Druggles & Struggles
Just in front of the Church is an early sixteenth century timber framed house with cross wings at each end. Nos 26-28 Chipping Hill are vernacular houses of typical Essex cross-wing form. No 26 is a mid-fourteenth century hall and cross-wing. No 28 is a late fourteenth century or early fifteenth century cross-wing which originally served a now demolished hall.
They were built as a single house around 1500 which was later divided into three dwellings but eventually returned to being a single dwelling. They would originally have been an encroachment onto the green, as were a row of cottages in front of this building which were demolished in the 1930s. The workmen got a bonus for making the site presentable in time for an important wedding, which they did by spreading the rubble on the green to form a new drive to the church. The original drive past the houses going down top The Old Forge has now grassed over.
The postcard view below shows the cottages with the lost cottages in the foreground.
Sources: Janet Gyford; Tom Henderson.