· Mashams is a remarkable fourteenth century timber-framed hall house. It has been
the home of Derek Shuttleworth for over 70 years. In 1992, its ownership was transferred
to a Charitable Trust so that the building and garden might always be used as an
educational resource for children, and be preserved as an example of this rare type
of building. In this booklet, the building, its construction and use are explained
by Anne Padfield, an expert on timber-framed buildings in Essex. Derek Shuttleworth
tells us something of his life during the seven decades he has known Mashams. This
is followed by James Collins’ account of the changes that have affected the surrounding
farming community. James is a local farmer. The colourful history of the area is
covered by Patrick Streeter’s account of Otes Manor, the last home of the philosopher,
John Locke, who is buried in High Laver Churchyard. Patrick is Chairman of the Lavers
Local History Society. It is hoped you will find these accounts of interest.
· In August 2007 I took a trip to Mashams in Ongar, it was the first time I had been
back there in nearly forty years. The area had changed it was not so isolated as
it was in the 60's but the house looked the same the front garden had been fenced
off and there was flower beds were I can remember grass. Unfortunately there was
no one at home when I was there so was not able to speak to the new owners, maybe
· The Mashams trust sadly no longer exists, This is an article which appeared in
a local newspaper in 2004.
· Future of Mashams in doubt
From the archive, first published Thursday 29th Jan 2004. The future of a historic
14th Century house in High Laver is in doubt following a split among the trustees
charged with maintaining it. Mashams, a beautiful timber-framed medieval hall house
which until 1998 was the home of Derek Shuttleworth, has been the responsibility
of a group of local trustees since it became a registered charity in 1992. The charity
was put in place to safeguard Mr Shuttleworth's dying wish that the house, which
was his home for 70 years, should remain open and free for schoolchildren to visit
to learn from its unique history. However, a drop in the number of school visits
has forced trustees to look at selling the house and using their resources in other
ways. Mashams trustee Patrick Streeter has been fighting to keep the house open and
says a private sale would be "a tragedy". He said: "I fear we may have come to the
end of the line with our attempts to save Mashams. This is a tragedy as a unique
house, together with its garden and contents will be lost forever." Mr Streeter had
hoped the house would remain in the hands of the charity and feels more could be
done to attract local schools to visit the historic site. "We've got a £130,000 endowment"
he said. "There are people who are willing to be new trustees - all we need to do
is advertise for a new curator then there's no reason why it can't continue as Mr
Shuttleworth wanted it to." The Charity Commission has given the trustees permission
to sell the house because of the lack of school visits and their plans to use the
money raised to give educational grants to underprivileged children. Trust secretary
Graham Cass said the majority of the trustees firmly believed that "far more good"
could be done by selling the house.
· Derek Shuttleworth and Mashams
Memoir by Patrick Streeter
· In this memoir it is hoped to catch on paper the extraordinary character of Derek
Shuttleworth, and to describe his background and family so that the reader might
understand a little of the man and how he came to found the Masham’s project.