What are the 100 parishes and where are they you may ask. In short it is an area of some 450 square miles in northwest Essex, northeast Hertfordshire and southern Cambridgeshire that is largely unspoilt and richly endowed with many fine examples of agricultural and built heritage. The 100 parishes society was formed in 2012 to raise public awareness and to encourage preservation of the region’s special characteristics. Underneath is a map taken from the society’s website.That website is the most visible manifestation of the organisation. Amongst other things it includes a short description of every single parish including High Wych. So, if you want to gather ideas for short walks or day outings, find out about local activities or just read up on our heritage, there is no better place to start. Recently your parish historian was involved in an update of the entry for our parish and without any false modesty I can tell you that I am proud of the result. You can see for yourself at http://www.hundredparishes.org.uk/
If your name is Blackaby, Brace, Camp, Fish, Holden, Springham, Kempthorne, Macscall, Ward or Wybrew and your family has but the slightest connection to High Wych, Eastwick or Gilston you will find this little book interesting. The Hertfordshire Family History has produced a handsome booklet listing monumental inscriptions of graves in the three churchyards of our local parishes. The authors, a team lead by Janet and John Pearson, carried on work done by W.B. Gerish in 1909. All legible inscriptions are listed and an index provided shows which grave is where.My own work as High Wych historian is greatly helped by all this information!
Of course, both Eastwick and Gilston churches are much older than St.James’s High Wych. They both date from the 13th century. St. Botolphs Eastwick must even have been preceded by an earlier church. In 1138 Baldwin de Clare gave Eastwick Church to Bourne Abbey in Lincolnshire. Consequently there is some intriguing stuff to be found on the relevant pages.
Priced at £8.00 inclusive of postage and packing the little tome is more than worth the money. Order it from the HFHS’s website: http://www.hertsfhs.org.uk/ or by e-mail from their booksales officer at firstname.lastname@example.org