The sad tale of the Bishop of Boreham and the Danbury cliffs in Essex.

We came across this story in an ancient newspaper (possibly an early version of the Essex Chronicle). It concerns the arrival of the last Bishop of Boreham whose old bishopric covered the areas of Chelmsford, Danbury, Boreham, Little Baddow and Sandon.

Being a new Bishop he had wanted to get around his lands quickly and so he had bought a horse and taken some riding lessons from the local riding school. We believe it may even have been Chelmsford Equestrian Centre....

His skills had progressed quickly and soon he was so confident at riding that he set off on his own riding around the lands North and South of the London Road (now known as the A12 in Essex). However he got bored of simply riding about and being a bit of a showman he quickly decided to ignore the wise instructions of his previous master teacher, Dickinsious who had taught him fully in the traditions of horse riding.

As he was religious, he thought it would be funny to teach his horse some new commands that fitted in with his preaching style.

Quickly he taught the horse that  it should step forward and walk whenever he said "Praise the Lord" and it should stop walking when he said "Amen". His parishioners loved this stunt and soon he was well known for his riding skills and commands to the horse. In fact people all around Chelmsford commented on how reliable his horse was and how true it was to his every command. The Bishop was very proud.

One day when riding along the Danbury Cliff tops  (long since eroded, believed to be near the Maldon to Danbury road) he was chased by wolves. His horse bolted and shot towards the cliffs, soon out running the chasing pack but heading dangerously towards the precipice. Spooked by the incident, the Bishop could not get his horse to stop. "Whoa! Whoa!" he was heard to shout but the horse would not stop and continued charging straight at the cliff edge. Suddenly he remembered the command to stop was "Amen". No sooner had the word left his mouth and the horse screeched to a halt with it's hooves teetering on the cliff edge.

Looking west at the setting sun and the beautiful horizon in front of him, he realised how lucky he had just been, so he raised his hands into the air and shouted at the top of his voice "Praise the Lord!". The Bishop was never seen again.

If you know any strangle tales and stories about horse riding in Essex, please let us know and may publish them on the website. Send them to



Written by undefined at 03/01/2014 14:03:28

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