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.


Elizabeth said...

Dear Weaver
You are making me quite homesick for Essex!
Please post more of your super Essex photos if you have any. I think Essex is a most maligned country and has much to recommend it. Warmer here at last!

MorningAJ said...

You've been to some lovely places on your trip. Thanks for sharing.

steven said...

hello weaver!! suffolk and essex are entirely new to me. your photographs tell the story of stories that i would love to have told to me. thanks for sharing all of your beautiful travel pictures. perhaps i'll visit there myself sometime in the future. steven

Chris said...

I love those colorful houses! New York City is such a brown, white, grey blend that I forget the beauty of colorful houses.

Heather said...

Thaxted looks so beautiful and full of interesting buildings. Your photos are excellent and give us a real feeling of how lovely the area is.

H said...

I always tend to head for mountains, but there is much to be said for the hugh skies up the east side of the country.

angryparsnip said...

Lovely wonderful photos as always !

If I could I would move into the thatched, whitewashed home with the green bush in front. Absolutely beautiful.
Of course I wanted to live where you visited yesterday too ! I am so fickle !

Now I must google Essex and see where you traveled.

cheers, parsnip

Bovey Belle said...

Thaxted is one place we didn't visit when we used to stay on the Essex/Suffolk border. Our loss, clearly. What a beautiful town it is - and what a stunning church - and as for the Guildhall . . . WOW!

Tom Stephenson said...

Nice. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle also base a Sherlock story about vampires here too, didn't he?

Pondside said...

I love to read about places that are so completely new to me - right off my radar. It sounds like it was a lovely place to stay - the inside of the church is beautiful. Over here many people find themselves attending church in old shopping malls, in schools and rec centres.

Kayla coo said...

Just popping in to say hello and thanks for sharing your lovely photo's.x

Dartford Warbler said...

I love the country market towns of East Anglia. Suffolk used to be a favourite county to visit.

Good to hear that you enjoyed your holiday in completely different countryside to your beautiful Dales.