Where is Great Chishill? Follow this Link for location details
or this one for the Interactive Map map

Contact Webmaster@greatchishill.org.uk


If you have an event coming up, or there is something that you want to tell the whole village about, just email me (webmaster@greatchishill.org.uk) with the details and I'll put it on the site.
Pictures make a big difference to a web site, so why not send some in?

What's Happening at The Pheasant? Update 15th April

Jenna and Stuart are frantically trying to get ready for outdoor opening on Monday 19th April.
They are primarily focussing on the outside areas, as they’re the first that will be able to open. As some may have seen, a huge mound of spoil was left at the rear of the pub after it had been dug out from the extension foundations. They are currently in the process of shifting all of that and creating a split level patio in it’s place. The gate to the left of the pub will be used as an entrance and will be wide enough and paved to create disabled access to the patio and pub. There will be steps from the patio up to the garden as well. The main steps to the garden are undergoing a revamp to create a narrower staircase as well as a ramp. Some of the spoil will be used to make this less steep than it currently is.
Jenna says 'We are still planning to have a 'soft opening' on Monday 19th April. We have invited people from the village, including the community pub group and others who have helped us along the way.
The kitchen is not ready to be used yet, so we have made the decision to do a hog roast outside for Monday and then not open the pub properly until the Saturday (24th). We have really pushed to get everything done in time to open from Tuesday but it has unfortunately got the better of us!
We can’t wait to show you all what we’ve been doing! '

The new website is now up and running with all the up to date news. pheasantgc.com

The Chalk Pit

Not many people seem to know about the Chalk Pit which is located on the footpath from New Road through to the path leading to the Icknield Way from Heydon Road. Over the last year, Robin Dibblee has worked tirelessly, with the help of some other volunteers, to start to turn this overgrown dump into a village amenity.
Robin writes
Chalk Not Clunch
As Peter Wiseman’s slides record, late Victorian Chishill was desperately poor, with chalky soil and bare of trees, chopped down for fuel. The Chalk Pit was dug in the hope that a valuable building material, Clunch, might save the day. Unfortunately there was only flinty chalk - and the Pit had closed by 1900.
Thereafter, the Pit became a scrap-heap for the village, increasingly infested with an invasive creeper that killed off trees by draining the roots of water and crowding out the leaf cover with dense foliage. New Zealand is eradicating this creeper over the entire South Island.
The Pit Club took up this challenge by removing the scrap, using its value for reduced costs from the skip company. The creeper is piled up, awaiting disposal. The cleared rising ground has been planted with 150 indigenous free trees from a conservation charity. It was necessary to remove further scrap for tree planting, for which it is hoped the Parish Council will pay for costs of disposal.
The Bowl has now been opened up, with the footpath meandering through. Footfall has increased five-fold with people taking short-cuts from Heydon Road to New Road. It is unique in being a wooded environment in what is otherwise bare downland across other village footpaths.
Nick Kiddy the farmer leases this land from County Farms and has to pay rental for no return. He has been a ‘kindly landlord’ to the Pit Club, allowing the environmental improvements which make the Chalk Pit a special place. It is hoped the Scouts will use it for meetings and woodcraft - and maybe even have the Bowl a setting for a Chishill Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The Annual Sloe Gin Competition

Every year Great Chishill bellringers run a Sloe Gin competition, raising money for the refurbishment of the bells of St Swithuns.
Due to the virus it was thought that the competition would have to be cancelled, but such is the tenacity of Great Chishill residents, the competition did go ahead, albeit in a different format.
So, if you made sloe gin last autumn and have registered to enter it into the competition you need to get your
If you have made some sloe gin this season and were planning on entering it but failed to register in time, remember that one of the categories, apart from 'Nouveau' and 'Ringers Delight' is the 'Vintage' category, so this year's production could be entered next year.
The Annual Sloe Gin Competition (the oldest one in Britain) judging took place on 27th February but was available to watch on Zoom. Sadly the tasting party could not take place.
After much consideration and extensive tastings, some of the usual people won prizes (Neil Heywood won 2 and Stella Russell won 2) but it was good to see new names in the winners list.
Nouveau Class
1st Prize
Neil Heywood
2nd Prize
Lisa McKenzie
3rd Prize
Stuart Wiseman
Vintage Class
1st Prize
Fred Kuenzi
2nd Prize
Hilary Goodall
3rd Prize
Neil Heywood
Ringer's Delight Class
1st Prize
Maggie Last
Berry Brandy
2nd Prize
Stella Russell
Damson Gin
3rd Prize
Stella Russell
Apricot Bullace

More information about the bells and bellringing in Great Chishill.

Local Restaurants

As we are now in complete lockdown checkout the local pubs and restaurants to see what they are offering - best plan is to keep an eye on their websites and Facebook pages.

The King William Tel 838773 or email hello@kingwilliamheydon.com. facebook pageOpening for Al Fresco dining (Gazebo with patio heaters) from Monday April 12th
The Chequers Fowlmere See the website (thechequersfowlmere.org) . Opening for undercover outdoor dining from April 15th.
The Fox and Hounds, Barley ( Facebook Page) Takeaways & deliveries are available. Order online. Call 802505, email contact@foxandhoundsbarley.com to pre-order. See the Menu Opening for outside dining from Wednesday 14th April
The Chequers, BarleyClosed but open for takeaway 7 days a week. Facebook page - times and menu.
The Red Cow has opened a shop in the bar area with essentials and take away beers.
Takeaway available www.theredcow.comRe-opening from 12th April. See website for times.

If you know of any others or need to update this information, please email webmaster@greatchishill.org.uk

The Hundred Parishes Society

The Hundred Parishes Society was launched in 2014 in an attemp to raise awareness of a large area of northwest Essex, northeast Hertfordshire and southern Cambridgeshire that is particularly notable for its exceptional depth of heritage.
The Society is so called to recognise that it contains just over 100 administrative parishes which includes Great and Little Chishill.
The website is www.hundredparishes.org.uk
An article is produced each month with news or information of interest to the area. This month, the article is about Guilds and Guildhalls..

Saffron Screen
Saffron Screen is your not-for-profit independent community cinema based within Saffron Walden County High School. The professional auditorium boasts a full size screen, 200 cinema seats, Dolby Digital surround sound and both 35mm and digital projection equipment. Ticket and refreshment prices are kept low to benefit all and parking is free.
A Autism-friendly screening (No adverts or trailers, Low level lighting throughout the showing, Film sound at a consistently lower volume)
DDementia Friendly screening. (see cinema website for details)
s Subtitled       line Sold Out
B Baby friendly - Bring your baby (under 12 months) for a trip to the cinema without worrying about babysitters. There will be changing mats and a comfortable environment for new parents – and a certain amount of noise can be expected!

For full details see website www.saffronscreen.com

Saffron Hall

Saffron Hall is an exciting venture set up in the grounds of Saffron Walden County High School. The vision is to inspire through music and the arts.
Exceptional adjustable acoustics. Ample FREE parking.

See Whats On for more details
SWCHS Event = School performers
www.saffronhall.com Box office 0845 548 7650

Bin Collections
Tuesdays unless otherwise marked
20/04/21:Black Bin
27/04/21: Blue Bin and Green Bin
Wednesday 05/05/21: Black Bin
11/05/21: Blue Binand Green Bin
Not sure what goes in which bin? Click here to see the SCDC quick guide.

Thriplow Dump

RE-OPENED but you need to book a slot. cambridgeshire.bookinglive.com or 0345 045 5207. Slots are at 15 mins intervals and only one visit per week allowed!.
Gravel Pit Hill, Thriplow, Cambridgeshire SG8 7HZ
Tel: (01223) 839001
Opening hours:
8am to 5pm Every day including Bank Holidays, 1st April to 30th September

Fancy a Walk?
Circular Walks from Great Chishill 13.3Km
or, if you want to go further afield, Essex Walks More than 50 FREE walks to download, details of all the books, maps and walking groups in the county.

Barley Shop Opening Times
Normal opening hours
Mon to Fri 7am to 7pm
Sat 7am to 2pm
Sun 8am to 2pm
Post Office
Mon 7am to 6pm
Tue 1pm to 6pm
Wed 7am to 5pm
Thu 7am to 1pm
Fri 7am to 6pm
Tel 848288
Looking for an Interior Designer?

Check out the Businesses page on this site. Lots of other local goods and services there too.

Windmill to Have a Spring Clean

from David McKeown
We, on the Windmill Trust, have been rather disappointed with the darkening and staining of the paintwork of the mill. It is only two years since we started to paint it with a very expensive German paint, Kreidezeit, that was the 'go-to' choice for the application according to all the experts.
So, on March 5th, Bob Hatt and David McKeown had a meeting at the mill with a technical expert from Bedec Paints, a local (Dunmow) manufacturer of paints recommended by the Listed Property Owners' Club. He quickly established that the discolouration is a mixture of tannin released by new wood, fungal growth and general airborne dirt. He suggested that we should have the mill cleaned professionally; an idea that we had, in fact, already scheduled. So we have contacted our contractor and expect to see him on site in the next few weeks. All depends on the weather, of course, but the aim is to wash down with a mix of two fungicides that he is sure will give us the clean look we so desire.
We will also be testing the sample of Bedec paint kindly donated during the meeting as it has the benefit of being of local manufacture at one third the price of the imported paint! Let's hope that the performance makes it real value-for-money.
We also have a promise from our millwright that he will be working on the mill by the time this article is published. This should be the last push to complete the scheduled repairs allowing us to test the self-turning action with the mechanism shielded from fingers, toes, etc. Then, subject to a favourable risk assessment, we should be able to let the mill follow the wind automatically. Chishill will have the biggest weathervane in the district!

Village Newsletter

Click on this picture to view itApril 2021 Chishills Newsletter now available to view or download
If you have any items to be included in the May newsletter, please contact Will Parsons on wllprsns@gmail.com.
If you have trouble downloading or viewing the newsletter it may be because you do not have the latest version of Adobe Reader.
Back numbers of Newsletters here

Village Hall Bookings
Click here to see the diary It is possible to have a look at the Village Hall diary online. Simply click on the picture of the calendar to see it. (the diary will open in its own window).
Please treat this calendar as a guide only as some events may be provisional.
If you would like to make a booking, please email chishillvh@gmail.com

Time to be Creative again

from Hilary Goodall
Following the success of the Write Here, Write Now project earlier this year, it was a good time to put something together about Christmas for display in the village phone box. This has now been done and some of your poems are available to view in the windows of the phone box.

Poo and Litter Bins

New dog waste bins have been installed in the village, one in May Street and one in Hall Lane. A new litter bin also added on the playing fields. With 4 poo bins in the village now there is even less reason for not disposing of dog waste properly. If your dog fouls - PICK IT UP. Whilst on the subject of dogs, please be reminded that dogs are NOT ALLOWED on the playing field - however good they are!

Forthcoming Events

Get your event listed here by emailing webmaster@greatchishill.org.uk or phone 838311

Parish Services

All services cancelled until further notice.
Online service Sunday Service 18th April
Please see here for all church news and information.

Great Chishill United Reformed Church

There has been a ‘Congregational chapel’ on the site of the present United Reformed Church for over 400 years and we are very much planning for the future.
Great Chishill 'URC' has been going through a season of change with the Minister moving on to pastures new. At the present time there is a Membership of three, but there is optimism about increasing this number. The congregation has been growing in recent years, notably increasing the average service attendance. This has been while trialing different forms and times of services supported by guest preachers. There is an evening service once a month which has proved to be very popular. For‘special’ services at Christmas, Easter, Advent and Remembrance between forty and one hundred people have been welcomed into the chapel.
The chapel fellowship has become an increasingly important part of village life with a variety of events encouraging people to come together – films, Scottish dancing, concerts, silver surfers’ internet café, whist drives and hosting parties for all ages. On a Sunday you are guaranteed a warm welcome, with services held on the first and third Sundays of the month. Whether a morning or evening service the duration will be around 45 minutes with a time of friendship and fellowship afterwards in the schoolroom (usually with splendid refreshments).
The present pattern of services is for a 6pm evening service on the first Sunday of the month and for a 9.30 morning service on the third Sunday of the month.
No services planned for the foreseeable future.

Read about more than 300 years of 'Non Conformist' worship in Great Chishill


An Automatic Electronic Defibrillator (AED) has been installed on the wall of the sports pavilion facing the car park.
In the event of a cardiac arrest, upon calling 999 the caller is given the location of the nearest AED and the code to unlock it.
The device gives easy to follow verbal instructions, is safe to use, and will only operate if it is appropriate.
More information about Defibrillators.

Mobile Library Dates
Heydon Road opposite the bus stop, on the first Wednesday of each month 14:10-14.40

Melbourn Library Opening Times
Monday 2.30 to 4.30
Tuesday 2.30 to 4.30
Wednesday 2.30 to 4.30
Thursday 5.00 to 7.00
Friday 2.30 to 4.30
Saturday 10.00 to 12.00

Local History

Chris Allan from Barley sent us a copy of an article about Great Chishill published in 'The East Anglian' in October 1966. It contains interesting old photos including The Plough, Rectory Cottage, the Church Tower and the Windmill. See the whole article here.

To find out about the history of our villages read an extract from 'A tale of two villages' by the late Lorna Prior together with the Doomsday Book entry.