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The Friends of Chelmsford Museums

Registered Charity No. 1106243

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Past Events

Visit to Gestingthorpe Roman Villa Site on Thursday 11 July 2019

This was an interesting afternoon visit to the museum and the actual site of the villa (scheduled as a ancient monument) which was probably in existence from c. 200 AD to c. 400 AD. The Friends then visited a 15th century building (a former guildhall which was moved to the present Hill Farm site in the 16th century) and saw a collection of agricultural implements and machinery. The afternoon visit finished with tea and biscuits.

Roman Villa

Artist's Impression of the Roman Villa by Benjamin Perkins
©Ashley Cooper


Visit to Beeleigh Abbey Garden and Beeleigh Mill on 10 May 2019

The day started with a visit to Beeleigh Abbey, the former home of the late Christina Foyle of Foyle's bookshop. The house is not nowadays open to the public but the group of 21 members and guests enjoyed wandering around the interesting, attractive and well-maintained garden. Most then enjoyed the excellent light refreshments served by volunteers in a large tent.

Beeleigh Abbey Garden

The visitors then walked a short distance to Beeleigh Mill, a Victorian steam-powered flour mill which is currently being restored by the Beeleigh Mill Restoration Group (BMRG) where they were welcomed by key volunteers. We were taken in small groups round the site and viewed the remains of the original water mill and the barge bays which made possible transport via the short tidal creek from the main river. In the steam-powered mill building, the visitors saw the original boiler, the engine and the hurstings, a mechanism that converts by means of gears the horizontal drive from the steam engine into vertical drive to power the circular grinding stones on the floor above. The guides gave explanations of how everything worked, the problems the BMRG have had to face and the considerable progress in the restoration project so far made.

steam engine

Reproduced by kind permission of Beeleigh Mill Restoration Group

Annual Dinner on 6th April 2019

Annual Dinner A


Annual Dinner B


Visit to Dedham Church and The Place for Plants - May 2018 FCM Event

Dedham Church

Dedham Church


The Place for Plants

The Place for Plants




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