Just thought from time to time, I would like to share some of my thoughts and feelings for this part of north-east essex as I was born in a little cottage near the Strangers home Public House in bradfield in 1954. I have a love for the area and being one of the local historians, the more I delve into the history of the locality the more fascinating articles I find.
The Village sign was designed and unveiled on the Millennium fun Day on the playing field in the street Bradfield in May 2000 by a Bradfield resident, Mr. Brian Winney, on top their is an emblem which depicts the grid iron upon which Saint Lawrence was martyred, A weather vane with this design appears on top of Saint Lawrence church in the street. On the top left hand side appears the principal portion of the armorial badge of the Grimstons, that being a death helmet which was used in the funeral of the first Sir Harbottle Grimston, who lived at Bradfield Hall and was Lord of the Manor in the early years of the 17th century. The helmet was made, as was the custom in those days, and placed on the coffin from the time of death until the funeral. After the funeral the helmet was kept in the church. Special permission was sought and received by the “Rt. Hon John Duncan Grimston of Verulanium (the chief descendant of Sir Harbottle Grimston) to incorporate this part in the design. The right hand portion shows three seacs which make up the current Essex sign. The bottom portion shows ears of corn which represents our position in one of the great grain growing areas of Britain, put together, the parts of the sign remind us of our historic past, our geographically important position and especially our connection with the great food-growing industry.
Sadly the Helmet was stolen along with an oak table from the Church of St Lawrence in the Street in May 2000. Police linked the theft with similar burglaries at St Andrews Church in Fingringhoe and St Micheal`s church in Framlingham.
Police said the items were Probably “Stolen to Order”.
Sadly Bradfield Church have never recovered the helmet.