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Braintree Golf Club, Chapel Hill, Essex. (1892 - 1972)

The club was founded in 1892.

The original 9-hole course was at Chapel Hill, it moved to Kings Lane, Stisted, in the 1970s.

From 1906 to 1908 the secretary was W F Pilcher and the captain H E Cunnington. Stated as being founded in 1891. There was a membership of 30. There was no entry fee and subs were 21/-. A 9 hole sporting and undulating course.

In 1911 the secretary was J Gleave, membership was now 40. Sunday play without caddies.

In 1912/3 the secretary was Captain R A Johnson, “Camoye” London Road, Braintree. The professional was A Matthews. Membership had now risen to 90. No entry fee subs were £2/2/0 for gents and £1/1/0 for ladies. Visitors’ fees were 1/6 a day on introduction.


Briantree Golf Club, Chapel Hill, Essex. A pre WW1 picture of the golf clubhouse.

A pre-WW1 picture of the Braintree Golf Club pavilion/clubhouse.


Result of a match played at Newton Green in May 1913.

Newton Green Golf Club   Braintree Golf Club  
Major Tippet (5 and 4) 1 T Neilson 0
W M Cooke 0 E Lake (1up) 1
O T Cooke (3 and 1) 1 W B Lake 0
Dr. Ritchie (4 and 3) 1 A R Entwistle 0
C F Drake (2up) 1 Capt. D Johnson 0
H Clover (4 and 3) 1 W F Pilcher 0
P H Oliver 0 Dr. Scott (19th hole) 1
Dr. Wisdom 0 Sir C Locock (4 and 2) 1
  5   3

The annual meeting was held at the clubhouse in June 1913. Mr Guy Gold J.P was elected president in succession to Mr Cecil Sebag- Montefiore. Officers elected were; H J Cunnington, captain; W F Pilcher, vice-captain; Captain Digby Johnson, secretary; J Gleave, treasurer. The following prizes were presented; The Gold Challenge Cup (ladies) Miss Brunwin, Sherne Hall; The Locock prizes (mixed foursomes) Miss Brunwin and T Neilson; Monthly Medals (spoons) – Miss Brunwin, Miss T Tetley, E Lake (2), W Lake, P S Preeston and A R Entwistle. 

The AGM in April 1925 was held at the Institute with Mr W B Lake presiding. The report of the joint secretaries gave interesting information with regard to the extension of the clubhouse carried out during the year, largely through the generosity of Cortaulds Ltd and Mr W C C Bywater, and also the support given by members to meet the cost of furnishings etc. The course had greatly improved during the past year and arrangements had been made for sheep grazing instead of having cattle on the course. The financial statement showed an adverse balance of just over £8 mainly due to the heavy cost of cutting the fairways and fencing the course prior to the sheep being put out on the course. The president then thanked the greens committee and the professional for all the hard work they had put in on the course. It is interesting that he then goes on to mention that they had achieved this in a relatively short time “since the club moved from the north side of the railway” This, obviously, suggests an earlier course. Officers for the year were elected as follows; President, Mr W B Lake; vice-presidents, J H Belsham, W C C Bywater, V G Crittall, H J Cunnington, R J Johnson, Major E A Ruggles-Brice MC MP; captain, Mr F R H Ranson; vice-captain, Mr F Rose; treasurer, Mr Sprawson; auditor, Mr F G Rogers; joint secretaries, J Bradbury and J Gleave; committee, L J Bradbury, W C C Bywater, W B Lake, T P Lewis, W F Pilcher, F G Rogers, H A T Rowley, G G Shepherd, E Smith and P C Tebbey. The following were trophy winners for the year; President’s Cup, Mr C G A Brooks; Captain’s Prize, Mr E Sharpe; Tilston Cup, Dr L Gill; “Gold” cup Mrs W T Dyer; “Locock” cups (mixed foursome) Mrs J Gleave and Mr P C Tebbey won for the third year, enabling them to win the cups outright. With the approval of Sir Charles and Lady Locock the winners returned the cups to the club as permanent trophies.

Result of a match played on Saturday 9th May 1925 against Bentley Green. Braintree won the singles 7-1 (result below) they lost the foursomes 3-1. Match result Braintree 8 Bentley Green 4.

Braintree   Bentley Green  
P C Tebby 1 W S J Watson 0
G Shepherd 1 F Branwhite 0
W B Lake 1 P H Jordan 0
F R H Ranson 1 A B Baker 0
J Gleave 1 S J Francis 0
W F Pilcher 0 R A Newstead 1
Dr Gill 1 H E Ward 0
E sharpe 1 L McQuhae 0
  7   1

On June 4th 1925 Braintree entertained Bowers Gifford in a Essex County Amateur Golf Union second team match. (see Bowers Gifford for the result)

In September 1925 Braintree entertained Ilford. The visitors won the foursomes 3-1, Braintree won the singles (below) 5-1.

Braintree Golf Club   Ilford Golf Club  
W B Lake (3&1) 1 W Aston 0
F Rose (3&2) 1 J Agnew 0
S R Livermore 0 S A Holyfield (3&2) 1
Dr Gill 0 H Christopher 0
H A T Rowley (5&4) 1 J J Hindom 0
E Smith 0 S Irlam 0
S G Nelson (7&6) 1 H Gaul 0
J Bradbury (2up) 1 S F Holyfield 0
  5   1

Below is the result of a match played at Braintree against Bowers Gifford Golf Club (now defunct) in August 1928.

Briantree Golf Club   Bowers Gifford Golf Club  
H A T Rowley 1 A N Bentley 0
F Rose  0 F Petre 1
W B Lake 1 F G Kerr 0
E Smith 1 J Morison 0
S Livermore 1 H Chapman 0
D Cameron 1 D Holmes 0
J Gleave 0 L Friend 1
L Bradbury (half) 0 A Kennard (half) 0
R G Netting 1 J Abbott 0
Rowley and Rose 0 Bentley and Petre 1
Lake and Smith 1 Kerr and Morison 0
Cameron and Livermore 1 Chapman and Friend 0
Gleave and Bradbury 0 Holmes and Kennard 1
  8   4

The Easter Competition results from April 1930; President’s Cup, J N Gleave, 88-18-70; flag competition, A G Mitchell, 18th fairway. Other competition results for the season; Townrow Cup; Miss D Coulson; Locock Cups, Mrs G Linfoot and J M Cameron; Tilston Cup, D M Cameron; Captain’s Prize, D M Cameron; Summer Competition, first – A T Burnett, second – H C Pritchard, third – D M Cameron; Monthly Medals, T Rayner (3), H A T Rowley (2), A T Burnet (2), D M Cameron (2), A H Cameron and H C Pritchard; LGU medals, silver – Mrs Gleave, bronze – Mrs Green. Mrs Brownlow had kindly replaced the gold cup won outright by Mrs Gleave.

The annual report was also given in April 1930 it recorded a membership of 156, an increase of 22. The course continued to improve, and a new men’s tee at the fourth, it was hoped, would speed up play. The new eighth green had not progressed sufficiently to permit play in the coming season. The clubhouse had been made more comfortable with new furnishings etc. A new professional had been engaged, and the committee had decided to provide a bungalow for him.

The hon secretary in October 1930 was Captain H Rayner.

Just after WW2 the secretary was D M Cameron, Great Square, Braintree, and the professional L Joslin. Membership of about 160. The SSS was 72. Visitors’ fees 1/6 a round, 2/6 a day, Sundays 2/6 a round, 3/6 a day, 10/- a week and £1 per month. Braintree station was half mile away.

In the mid 1950s  and 1960s  the secretary was A H Cameron, 57 High Street, Briantree, and the greenkeepers J Betts (1956) H Francis (1961) J Shaw (1964). The SSS was now 71.

In 1972 and prior to the clubs move to Stisted the secretary was D I Berry. 9-hole course with a total length of 5,616 yards and a SSS of 67. Membership of 320. Visitors’ fees 75p a day, £1 at weekends.

Braintree Golf Club, Essex. The course location at Chapel Hill.

Location of the course at Chapel Hill.

Grid reference TL76960,22445, co-ordinates 576960,222445.