Friday, February 03, 2017
The Horsingdon Transmissions No.34: Old Photographs, Unseen Epochs.
A photo of St. Ormund's Church from 1911, from the collection of Roland Franklyn. The figure in the background leaning languidly on a tombstone is purportedly James Boreham. If so, this is the only known photograph of that enigmatic figure. Coincidentally, the year in which this photo was taken marked the beginning of a spate of strange occurances at St. Ormund's - including the desecration of a number of graves in the burying ground during the October of 1911.
I remain unsurprised that reports of recent events at the church eerily mirror those of over a century ago. Virtually any book of local history one can peruse at Boreham Park Library will tell you that St. Ormund's was built on a site whose praeternatural associations reach back into deep antiquity.
Soon after the Roman invasion of Britain, sacrifice was supposedly made to the god Nodens at a temple erected at the locale; ritual artefacts of Palaeolithic origin - which found their way into the collection of James Boreham - were discovered here when the foundations of St. Ormunds were first dug; there are also other records, of doubtful authenticity, which exist within the archives of Horsingdon Council - as well as the oral traditions of those who still observe the custom of the Black Bowers - which speak of nameless rites and awful conjurations having been performed at the locality in epochs more remote and less visible than those glimpsed briefly in an old photograph.