Earls Colne Heritage Museum

Earls Colne Heritage Museum is located in The Old Water Tower of the former Atlas Works–the R.Hunt agricultural machinery foundry, which was pivotal to the development of the village from a purely agricultural to an industrial village in the 19th & 20th centuries.

Founded in 2005, the Museum is home to artefacts from the Neolithic to the 21st century and is also a centre for village historical and family research.

Since re-opening, the Museum is actively re-engaging with the village and beyond, with a programme of walks, talks, school visits and liaison with other museums.

A current conservation activity is to digitise a unique collection of local newspaper cutting archives covering over 100 years of Earls Colne history since the late 1800’s.

We welcome both visitors and online enquiries.

Earls Colne in Earliest Times

In Roman times this part of Essex was occupied by a native tribe called the Trinovantes. The tribal centre, that we know as Colchester and which they called Cumulodunum, became the capital of the Roman province.

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Re-used Roman bricks

Tile and brick production has been a long-established local industry and re-used Roman bricks have been identified in the base of the tower of St. Andrew’s Church, Earls Colne

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The Atlas Works and the Hunt Family

Robert Hunt, a travelling millwright, settled in Earls Colne in 1824. His first workshop was on the Green, next to the Baptist Church.

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The Second World War

Earls Colne aerodrome played a significant part in the air campaign during the Second World War.
Construction of the runways started in 1941 and the Royal Air Force was using the aerodrome within 18 months.

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Earls Colne Heritage Museum

Earls Colne Heritage Museum

Tucked away on a housing estate in Earls Colne, this museum in a WaterTower is a hidden little gem!

Very pleased to have relocated an Atlas Mill and a Colonist mill to the Atlas Social Club - established 1888 in Foundry Lane by R.Hunt & Co. ... See MoreSee Less
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The fallen of Earls Colne during WW2, lost in action across the world.Within St. Andrews Churchyard is also the memorial tree to those American servicemen of 323rd Bomber Group who served at Earls Colne , planted in 1992, and at the entrance to the Earls Colne Airfield Business park is the memorial to those who were lost while serving at the airfield. An article from 2020 is attached. ... See MoreSee Less
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The final section of WW1 commemoration book. 3 of the Fallen of WW1 - Privates Lewis, Coppen and Raven are buried in St. Andrews churchyard: www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/search-results/?CemeteryExact=true&Cemetery=EARLS%20COLNE... ... See MoreSee Less
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On this Remembrance weekend, we remember the sacrifice of the men of Earls Colne who gave their lives for our continued freedom in both World Wars. The attached book of Commemoration records the history of those who fell in WW1, and a supplementary document was then produced for those who made the ultimate sacrifice in WW2. ... See MoreSee Less
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Opening Hours

Open every Saturday & Sunday 2-4pm
Wednesdays 2-4pm May-October

Travelling from the West (Halstead):
About 100 yards past the Zebra Crossing,
take the first right into Massingham Drive
keep on this road and the museum is on your left.

Travelling from the east via Earls Colne High Street:
Take the second left after the Zebra Crossing into Massingham Drive,
keep on this road and the museum is on your left.
On a lamppost opposite the turn into Massingham Drive
is a small brown sign pointing to the museum.