|Abstract||Major Alban Henley Olaf de Manbey was born 1881 and in 1906 he married Catherine Ward. In 1917 he was a Captain in the Royal Field Artillery and had been awarded the Military Cross. The family acquired Barrow Hill Farm around 1930, probably after it was put up for sale in 1929. Catherine died in 1936 and Alban married again in 1943, Marjorie Chambers - they are listed as living at Pantiles, Victory Road, West Mersea. Barrow Hill Farm was rented out to Reginald Frost and family.
By the 1950s, chickens were being kept on the mound, causing serious erosion. The tomb was not secure - local children found it an interesting place to play. had been removed. There was a strong feeling on the island that something had to be done to secure the Barrow for the future.
Marjorie de Manby was sympathetic and in 1966 gave the Barrow and its land to the Mersea Island Society. Money was raised so the Society was able to remove the chicken houses, undergrowth and smaller trees. A bulldozer was used to reconstruct the original shape as far as possible. Railings were erected to protect the site.
Mersea Island Society found that ownership and responsibility for the Barrow was a large strain on their resources, and in 1974 donated the Barrow to Colchester Borough Council.
Alban de Manby died in 1951 and Marjorie died in 1972.
( The family name is recorded as de Manbey in the early years, and later as de Manby. )
From Mersea Museum 2019 Summer Exhibition