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
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
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
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.
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.
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
The "Essex Model House"
is on display at Braintree
Museum in Essex
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