Great Dunmow - Flitch Way - Little Easton - Great Dunmow
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The name Dunmow meant "hill meadow" or "hill-fort" in Anglo-Saxon times. The oldest coin found here, made of tin, is now in the Ashmolean Museum and shows this was a trading area in very early times. The excellent wells which supplied water to these early peoples are still to be found behind almost every shop on the High Street. The Romans built a settlement here and you cross one of their former roads (Stane Street) on the walk. Queen Boudicca (Boadicea) burned down the Roman settlement and garrison station in 70AD.
At the time of the Doomsday Book, Dunmow had 7 manors and 70 families. At that time Chelmsford and nearby Braintree had fewer than six each! On the walk you will pass Doctor's Pond. This was named after a local doctor who used to keep his leeches in it. It was also used in 1784 to test the first unsinkable lifeboat. You also pass the Lock Up, later used by the Duchess of Warwick as a soup kitchen. It now has an old notice on its door which advertises a boot repairer's work "sewn work a speciality - prices moderate". The Starr Restaurant, an old coaching inn and the Saracen's Head Hotel, a large 16th Century posting inn formerly used by Cromwell, are also on your route.
Finally, it may be of interest to know a little more of the Dunmow Flitch Trials. This refers to a custom which originated at Little Dunmow Priory. It involves couples who have been happily married for at least a year and a day, coming to Dunmow to claim the Flitch of Bacon. Chaucer mentions this in The Wife of Bath's Tale. From 1701 a jury was introduced to hold the trial. Since the Second World War they have been held every four years. Queen Elizabeth II is the only reigning monarch to have been awarded the Flitch. This was after her golden wedding in 1997. It was returned to the town and shared between 17 local couples who were also celebrating their golden weddings.
England - East England - Essex - Countryside
Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Great Views, Lake/Loch, Mostly Flat, Pub, Restaurant, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife
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