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Stage 5. West Bergholt to Manningtree

Tuesday 28th August 2018


Distance Time Elevation in meters

Gain Loss Min Max
27.86 6H15 5H43 161 207 3 54





Leaving West Bergholt along Armoury Road

Armoury Road


Soon out into open countryside and walking through a field of sugar beet







Discovery Apple - Drummer's Delight

This hard red apple - the only important August apple to be grown in the U.K. - is the third most widely grown apple after Cox and Bramley. The original tree is said to stand in Langham to this day, where it grew from a seed planted by George Drummer in the 1950's.



A delightful dwelling along Brick Kiln Lane, appropriately called "Thatched Cottage"

Half Butt Inn

One of two interesting lodges next to St John's Church...... perhaps gate keepers lodges or toll collection points

After turning left out of Brick Kiln Lane onto Nayland Road, you turn right into Ivy Lodge Road. The map indicates that the path then goes off to the left but it is not easy to spot. You have to continue down Ivy Lodge road just past Saxon House on the left, where you find the path


Blackbrook Stud Farm

Red guide arrows a la Camino, probably put there for The Essex Way Relay Race



2nd September 2018 Essex Way Relay Race

This race covers the 82 miles of the Essex Way from Epping Station to Harwich Old Lighthouse in 10 stages. The route is mostly cross country and can be difficult through crops and across ploughed fields. Nevertheless it is a very enjoyable day out in the most attractive rural parts of Essex (with an excellent fish and chip shop and pubs waiting for you at Harwich). The course is NOT marked and it is essential for all competitors to have reconnoitred their section before the day to avoid getting lost.

Fergie, Derek and other Nomads were heavily involved in 'testing' the draft Essex Way trail instructions before final versions were written up. Since that time many Clubs and individuals have contributed to checking the Stages for changes to ensure the descriptions are as up to date as possible. These are available below as a complete set (21 pages) in either pdf or Word for Windows format or individually in pdf format for downloading and printing.




Wooded area

You come out of the wooded area into what I can only describe as a junk yard! The big gates at the back on the left were locked and there seemed to be no way out! I eventually found a gap to the left of the big gates and got out of the yard! If I were to be doing this walk again I would take a more direct route as shown below and avoid this yard.


Tye Cottage


Right turn through Holly Lodge Farm

Dedham Vale Vineyard

St Peter's Church, Boxted

Route not obvious at first glance at this point, but it goes to the right of the gates


View over the Stour Valley


Approaching Langham through an onion field


As you approach Langham the path seems to take an unnecessary detour around
Langham Hall, and it is tempting to take the road. Unfortunately this is not a public footpath.
(Map courtesy of Essex City Council)


Langham Hall

The original manor was held by Sir Walter Tyrell who is suspected of having killed King William II whilst hunting in the New Forrest in 1100. A more recent resident was Squire William Nocton who was High Sheriff of Essex in 1908-09. The squire was a flamboyant character who rode in a 6-horse coach, the excessive length of which prompted him to construct a wide turning at the South Lodge entrance. The driveway between Langham Hall and Gun Hill is lined by a magnificent Lime Tree Avenue


St Mary's Church, Langham


St. Mary's Church, Langham and the Hurlock Schoolroom

St Mary's Church is depicted in several of the paintings of John Constable whose talent was encouraged from an early age by Dr Fisher, the local rector. The church either appears in, or is the viewpoint for, several of Constables's most well-known paintings.

The small building in the corner of the churchyard is the Hurlock Schoolroom. It was built in 1832 by Dr Hurlock, the rector at that time, to serve as a girl's school on week-days and a resting place for the old and the poor between church services on Sundays. St Mary's contains the oldest church chest in Essex, and one of the oldest in the country. This "dug-out" chest, hewn from oak, was probably used to store money raised to finance the Crusades in the 12th century.




Before the A12 road was built, all the traffic had to negotiate the steep and dangerous bends of Gun Hill. A cast-iron sign was put on the toll-gate which was written from the point of view of a horse hauling a heavy load up the hill. Credited to a 19th century Langham parson, the sign is now located in the south porch of St Mary's church.

The Dumb Animals Humble Petition
Rest Drivers on this steep hill
Dumb Beasts pray use, with all good will
Goad not, scourge not with thronged whips
Let not ne curse escape your lips
God sees and hears.

The Hurlock Schoolroom


The Glebe Farm by John Constable
(Courtesy of www.tate.org.uk)


The cottage nestling in woodland was a stock motif in early nineteenth century art, appearing even in the work of an artist as technically daring as Constable. Indeed, the relatively conventional character of this painting suggests that the painter may have had the marketplace in mind.

However, this picture has an additional, personal significance. The image originated with an oil sketch of the rectory of Langham, where Constable’s old friend and supporter, Dr Fisher, had once lived. Fisher’s death in 1825 prompted Constable to return to the sketch and produce a number of oils of the scene.

Gallery Label, September 2004. The Tate



Leaving Langham Church as I walk down the Avenue of Limes

The Avenue of Limes

Cosgrove Lodge

Exiting the Avenue of Limes on to Gun Hill via the huge cast iron gates

Crossing the A12 on route to Dedham, just before Milssoms Restaurant

Down to the River Stour




The Marlborough Arms pub, Dedham

Dedham Church

The path goes to the left of the church



"Houston, we have a problem!" the Essex Way route over the pedestrian railway crossing was closed.
I had to back track and find an alternative route.


Road route under the railway bridge to Mill Hill

St Mary the Virgin Church, Lawford



Lawford Church

The Chancel in St Mary's Church is an exquisite example of ornate Gothic art. The church is noted for its exuberant 14th century carving. Stone has been formed into thick foliage from which birds and animals peep, and into writhing lines of little men, tumbling and dancing while some of them make music on a variety of instruments.



Coming into Manningtree via the Methodist Church on South Street


The bus stop for the bus to Colchester is on the corner of High Street and Brook Street

The famous Manningtree Clock