On this International Women’s Day, we’re sharing the story of Essex’s infamous Witches and the persecution women faced here in Essex from the 1500’s.

In 2014 Signals embarked on a year long project to dispel the myth of the ‘Essex Girl’ stereotype, working with over 40 young people from across the county to discover the history of Essex women and share it with their peers through video, animation and web design.


Signals Essex Girls project researched the history of women in Essex throughout the ages, from Queen Boudica (leader of the Iceni tribe, who rose up against the Romans and flattened Colchester to the ground) to the Dagenham Strikes and their fight for equal pay.

One of many stories Signals explored was the plight of the Essex witches in the 1500’s. Essex was home to more women accused of witchcraft than any other english county, and subsequently more deaths too, with 82 official executions recorded.

In 2014 we interviewed a selection of historians to understand this unique part of our history, and unraveled some of the mystery surrounding the Essex witches.

Want to learn more about Signals ‘Essex Girls’, check out our Suffragettes mini documentary which has been nominated for an Into Film award or our Essex Girls Story website.

Just one of the hand drawn animations featured in the mini documentary

On set in Signals studio