Woods in Downer Road North Thundersley

Downer Road North

Michelle Harvey has contacted the Hadleigh & Thundersley Archive seeking information about the bulldozing of some of the woods in Downer Road North Thundersley back in 1984.

Michelle would be grateful to know if this resulted in any legal action and, if so, for any details regarding any eventual prosecution and whether there is any written information confirming this; e.g. newspaper articles.


Terry Barclay (Archive Editorial Group)

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  • Castle Point Council SHLAA Review 2014

    Within archaeological zone. Site relatively undisturbed with potential for archaeological interest. Should consider archaeological investigation prior to submission of any planning permission.

    [SHLAA = Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment – Ed]

    By keith little (19/02/2015)
  • Thank you for your reply. Any history on this land is appreciated

    By Michelle (18/02/2015)
  • I wonder if this is connected to a request from Keith Little last November, to which this was part of my reply:
    I have written a history of the area which is about to be published by the Hadleigh and Thundersley Community Archive. So any help I can give will be historical; others are far more knowledgeable about flora and fauna than me.
    I believe your area is bounded by Downer Road North, Chesterfield Avenue, Church Road and Thundersley Church Road? Or do you go north to the curve of Church Road? The land probably once belonged to Thundersley Hall, which has recently changed hands.
    I know nothing of a raised feature in the woods, which would be most interesting to explore, but the ridge is to me of great interest. The very name Thundersley harks back to Saxon times when gods like Thor and Odin were worshiped. It is Thor who left his name at Thundersley, but very likely that relates to on an earlier Roman site. The various reports and rumours of sightings of Roman mosaics, a bath house in Church Road east of your woods, etc. still have not been confirmed by archaeology. It is, however, quite feasible that a skull-like stone by the south porch of St Peter’s was once worshiped by Romans. Stacked-up stones found during churchyard burials have been identified by the British Museum as probably denoting a Roman gateway.(There is definite Roman archaeology further to the east, north of St Michael’s and south of the Arterial Road).
    The high ground and it’s fine views would have been a considerable attraction in a flat landscape. Later Saxons would have worshiped in a grove or by a large spreading tree. Christian missionaries sought out such sites and built churches on them, usually dedicated to St Michael, vanquisher of evil, i.e. Saxon gods.
    Oh, for permission to do some real archaeology up there and below in your woods.
    As part of Rayleigh estates, both Thundersley and Hadleigh had their Royal hunting grounds status once and kings stayed in all those places.
    Early last century Coombe woods were carved up into building plots – there will be a map in my book.
    This may have no bearing on your request at all and it certainly adds nothing to your 1984 question, in which case I humbly apologise.
    Kind regards,
    Robert Hallmann

    By Robert Hallmann (31/01/2015)

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