There are additional longer walks available.
This is a short circular walk starting at The Cock Pub
The pub car park is where this walk commences. The Cock is believed to have been built in the 1700s. The site of the Cock was called Cock Field. Members of the family that owned the land were named John and Thomas Cock. Thomas was buried in St Mary’s Church in 1669.
Walk across to the Anglican parish church directly opposite the Cock.
St Mary’s, the last church in the village, has a number of interesting features.There were three churches in the last century – a Catholic and an Independent Chapel but both of these sites are now private homes. The church was built about the 12th century. However, there is evidence that there has been a place of worship here since
the Saxon times.
As you pass through the gate, above you is an arch made by the local blacksmith. The pub car park is the site of one of the blacksmiths that were in the village in the 1800s. The next interesting object is an unusual grave, it is surrounded by a metal circular hoop. This is a 19 century “anti body-snatchers” device. The bell tower contains six bells the oldest dates to 1480.
Retrace your steps back through the gate that you first entered. Turn right and walk down Church Street towards the War Memorial. At the end of Church Street turn right.
The Manse House on the corner of Crow Street is the site of the Independent Church which was severely damaged when a doodle bomb dropped on the village in 1944. The nearby airport of Stansted was being used by the US Airforce at the time. Children remember US servicemen marching down the street and handing out sweets, very exciting for them as sweets were rationed.
The War Memorial was unveiled in 1921. It has the names of personnel lost in both World Wars. There are a further two buried in the churchyard.
The old school is on the opposite side of Crow Street from the War Memorial, and is now called OSCA. It’s used by the villagers for events including book sales and art exhibitions. The telephone box is a listed building and now a free community library.
The school was built in 1876 for 138 children and closed in 1975. Education was not free and there were complaints by the staff that during harvest times children didn’t attend school, the register shows absences “working in the field” or “minding the babies”. In 1891 the fees were abolished and the state took over responsibility.
Passing the village sign on the green as you walk down the side of the old school. On the right hand side there is a house dating to the mid 1600s. Walk into The Row.
The row of cottages here are small. The Brand family on the night of the Census of 1841 had 10 people in one property it shows that the 10 year old boy James’s occupation is agricultural labourer.
The gardens on the right of The Row were little agricultural plots. The Row use to be known as “Rotten Row”. The property in the foreground with the chimney full of flowers was condemned in 1938. It was only saved by villagers purchasing it and renovating it.
Keep walking down The Row until you come to the old petrol pumps.
This property Starr Cottage has had a varied life. In 1780 it was established by Messrs Hawkes, Bird and Nash with money earned from supplying malt to London breweries via the Stort Navigation Canal. The Starr and Garter pub closed in 1898. From 1898 to 1950 it was a working dairy farm. In 1950 it opened as a garage doing repairs and selling fuel. In 1995 EU rules prevented further sale of fuel and the business closed.
Now walk back to the main road and turn left.
Walk past two of our ponds in the village, which will have at least some ducks and coots swimming around.
Late spring is always good to see the ducklings, their mother never teaches them the green cross code, locals travel past all the ponds very slowly at this time of year.
The ponds were used by the farmers and tradesmen and especially the wheelwright who would soak the wood in the ponds to make the wood pliable and so swell sufficiently to fit onto the rims of the wheels of the carts and wagons.
You arrive at the only shop in the village sadly the post office is under threat of closure yet again, having closed and repreived. The shop is run by the villagers as a cooperative and the staff are volunteers. It sells groceries, receives bread from a nearby bakery and sells local books and postcards
Now continue walking and you will return to the pub.
I hope you have enjoyed this walk.