History of village told in comprehensive works

PUBLISHED: 07:59 24 May 2019 | UPDATED: 08:00 24 May 2019

Lizzie Sanders. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Lizzie Sanders. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Roger King

A history of Littlebury in 11 volumes, from the Bronze Age right up to December 2018, has been presented to the Gibson Library at Saffron Walden Library.

Lizzie Sanders is presented with a bouquet by the mayor elect of Saffron Walden, Councillor Arthur Coote. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTOLizzie Sanders is presented with a bouquet by the mayor elect of Saffron Walden, Councillor Arthur Coote. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Littlebury historian, Lizzie Sanders collated unpublished research from an earlier, single-volume book, called Littlebury, a Parish History, published in 2005.

This was created by 45 different authors. She also added material that she had collected over 10 years as local history recorder for the parish.

Two volumes describe houses in the village, including Jacqueline Towers' history of the houses in the centre over four centuries.

The oldest house dates back to the 12th century and is still lived in. Others are 16th century.

Gilliam Williamson contributed a history of the village's Holy Trinity Church as well as Saxon times and Littlebury's connection with Charterhouse.

The illustrations in the 11 books include photographs taken by villager, Jean Cowell from the 1960s and her collection of postcards.

Littlebury has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Bronze Age tools were found there and evidence of a Roman settlement.

The name Littlebury first appears in a 10th century will as Lytlan Byrig and in 1008 as Lithanberi. The parish was owned by Ely Abbey from the ninth century, and was retained by the crown after the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII. In 1601, the village was sold to Thomas Sutton and in 1603 fell to the Earl of Suffolk.

It passed between the Earls of Suffolk, owners of Audley End house, until in 1762, it was bequeathed to Lord Braybrooke. The parish of Littlebury includes the hamlets of Catmere End and Littlebury Green in the west, and parts of the estate of Audley End to the south east. The parish had a population of 869 at the 2011 census.

At the presentation, Mrs Sanders received a bouquet of flowers from the mayor elect of Saffron Walden, Councillor Arthur Coote.

She told the Reporter: "Initially I began to put the material in order for a Littlebury recorder who would come after me, but then it just grew.

"The volumes are now available as reference books in the Gibson Library. I'm delighted that they are kept there and that people are already visiting to look through them."

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