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WEST ESSEX: Hamlet Rocked by scandal as horses seized and land dispute goes public in "The Wilderness"

November 20, 2015

Notice: the horses were taken by Essex Police (Picture: Jon Austin)

 

A REMOTE part of Essex has been dogged with problems after "abandoned horses" were seized and a row over land and trespassing led to "altercations" and threats of police becoming involved.


Theydon Mount is made up of a former manor, the parish church, and a smattering of houses.


But an area of fields and meadows surrounding the historic Hill Hall building, known as The Wilderness, has seen a private row over ownership of land become public and problems with horses being left to graze there apparently unattended.

 

 

It is not clear if the owner receovered them (Picture: Jon Austin)

 

Essex Police sized a number of mares and foals that had been left in the grounds of the former stately home, according to abandonment notices the force has stuck up on the boundaries of the green belt land off Mount Road.


Hill Hall was built in the 1500s to replace a smaller 12th-century residence and was reputedly haunted having been used as a prisoner of war camp in WWII and later a women's prison until a blaze ravaged it in 1969.

 

 Hill Hall in the distance from Mount Road (Picture: Jon Austin)

 

It has since been converted into luxury flats.

 

The signs, addressed to the "legal owner" of the horses said the animals of various colours were detained under the new Control of Horses Act brought in this year.


It added: "Following four working days of detention, ownership of the equines will pass to the person detaining the horses, who may then retain ownership, or see that they are re-homed, sold, or humanely destroyed."

 

The disputed land is ringed (Picture: Google Maps) 

 

It is not clear what happened in this case, but the signs remain in place.

 

They were the second public notices connected to potential legal action plastered around the small, isolated settlement.


Just a few hundred metres north up Mount Road, signs have been posted by an unnamed person, concerning the ownership of a paddock.

 

 

 

Keep Out: A land dispute sign at the entrance to the gated paddock and (above in close up) (Pictures: Jon Austin)

 

It appears that someone has tried to take control of the land, by adding their own padlock, and moving items onto the site.


The signs, are oddly addressed to "the owner of this paddock" but lay claim to its ownership.

They read: "This land was purchased by my father in 1977 and is still legally owned by my family. 


"We currently hold the deeds."


It warns that "any attempt to re-enter these premises without permission is a criminal offence and police will be informed."


The signs add: "This property is now being monitored by approved representatives and any unsolicited activity will be dealt with.


"Please remove your padlock and debris from our property to avoid any further altercations.
"By order of the legal owners."

 Another land dispute sign (Picture: Jon Austin)

 

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