Our Walk on 12th November 2017
|Our Walk Downham W. Hanningf'ld S. Hanningf'ld Finale Wickford Circle Read Me|
On our walk this Remembrance Sunday we tried to capture some of the flavour of this annual national event, by seeing how it was reflected in three villages close to Wickford in Essex. Our walk was based on a walk which I had done leading groups or solo many times before in this part of the world. However, I hope that this walk was new to some of you and helped to dispel the notion that Essex is entirely flat. We also saw some autumnal colour even though the wind had hastened the leaf fall. If you would like to get to know this walk throughout the seasons and if you would like to know more about associated length and heights, you might wish to click on "Wickford Circular".
At each church we stopped at the war memorial for a short reflection on the occasion. At South Hanningfield we were able to participate in part of the outdoor ceremony conducted by the vicar. Here the "Last Post", and of course, the National Anthem, were both played.
What you will see here.
Note that I took some pictures on this page on the next day. Monday's fine weather allowed me to repeat the walk and fill in some photographic gaps. (These "gaps" arose because I did not wish to hold up our walk too much). I think that the few extra pictures serve to amplify the visual impressions we had, rather than detract from them!
Downham Church is strategically situated on a promontory, and with Downham Hall just below represents a local axis of mediaeval power - the spiritual power with the church and the temporal power with the local squire in the hall. The church is dedicated to the dragon slayer, Saint Margaret of Antioch. The red brick tower is believed to be from the 15th century. We stopped to look at the War Memorial and to admire the view stretching as far as Kent.
We crossed some fields to reach a part of Saint Peter's Way. This long-distance path goes all the way from Ongar to Saint Peter's Church (reputedly England's oldest church) at Bradwell on the Essex Coast. In West Hanningfield we stopped off for lunch at the "Three Compasses", which dates from the 15th century. After this we reached West Hanningfield's church and stopped to look at the War Memorial.
We reached South Hanningfield before sundown and had the chance to appreciate the sun setting over Hanningfield Reservoir. We joined the open air remembrance celebration in the churchyard of the mediaeval church. This was a fitting conclusion to our Remembrance Day walk. We had a few more miles to go, but, being fit, we accomplished these without undue effort.
Thank you to all who came and joined me on this walk. Thank you for your company. I hope you enjoyed the Essex landscape in this part of the county. I hope you enjoyed the exercise! Above all, I hope you enjoyed the theme of our walk, a theme which, I am sure, makes us all pause for thought.