Wednesday, 25 May 2011
The last of my holiday photographs are of the town - and the church - of Thaxted, on the Suffolk/Essex border. Sir John Betjamen summed it up when he said -
"There is no town in Essex - and very few in England - to equal in beauty, compactness and juxtaposition of its Medieval and Georgian architecture, than the town of Thaxted."
We stayed with farming friends there for a few days. The farmer was most interested as this is an arable area - the complete opposite of the yorkshire Dales, which is almost completely grassland, sheep and dairy herds. The farm we stayed on - in a house that was partly very ancient and which creaked and groaned - and which had bees nesting in the wooden beams - grew nothing but wheat, barley and rape.
One morning we went into the town of Thaxted, only a mile away. It was quite hard to drag the farmer away from the fields, but the town itself is very beautiful, and the church, which Betjamen described as "one of the finest parish churches in the country and a building of outstanding beauty and grandeur" was indeed magnificent.
The old guildhall (what a pity that there are cars everywhere to spoil the views) dates from 1462 and is in a remarkable state of preservation and still used for Parish meetings.
The whole area was in complete contrast to up here - flat, large fields, pretty colour-washed houses - such a change and all the better for it. Enjoy my photographs.