Welcome to our Festival blog

We are a small congregation who organised a highly successful 'William Byrd Festival' in May 2011 to celebrate the life and work of the village's Elizabethan composer, William Byrd (c.1540 - 1623). In 2012 we played host to the world-famous choir The Cardinall's Musick under their director Andrew Carwood.

This website contains everything you need to know about William Byrd and his links with Stondon Massey. The church is open for services, of course, and on the second Sunday afternoon in the month during the summer.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Illegal Masses and Priest Holes

“You have all heard no doubt of the discovery of a hidden chamber at Ingatestone Hall in 1855. This was undoubtedly what is called a Priest’s Hole for hiding both Priest and vestments in the days when Mass was illegal. It measures 14ft. long, by 2ft. broad and 10ft. deep and was approached by a trap door and ladder and when discovered contained a chest for vestments and vessels”.

Laurie, Major Allan D. Antiquities of Essex (1946)

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