A settlement has existed at Good Easter since at least Roman times. In medieval times the village was known as Gods Estre (or Gods Estate) because the majority of the land in the area belonged to the Church and so to God. The village church of St Andrew’s was prebendal, meaning the clergy were granted the means to earn an income, independent of the presiding bishop. Four prebendary farms existed in Good Easter (Paslowes, Imbers, Fawkeners and Bowers), supporting four clergymen. These were life time appointments, with the land remaining in the ownership of the church. Such appointments were much sought after, particularly for the younger sons of noble families. However these posts were scrapped by Henry VIII as part of his drive to clean up the Church (and get his hands on its resources), and in 1492 he transferred the property of Good Easter to Westminster Abbey. By 1620 the land was privately owned. Of the four prebendary farms, Fawkeners (now Falconers Hall) and Imbers (Imbirds) still exist. Bowers has disappeared, and Paslowes is now just a nettle covered mound and a ditch (probably the remains of a moat), just to the right of the 4-way footpath sign. It’s a Scheduled Monument.
More recently, Good Easter earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records for making the world’s longest daisy chain. It measured 1.32 miles and was made in 7 hours by villagers of Good Easter in May 1985.
- Top Barn
- Road Network
This barn has been here for centuries. It consists of weatherboard clad walls surrounding a central aisled hall. There are 6 main posts inside, each with oak capitals carved in a chequered pattern. The style of carving indicates it was probably done in Norman times, almost 1000 years ago. The posts retain their timber sole pads, below the current floor level. Some of the posts have been trenched to allow for bracing. The current complex of buildings forms an L-shape, with the timber frame of the west wing being added in the late 15th or early 16th century. The magnificent east facing midstrey (or gable) with its great doors was probably added at the same time. Looking at the building, I marvel. The simple yet strong design with its steeply pitched roof has withstood everything the weather can throw at it for many hundreds of years. It’s amazing to come across something so beautiful and enduring and still in use.
A local history of Good Easter was entitled: “Seven Miles from Everywhere on the Way to Nowhere”. The road network certainly reflects this feeling: with wide verges, deep ditches and some strong hedgerows, these tiny, twisty, turny lanes double back on themselves for no apparent reason and as a result, are much beloved by cyclists. Apart from the tarmac, they are pretty much unchanged since medieval times. In particular, Tituswell Lane originated as a pre-historic track through the woods, and was used throughout Saxon and medieval times, right through to the present day. The lane has been designated a Protected Lane by Essex County Council.
This article uses material from the http://www.essexwalks.com/walks/good_easter.html#page=history