Welcome to the website of Titchmarsh History Association

Titchmarsh is a village with an enormously rich history. There is evidence of Roman remains in the parish although the village itself is of Anglo-Saxon origin. For most of its history it was an agricultural community but today few inhabitants work on the land.

From a peak population of nearly a thousand, it is today home to about 700 people. Its current size, however, belies the significant part that it has played in the history of Britain. The Lords of the Manor have included no fewer than three Lords Chamberlain: and people from the village played key roles in major events such as the Wars of the Roses, the Gunpowder Plot and the English Civil War. The most famous son of the village is John Dryden, the first poet laureate who grew up here.

Titchmarsh History Association was formed in 2012, and comprises a dedicated team of volunteers who are committed to preserving the history of the village. We are keen to find out as much as we can about the local heritage and to make our findings available to anyone who shares our interest in the people and events that have shaped the village as it is today.

Our work entails a range of activities including:

  • Undertaking research into different aspects of our history.
  • Keeping the story alive by, for example, giving talks, mounting exhibitions, leading guided tours and publishing articles and books.
  • Collecting and collating a comprehensive archive of material that will be useful to anyone seeking to discover more about their own village ancestors or about the history of the community.
We have access to a wealth of information for anyone interested in exploring either the history of the village or more about their ancestors who once resided here. If you contact us, we will be delighted to help. We have been aided in our work by generous donations from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Our latest news


Just over a year ago, Clive posted an item on his research into the possible siting of a vault under an area of the chancel which he thought might contain the bodies of members of the Pickering family. He had concluded that there was sufficient written evidence to justify a search for the vault
A major difficulty is that the most likely location of the vault is beneath the plinth on which now stands the church organ, an exceedingly difficult place to access given the size of the plinth, 5.2m x 2.7m but only 10cm high.

                  The probe is inserted

The problems notwithstanding, it presented an unusual – but tantalising – challenge which we thought might be solved using a camera probe. In October, using one such camera and calling on the expertise of its owner Paul Ollett, Clive inserted the probe through one of the existing ventilation holes in the sides of the plinth and revealed … 148 years of dust and debris covering the floor! Sylvia and Terry hastily set up a Heath-Robinson-type rig to effect some cleaning and, as a result, it was possible to make out a small area of lettering, disappointing in its extent but sufficient to warrant further exploration.

      Emergency dust clearing

Undaunted the team is anxious to undertake further searches and remains optimistic about solving this intriguing mystery. So watch this space as we progress further. It may not be on the same scale as Tutankhamun but it is no less fascinating.