EJ Rudsdale on Twitter from 3 September 2019

3rd February 1941

[Essex War Agricultural] Committee meeting at Birch Hall this afternoon, which started at a quarter to 2 and went on till 5.30.

The inner hall is hung with portraits all round and up the stairs, and on one wall, near the main door, hangs a 17th century helmet alleged to have belonged to Sir Charles Lucas. I mentioned this to Capt. Round, and he told me that he removed it from the Castle when the place was sold. Therefore the lobster-tail helmet which we have in the Museum is not the traditional one, but it has been there all my life.

Sir Charles Lucas led a Royalist rebellion against the Parliamentarian forces in 1648 but became trapped in Colchester by General Fairfax's forces and was forced to surrender after the town was besieged. Lucas, and his fellow Royalist Commander, Sir George Lisle, were subsequently executed at the rear of Colchester Castle for their role in the rebellion. The place of execution is now marked by an obelisk.

The Round family of Birch Hall had also owned Colchester Castle from 1782 until they sold it to the Colchester Borough Corporation in 1920 as a war memorial.

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