Serving the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet


The Amazing Essex Model House constructed by St Osythy Wood

Essex Model House
In 1955 Lady Whitmore proposed to the Committee of the Essex Handicrafts Association that a typical Old Essex House should be built in miniature and furnished to scale by members of the Association

Mrs St Osyth Wood was very much involved in producing
the fittings and fixtures.

More detailed pictures here

Boreham Manor, the home of Lady Ritchie, was proposed as an example and Mr. Martin Evans of Feering an architect approached to draw up plans.
The house has tall Tudor chimneys and an elegant Georgian facade, while the back is Elizabethan.
The rooms consist of a drawing-room, dining-room, kitchen, nursery, Chinese room, main bedroom, gentleman's room and bathroom.
The scale of the house is 1 inch to 1 foot and this scale also applies furniture and fittings.

Mr. Stiff was the builder and the cost for the shell of the house when completed was £45 - members of the Essex Handicrafts Association did the plastering and painting.

St Osyth (left) with the completed model standing in
Parsonage Hall.>>>>>>>>>

Members were asked to make furniture and fittings from 1956 onwards, and the one person who did more towards furnishing the house was Mrs St Osyth Wood.

She was in her seventies when she began wood carving.
She also made all of the tools necessary as none were available small enough and with those implements she produced beautiful pieces of furniture to scale, many of them copies of genuine antiques.



boreham manor
Comparing this modern day photograph of "Boreham Manor" to the
exhibit a great deal of external alterations have taken place

When you first view this exhibit you will be astonished at the size of the house.
It measures in the region of 5ft wide x 3ft deep and approximately 6ft to the top of the chimney

Nearly all the furniture in the house is an example of her craft, and outstanding pieces include a dressing-table in the main bedroom which has a secret drawer containing a will.

The staircase is a replica of one in the Valley House at Dedham. The four-poster bed in the main bedroom is said to be a copy of the Drake family's bed and their is a wonderful marquetry floor in the gentlemans room.

essex house

The wallpaper in the Chinese room was hand painted by Miss Russell. The curtains in the gentleman's room were hand woven in pure silk by Mrs. Brock. The ship in the bottle and guns in the gentleman's room were made by the late Mr. Landon of Galleywood.
The Essex Model House was first shown at the Association's Exhibition in 1960; it was only partly finished and furniture that had been completed was displayed in glass cases.

The furniture was installed in the house and displayed for the first time at the Exhibition in 1962. Pieces made by members have been added to the collection and are still being added each year.
Mrs. Victor Gascoigne Cecil presented a cup to be competed for annually, for an outstanding addition to the Essex Model House.

In 1998 the Committee decided to donate the house, on permanent loan, to Braintree District Museum Trust to ensure it was on display as an inspiration to future generations. One of the aims of the Museum is to keep alive the craft traditions of the past and inspire a new generation to create crafts which reflect our times.

Look at the detail on this roof work >>>>>>>>>>>>>
12,000 Roof tiles were cut from Vinyl Floor Tiles

essex house

The "Essex Model House" is on display at Braintree Museum in Essex
Link:- http://www.enjoybraintreedistrict.co.uk/

Research by Alan Beales
Acknowledgement to Amanda and Neville Hume of Sutton Coldfield for all their valuable help.
Acknowledgment to Braintree Museum for all their valuable help