Church's joy at lasting legacy
A PARISH priest has given thanks for his church's place in the legacy of a well-known north Essex landowner.The Rev Philip Banks said he was delighted the Friends of Elmstead Market Church had benefited by £5000 left to them by the late Charles Gooch of Wivenhoe.
A PARISH priest has given thanks for his church's place in the legacy of a well-known north Essex landowner.
The Rev Philip Banks said he was delighted the Friends of Elmstead Market Church had benefited by £5000 left to them by the late Charles Gooch of Wivenhoe.
Mr Gooch, who died last year aged 69, left around £3.2 million in his will, which was published recently.
He grew up in the family home of Wivenhoe Park, which was sold by his father – also called Charles - for £75,000 to become the campus of the University of Essex on January 1 1962.
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It had been bought by the family in 1902 from local soldier, businessman and Colchester Mayor Hector Gurdon-Rebow, and at one point Colchester Borough Council considered buying it to turn into a leisure centre and park for the town.
The grand house, set in rolling acres of landscape, had been immortalised in oils in a painting by East Anglian artist John Constable.
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It was there that a society wedding was held when Mr Gooch married Annabel Greene, niece of the famous novelist Graham Greene.
The Gooch family then moved to Wivenhoe New Park, a specially built neo-Palladian mansion designed by architect Raymond Erith.
In later years Mr Gooch lived at Tye farm, near Elmstead Market.
Yesterday Mr Banks said Mr Gooch and his family had leant great support to the church over the years and that he was very grateful for the money left to the Friends.
"Mr Gooch died last January, leaving the estate to his widow and son, whom is also called Charles.
"We are absolutely delighted for the £5,000 left to the Friends of Elmstead Market Church.
"It will be a huge help with all the restoration work and maintenance you need to carry out on a mediaeval building.
"All the Gooches have supported the church in the past, and that continues to this day. We are extremely grateful."