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Helmdon Historical Article

Miss Wood of Priory Farm

& the Postcard from Lorsch


This is text of an e-mail sent from Thilo Figaj
Lorsch / Germany

A collector's postcard (bought at an auction in the US), 120 years old, sent 1907 to Priory Farm, Helmdon, and depicting buildings of my hometown Lorsch / Hessen / Germany made me curious. From your website I learn that there are many people interested in their family heritage connected with Helmdon. Maybe this  is of special interest to the Wood family. Here is what I found out.

Postcard depicting Lorsch, then Grand Duchy of Hessen-Darmstadt,  Germany, state of buildings in the time between 1896 und 1902.   Posted and stamped in England, Halfpenny (King Edward), J[UL]Y 15, [19]07

Miss Wood
The Priory Farm

Dear M. Just sent off B. Hope you will
get it alright much love to all
thank mother for her letter, we are
trying to get off 13th So shall come and see you
when I return (?)  Still busy  A.B.H

The mother referred to by the sender could be Mary Wood, according to the oral reminiscences by

Cora Russell on your website. So the sender  may have written to a sister, M. Wood. He or she must have kept this postcard for quite a while before using it, or it had gotten into  his/her possession in some other way.

A visitor to Lorsch in 1907 would  have been given a postcard with "modern" images.  This postcard shows Lorsch town buildings some  time between 1896  (Protestant Church finished) and the renovation and extension of the  Town Hall (Rathaus), finished in 1902. The building described as  "Michaelis Capelle", St Micheal's Chapel, is the famous "Torhalle", on  the UNESCO world heritage list today, Abbey of Lorsch.  It is the eldest non-roman building in Germany, erected some  time after  800. Its original purpose is still unclear today; it was used as a  chapel only for 200 years, until 1928. The site could have been the   reason for a visit by somebody from Helmdon 100 years ago - but only for  someone with specific historic knowledge since it was a lost treasure in  people's minds back then and not a promoted tourist attraction as it is  today.


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