Over the years various local residents have recorded elements of the history of our three villages, and neighbouring villages, in small booklets and similar documents. By their very nature relatively few copies of these documents may have survived and often those that have are not easily accessible to the general public. Because of the potentially small circulation, the reprinting of such documents would not be economically viable. We are therefore making some of these booklets and papers available on the internet as downloads, free of charge, for the purposes of private study and research only.

By downloading and saving a file on your computer, you can open it using your word processor, print out a copy, and read it at your leisure.

COPYRIGHT -   Some of the material available here may still be covered by copyright, regardless of whether it originally carried any copyright notice. Anyone wishing to reproduce any of these documents in any form, either directly or indirectly, for any commercial purpose should establish whether the relevant document is covered by copyright and, if so, obtain the necessary permission before publication.

Guidance on Downloading Files

If you are new to downloading files from the internet you need to be aware of the importance of anti-virus precautions. Computer viruses are generally spread through file downloads in one form or another, and the damage occurs when an infected file is opened. We strongly advise that you do not immediately open any downloaded file. First save it to disk and then check it. The files available here have been virus checked before uploading onto the server but we recommend you always observe good practice by checking each file with reputable, up-to-date anti-virus software before opening it. We accept no liability for any loss or damage arising from downloads.

The download files are all Rich Text Format (*.rtf) which most word processors can open. To download any of the files offered on this page, right click on the relevant link and select the option to save it to disk (typically using the 'Save As' or 'Save target as' option).

The Documents

The Churches - Old and New - of Birch, and Layer Breton. T B Millatt
In the course of history no less than five churches have been built in the parishes of Birch and Layer Breton. One was demolished in the 19th century, another was demolished in the 20th century, one is a roofless ruin, and one is redundant. Only one, Layer Breton 'New' Church, remains in use. Tom Millatt, sometime Headmaster of Birch School, had a keen interest in local history and wrote this interesting history which covers all five churches.

If you do not wish to download the document you can use this link to view it.

The file is approx 66KB and prints out to about 11 pages of A4. Right click on the link to download tmillatt.rtf and save to disk.

The Story of Layer-de-la-Haye. Mary Hopkirk.
Published privately in 1934, this is the most detailed history of Layer de la Haye which has been written. It traces the history of the village, secular and ecclesiastical, from the 11th century up to the 1930s. Mary Hopkirk was the wife of the Revd Frank Stuart Hopkirk, MA, who was Vicar of Layer de la Haye from 1932 to 1936.

The file is approx 91KB and prints out to about 18 pages of A4. Right click on the link to download mhopkirk.rtf and save to disk.

A History of the Parish Church of St John the Baptist, Layer de la Haye. Canon James Allen
The first edition was probably written in about 1965. This download is the text of the second edition published in 1972. Canon Allen was Vicar of Layer de la Haye when he wrote his history which draws heavily on Mary Hopkirk's booklet for the history up to 1934, but adds history about the church from the mid-1930s.

The file is approx 61KB and prints out to about 12 pages of A4. Right click on the link to download canallen.rtf and save to disk.

Memories of a Village Chapel. M J Hayhoe.
Recollections of the Methodist Chapel at Layer de la Haye which was built in 1864. The Chapel no longer exists, having been demolished in 1970.

The file is approx 21KB and prints out to just over 3 pages of A4. Right click on the link to download mchapel.rtf and save to disk.

Glimpses into the History of Three Villages - Birch, Layer Breton and Layer Marney.
Written by the late Mrs Jean Eames in about 1988, this document records some local history research she did with a group of friends. It draws heavily on census returns and other records of the late 19th century.

The file is approx 155KB and prints out to about 25 pages of A4. Right click on the link to download eamesj.rtf and save to disk.

Page updated: 23 AUG 2002