was about to become King of Italy, but he died near Pavia a few months after his marriage. Following his last wish, his heart and bones were brought back to Clare for burial beside his first wife.

The estate passed into the hands of the Mortimers, the Earls of March. The castle began to fall into disrepair from this time. The last descendant was Edward V , one of the two Princes in the Tower. Henry VII took over Clare borough and manor. From the time of his birth, he was second in the line of succession to the throne , but he did not become king because he died before his father and his grandmother, the Queen. He had agreed to be the patron of the Royal Clarence Lodge of the Freemasons in Clare but died in before he could attend the opening ceremony.

At its height in Elizabeth de Burgh's time the castle offered substantial employment, perhaps persons not counted amongst the townspeople. The manor's home farm provided the bulk of basic foodstuffs from the pastures and meadows plus fruit from the orchards of pear, apple and cherry.

Within the castle grounds, there were fishponds, a horse driven mill, woodyard, a vineyard, kennels, a dovecote and a swannery. There were forges, both for weaponry and farming implements. She had her own potters, carpenters, goldsmiths and embroidery studio.

She hired copiers to create masterpieces on vellum. Above all there were the brewhouses and bakeries producing great quantities of ale and bread. In one year the accounts show wheat for , loaves and malt for 40, gallons of ale.

The castle had one principal gateway, a substantial buildings in its own right, now gone — only the name Nethergate or Bottom Gate survives.

There were several towers aside from the keep; we know their names: Auditor's, Constable', Oxenford and Maiden's, but not their locations.

Beautiful gardens were laid out. There were flint paths, seats, a glass aviary, fountains, a deer enclosure and a lion house keeping exotic animals was the fashion. After her death in , the castle became increasingly unused. By the s it had been largely abandoned. In the C17, it is described as 'nothing but lamentable ruins upon a most beautiful situation'.

Early in the plague reached East Anglia. Yet the Court Rolls of the Borough do not show the same pattern: The Wentford fair was held as normal. Elizabeth de Burgh's castle records have no mention of the plague nor show any fall in the day-to-day activities.

Local people organised themselves into guilds, not for mercantile or craft purposes, but as religious fraternities, dedicated to assisting the poor, praying for dead members, contributing to the church and priory. We know of five in Clare: Guilds began before the Normans; one of the oldest recorded was in Glemsford , the Fraternity of the Clerks, founded around The eponymous college in Cambridge was founded by a guild, in response to the decimation of the Black Death.

This event seems to have concentrated people's minds on their heavenly prospects. By prayer and acts of charity carried out in the guild's name rather than personally , a guild member hoped to ensure a swifter passage for himself and his family through purgatory to heaven. By the time of Henry VIII, most areas of England had as many as 50 public holidays holy days a year on which no one worked. The guild whose feast day it was would hold a solemn procession and celebrate mass in the church.

They would then provide entertainment such as mummers or miracle plays and food for the poor of their community. The Guild of St John put out casks of ale: There was a guildhall in the town, opposite the church, probably shared by different guilds. Elsewhere, as in Lavenham , each guild had its own building, but Clare seems less well endowed. The C14 building still stands, now a doctor's surgery; fine old beams may be seen in the waiting room.

As elsewhere there are scanty records as all religious guilds were suppressed under an Act of Parliament in and their properties and assets seized. This Act also forbad the worship and representation of saints and masses for the dead. Public holidays holy days on which a guild would provide food for the poor and entertainment such as mummers or miracle plays all stopped at the same time, along with feast day markets. The annual market at Wentford, a noted regional event held on the Feast of Nativity of the Virgin Mary 8 September disappeared.

This suppression and its effect on the social and religious life is described as the Stripping of the Altars. During the medieval period Clare became a prosperous town based on cloth making. The trade was already present by the 13th century, steadily expanding as demand grew. By the s Suffolk produced more cloth than any other county. Broadcloth was the main product, somewhat coarser than Harris Tweed , prickly to the skin, odorous when wet. Flowing water was essential for the purpose of fulling — so production concentrated on locations along rivers such as Clare, Cavendish, Glemsford and Sudbury.

Many houses in Clare had cellars through which culverts were led. Merchants gathered in convoys for safety to convey the goods to Calais then an English possession.

Several locations in Suffolk were known as collection points — one of these is Callis Street in Clare, just north of the parish church, variously named Calais or Chalyce Street. Clothiers organised and financed the industry, putting out work across the town, supporting road maintenance, providing alms to the poor, embellishing the priory and church, building substantial houses for themselves. At the same time as the major disruption to the social and religious life of the townspeople took place in the s, the introduction of the spinning wheel and the importation of newer fabrics from the continent led to a fall in the manufacture of broadcloth.

Clare recovered some of its industry in the late 16th century, by taking up what is called the 'New Draperies', lighter and cheaper cloths called 'bays and says'. A say was a fine durable cloth, made entirely of wool with a texture resembling serge'. At the close of the 16th century, Sir Robert Jermyn described Clare as ' From the relative boom of the 16th century, Clare suffered a gradual decline as a leading town in West Suffolk. For a while in the 17th century, it retained some status as a transport and distribution hub, lying on a major highway into London.

Hostelries were set up and warehouses occupied a key role in the economy. Trade was diverted as the Stour became navigable as far as Sudbury in The handloom weaving industry was gone by the s; the last weaver died in , aged Straw-plaiting for ladies' bonnets, a local cottage industry, disappeared as fashions changed. After an agricultural boom in the Napoleonic wars, farmers were hit by falling prices; many labourers were laid off.

Opposition to newer technology appeared in Clare and surrounding districts in and four local men were gaoled after being convicted of burning a threshing machine.

Harvests were again terrible in and , followed by the Swing Riots. The Long Depression — caused many families to move away from the town. Daniel Defoe in A tour thro' the Whole Island of Great Britain 4th edition said that Clare was "a poor town and dirty, the streets being unpaved. But yet the civil and spiritual courts are held at it and it has a good church; it shows still the ruins of a strong castle, and an old monastery.

It has a manufacture of says…". He also describes great droves of turkeys being taken to Colchester from Clare, to 1, birds at a time.

There are listed buildings in Clare. There are three Grade 1 religious buildings: The Ancient House, which has florid pargeting , is in part a museum, in part available as a holiday-let through the Landmark Trust. Most of the later houses are constructed in Flemish bond , but there is one example of a rat trap bond in Station Road. Some of the weavers' cottages had cellars through which water ran for fulling their cloth. The heart of the town is a conservation area, one of 35 recognised by St Edmundsbury Council.

A full appraisal of buildings was carried out in within the conservation plan. Suffolk has no natural building stone. Buildings are mainly of timber, usually oak beams with wattle and daub infill, or brick.

Brickyards abounded in Suffolk. Clare had its own brickyard in the 19th-century, run by the Jarvis family. Examples of brick from Gestingthorpe and Ballingdon can also be found, both Suffolk whites and reds. Flint is used as an infill or in walling. Where stone is found it was largely imported from Barnack , near Peterborough. This was transported along the Fenland waterways and brought into Suffolk, either overland from Cambridge or possibly by sail to Manningtree and then up the Stour.

Parts of the inner and outer baileys still exist. The castle is part of the Clare Castle Country Park which has the distinction of containing the only now decommissioned railway station built within a castle in the UK. The complex of stationmaster's house, ticket and parcels office, waiting rooms, platforms and goods shed has been listed, as the only complete set of GER buildings to survive intact.

The Stour Valley Path crosses the park. Crossing the Stour en route to Ashen is a three span cast iron bridge, built when Clare was on a main highway between London and Bury St Edmunds. It was Sir William Cubitt 's second design for a bridge. The date of completion can be seen above the central arch.

Later they supplied the new railways across East Anglia. In good condition, the bridge is Suffolk's oldest iron bridge still in use. While in Clare, he lived in the Ancient House. In the past, Quakers were strong in the area and had their own building by , a cottage at the north foot of the castle motte. The then owner of the castle and priory, Captain Charles Barnardiston was a Quaker.

He and his fellows were prosecuted for his beliefs and 'was debarred of the use of their meeting-house, and obliged to meet in the street during the cold winter, where they received much personal abuse'. The oldest religious building in Clare still existing is the Norman chapel of St Mary Magdalene, dated c At the time of the dissolution of guilds and chantry chapels in , the priest worked in Clare parish church and also in the grammar school. It was converted for domestic use.

In the Civil War it was used as a powder magazine. Today it is called Chapel Cottage; remains of Norman windows, a bellcote, timber framing and an arched doorway are visible. As the Great Eastern Railway Company did not offer workmen's fares, the town's development was of a middle-class character. Much of the housing in Loughton was built in the Victorian and Edwardian eras , with significant expansion in the s.

In the north-east is a post-war development being one of the London County Council's country estates. Built with the express purpose of co-locating industrial, retail and residential properties to facilitate supported re-location of London families affected by war damage within the Capital.

Located within Debden's industrial estate is the former printing works of the Bank of England ; in the printing works were taken over by De La Rue on their winning the contract to print the banknotes. The headquarters of greeting card company Clinton Cards and construction firm Higgins Group are also located within the Debden Industrial Estate.

In , electronics firm Amshold announced their intention to move the group's headquarters to Loughton from Brentwood. They moved to a site in Langston Road; in , their property company Amsprop converted a headquarters building next to the Town Council offices in Rectory Lane.

In Loughton featured in the ITV1 programme Essex Wives , a documentary series about the lives of some of the nouveau riche who have resided in the Essex satellite towns of London since the s. The series propelled Jodie Marsh , one of its featured characters to fame. Journalists' use of the term "golden triangle" to describe the towns of Loughton, Buckhurst Hill and Chigwell for their propensity to attract wealthy footballers, soap-opera actors and TV celebrities as residents derives from this.

Loughton is bounded by Epping Forest to the west and the Roding river valley to the east. After the Epping Forest Act of prohibited any further expansion of the town into the forest, the forest and the river have formed two natural barriers constraining any expansion westwards or eastwards, and consequently most of the growth in the last years has been through infilling and construction of new housing estates to the north and south of the old town centre, plus the purpose-built suburb of Debden to the north-east.

The Roding valley is somewhat marshy and the river is prone to flooding, so construction close to the river is very limited and the majority of the land around it has been designated as a nature reserve or left as open space parkland. The M11 motorway that follows the course of the Roding along this section of its length is built on raised banks or flyovers , to avoid potential problems with flooding. The highest parts of the town are the roads that border the forest's edge; from the green outside the Gardeners Arms pub near the junction of York Hill, Pump Hill and Baldwins Hill there are views of London, south-west Essex, Kent and Surrey.

From here, on a clear day, there is a panoramic view of London landmarks and the North Downs beyond. There are numerous other fine views from different parts of the town, including one roughly at the junction of Traps Hill, Borders Lane, Alderton Hill and Spareleaze Hill, and another on Spring Grove and Hillcrest Road.

In the valley between these two hills flows Loughton Brook, which rises in Epping Forest near Waltham Abbey and flows through the forest and Baldwins and Staples Ponds before traversing the town and emptying into the Roding. There are several distinctive neighbourhoods in Loughton mostly identifiable by the building types incorporated during their development:. Between and 31 March policing and crime prevention was provided by the Metropolitan Police.

From 1 April responsibilities were transferred to the Essex Police. Telephone numbers in the town have the London area code. Loughton Town Council was established in The Town Council consists of 22 councillors representing 7 wards, elected for a four-year term. The Town Council started off in temporary accommodation, but in moved to offices on the newly constructed Buckingham Court in Rectory Lane.

In , the council moved to the newly-redesignated Loughton Library and Town Hall in the town centre. At district council level, Loughton is represented by two councillors from each of the 7 wards, elected for a four-year term. Loughton has been part of the Epping Forest parliamentary constituency since its creation in Loughton is home to the East 15 Acting School.

East 15 grew from the work of Joan Littlewood 's famed Theatre Workshop. Regular productions are staged at the theatre, which was named after Harry H. Corbett — , himself a Theatre Workshop member and benefactor of East The theatre building is actually a converted medieval flint barn from Ditchling , Sussex which was dismantled and rebuilt in Loughton.

His son, Giles born , also an actor, was born there. Actress Jane Carr born , best known for her role as "Louise Mercer" in the American version of the sitcom Dear John from to , was born in Loughton. Amateur drama is performed mainly at Lopping Hall. Performances are from Loughton Amateur Dramatic Society, founded in , which until alternated with those from the now-defunct West Essex Repertory Company, founded in Lopping Hall served as Loughton's town hall and was the venue for most of the parish's social — and especially musical - activities during the early 20th century.

There are ambitious plans by the Trustees for the building's restoration. Loughton's classical music scene dates back to the late 19th century, when there were regular concerts by the Loughton Choral Society in Lopping Hall under the redoubtable conductorship of Henry Riding.

Today, performances are mainly at two venues: Loughton Methodist Church hosts the annual Loughton Youth Music Festival, which showcases talented pupils from local schools and colleges. John's Church festival choir undertakes extensive overseas tours, and in turn hosts well-known soloists, chamber and operatic groups.

The hymn writer Sarah Flower Adams — lived with her husband William Bridges Adams — at a house called 'Sunnybank', demolished in and replaced by No. Sarah's most famous hymn was " Nearer, My God, to Thee ", apparently written at Loughton in , while William, a locomotive engineer, was the inventor of the fishplate used to connect rail tracks.

Loughton is also home to the National Jazz Archive see below , which hosts occasional jazz performances. Gladys Mills — , a well-known music-hall pianist who performed as " Mrs Mills ", lived in Roding Road from , and upon her marriage in , in Barncroft Close until Loughton Ladies Choir gives regular afternoon concerts in the Epping Forest area. Epping Forest Brass Band, founded in , also has regular concerts in the Epping Forest area, and competes in national competitions and exhibitions.

Loughton Cinema had a resident ladies' band during the s. Music at the LMC is a series of concerts given by visiting artists in the winter months. Loughton also has its own music academy the 'Loughton Music Academy' founded in to cope with the growing demand for music in the area. Performances are with full ochestral participation. The 'Community Music Initiative'or CMI is a charitable project led by the LMA which provides music lessons for schools in the area who do not benefit from musical facilities.

In the s, Loughton was home to the Pollards Operas, outdoor operatic performances in the garden of a large house. These were directed by Iris Lemare — and produced by Geoffrey Dunn — , a prominent impresario, actor and cinematographer, and included several first British performances of operas. Loughton Operatic Society, founded in , is one of the oldest arts organisations in Essex, and still stages regular musicals and operas at Lopping Hall.

Loughton School of Dancing, which meets at Lopping Hall, encourages the town's younger talent. Harlow Ballet, which stages full-scale amateur ballet productions at Harlow Playhouse, also recruits in the area. The proximity of Epping Forest has made Loughton a magnet for artists for many years.

The sculptor and painter Sir Jacob Epstein — lived at 'Deerhurst' between and , after having rented no. From to , William Brown Macdougall , artist, and his wife, the author and translator, Margaret Armour, lived in Loughton. There is a thriving Loughton Arts Club, and there are frequent exhibitions by contemporary local artists and photographers at Loughton Library. Early cinematic shows took place in the Lopping Hall.

A purpose-built Loughton Cinema was opened by actress Evelyn Laye on 9 October ; designed by local architect Theodore Legg, it could seat This was later reduced to The cinema was renamed the Century in , and closed on 25 May , and has since been demolished and replaced by shops. In July Loughton Town Council organised a screening of An Education , the first film screening in Loughton since the closure of the cinema, and its success prompted the formation of the Loughton Film Society in September to redress the lack of a local cinema.

George Pearson — , a pioneering director and film-writer in the early years of British cinematography, was headmaster of Staples Road Junior School, Loughton — Charles Ashton — c. He starred in more than 20 films between —29, including the first film version of The Monkey's Paw , and Kitty , based on Warwick Deeping 's novel of the same name.

Several films have been set in the Loughton area, including the TV movie Hot Money , based on real events at Loughton's Bank of England printing works. As with the visual arts, Epping Forest has long attracted and inspired writers. Lady Mary was an author of considerable repute in her own right, and her book Urania is generally regarded as the first full-length English novel by a woman.

Anthony Trollope — who lived for some time at nearby Waltham Cross , set part of his novel Phineas Finn , which parodies corrupt electoral procedures, in a fictitious Loughton. Robert Hunter , lexicographer and encyclopaedist built a house in Loughton, and there compiled his massive Encyclopaedic dictionary.

Best known as the author of the short story The Monkey's Paw. Jacobs also wrote numerous sardonic short stories based in 'Claybury', a thinly veiled fictionalisation of Loughton. Rudyard Kipling — stayed as a child at Goldings Hill Farm. Inskip an Evening News journalist who also wrote three novels amongst other translation work, lived in the town until her untimely death at the birth of her daughter.

Both were buried at nearby High Beach. Hesba Stretton was the pen name of Sarah Smith; her novels about the street children of Victorian London raised awareness of their plight. Horace Newte lived at Alderton Hall and the Chestnuts:


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