ERO Presents: Hunting for Essex Witches through archives and archaeology

Reconstructing the lives of marginalised Elizabethan women and discovering the beliefs of luck, protection and magical-medicine

The broad-brush history of witchcraft in Essex has been extensively studied over the years - is there anything else to discover about those accused? Well, yes there is! Join us to hear how, through the detailed examination of documents looked after by Essex Record Office, Prof Marion Gibson has been able to trace their lives and give them back their identities before they were accused of witchcraft. Marion will explain in new detail why the “St Osyth” witches of 1582 - actually from St Osyth, Little Clacton, Thorpe and Walton le Soken and Little Oakley - might have been accused in the first place.

Dr Ceri Houlbrook will then discuss the variety of objects discovered in the historic buildings of Essex, from witch-bottles to concealed shoes. Drawing on archaeology and folklore, Ceri will consider the beliefs around luck, protection, and magical-medicine that may have motivated people in the past to hide these objects in the fabric of their homes.

Registration, tea and coffee from 10:00am.

Event details


April 29, 2023


10:30am - 12:30pm


£11 - £13

Who for?

For the whole family


Essex Record Office

Wharf Road, Chelmsford, Essex, England, CM2 6YT

How to book

Book online

Booking required.

Explore Essex

Search our parks and places to plan your perfect day out

Or explore events and activities

Related events