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Mortimers & Mole End

These are fifteenth century and 17th century houses that were formerly known as the Lucas tenement. They were built on what was the market place and could have been built from the original wool hall. The property was endowed in 1444 as part of the Jeannette Childes Chantry.

The Rev. George Lisle lived here in the 1660s. He was the disestablished rector of Rivenhall. After being warned for holding unlawful meetings in the barn of Witham Place, and when a meeting was held in his home, he said that he must preach to his family and could not prevent others from coming to listen. This did not save him from spending some time in Colchester prison as a result. However, in 1672 his home was licensed for preaching. From this beginning, his home here became a Presbyterian Meeting House which eventually became the United Reformed Church in Newland Street.

 

This was another property in a serious state of disrepair in the late 1960s and was completely renovated around 1970. Timbers saved (by the Witham & Countryside Society) from the Freebourne's Farm House Barn in Newland Street, demolished a few years earlier, were used in the renovation. About this time, the Rev. Lister, a descendant of Lord Lister, the surgeon made famous by his discovery of the antiseptic principle, lived in 'Mortirners' and had Lord Lister's instrument cabinet.

Sources: Witham & Countryside Society; Janet Gyford; Cyril Taylor; Tom Henderson.

 

Text and Photographs: John Palombi and Cyril Taylor unless otherwise accredited. Illustrations: John Finch and Julie & John Denney. Translations: Google.com. Original Concept: Joy Vaughan, Witham Town Centre Strategy Group. Narration: John Rhodes
 

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