Monday, 30 June 2014

Roach and Crouch Walk 30.06.14

I decided to walk the Roach and Crouch walk, please check that the ferry is running before doing this walk as it is only runs at certain times of the year.

I left home on Monday the 30th June 2014 and caught the train to Rochford Station on The Liverpool Street Line. I arrive eventually at Rochford after a delay catching the train as there was someone on the line at Ilford. I left the station after crossing over to the London bound platform and out the exit. I Turn left onto the minor road past a Scout Base.
As I enter a Golf course and I can see St Andrews Church to my right. St. Andrew’s, built mostly of brick, dates largely from a rebuild in the 15th century. There is a big brick tower, and a totally unexpected pair of half timbered gables.Its unique feature is that it is the only church to be completely surrounded by a golf course.
          I deviated from the path to walk around the church so I could have a look at Rochford Hall.

RochfordHall has seen many alterations and extensions since it's 12th century foundation, though  much of what you see today is the 16th century Hall that Thomas Boleyn, Viscount Rochford and father of Anne, inherited from his mother. It became the marital home of Anne's sister Mary, and is supposedly where Henry VIII first met his future second wife.
  The Boleyns owned the home from 1515, a home claimed to be the setting of secret meetings between King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. There are even rumors of a secret tunnel system beneath the home that King Henry VIII used as his discreet escape route from the house.The manor was originally built in 1216 and in its 16th century form, comprised a turreted manor with moat and a great hall. The hall has been greatly altered over the years and is now privately owned and operates as a golf club.
 I continued back on the path across the golf course and skirt around the edge and then cross the Railway line via a crossing.
A Gunnera
 From the railway crossing I could see the busy Southend Airport.
Control Tower at Southend Airport.
 I walked down a short road and had to wait ages to try and cross a road at the end with endless traffic.Once across the road I walk onto a path directly opposite.I walked along this path studying my map as I walked. A dog jumped out of the bushes and barked.This really took me by surprise I can tell you!
Now the path is following the River Roach toward Stambridge.As I round a corner I can see the tall buildings of Stambridge Mills at the tidal limit of The River Roach.I follow the path and cross two metal bridges by the Mills.

 Stambridge Mills have been a base for Grain milling and transport for about two centuries till its closure in the mid 90s.There is now planning application submitted for housing on the area.
I follow the path through a field and out onto a road,as a plane flew above destined for Southend Airport.

 I walk up the road to my left and just before the last house I enter a footpath that leads me past a fishing lake and then past a cricket field.I passed the Broomhill house,the former home of John Harriot the founder of The Thames River Police.
I now follow the path alongside The River Roach,the path obviously isn't walked that much as the grass is tall and this made the going hard.

The tide was out but the sight and sounds of the wading birds was amazing! Oystercatchers gulls and more.

 Looking across to Great Stambridge and its Saxon Church.
The name "Stambridge" means "Stone bridge". The only bridge in the parish is now brick-built over the small stream that rises in Canewdon, flows under the road just south of the Royal Oak, and into the Roach near "Waldens". The village itself is called Great Stambridge.
 I come up to Barton Hall creek and its a long walk around a featureless creek,till I meet a road leading up to Hampton Barns.

Looking across a field of peas to Hampton Barns.This farm sits on the area once occupied by a medieval mansion.
 Now the official route that I following heads back down to follow the Roach again.But I had had enough of the river now and it long grass and opt to follow the farm track to my left and make my way towards Paglesham East End.

 At the end of this path is a large lake full of seagulls and other birds.

  I follow a path to my left and across fields of wheat and I saw a hare dart away down into the wheat.

 The path emerges at a beautiful house called Stannetts.This is a Listed building built in the 18th century.Further along I walk through a field of rape and two hare startled me,they were right next to me and run off brushing my leg.It is only when you get this close you realise how much bigger than rabbits they are!
 I am now walking down the road into Paglesham East End,past some lovely houses.

Cupola House

Cupola House
 I walk past Cupola a Grade II listed building built early 19th Century.
 I pass the Mission Hall of St Peters,which appears to be made of corrugated iron!

 I now reach the Plough and Sail PH, my first stop of the day.

It is said that Paglesham was known to be the smuggling capital of the district where many locals were ship owners using the port to transport goods such as tea, gin and tobacco from Dunkirk, providing a healthy profit. The coast between Southend and Rochford was ideal smuggling country, with its creeks and rivulets turning to mud flats at low tide.
Over 30 oyster smacks were based in Paglesham and the Plough and Sail became a meeting place for the hardworking crews.One of the leading smuggler was known as 'Hard Apple' and was one of Pagleshams Parish Councillors.
 I ordered myself a half of Maldon Gold Ale from the Mighty Oak Brewery.
Brewed using only Maris Otter pale malt for a light golden ale with biscuity malt flavour. Mount Hood and First Gold hops give a distinctive citrus character along with a long dry bitter finish.
 I leave the pub and head off on a few more paths through farm fields.I eventually emerge next to St Peters in Paglesham Churchend.The church stands in a picturesque churchyard, with Church Hall (given by Edward the Confessor to Westminster Abbey in 1065) for company, at the end of the road.There was a church here before the Norman Conquest and the Normans probably re-built it, (as they did many Saxon churches), using their own more advanced style of architecture.

 As I walk through the village I come to my second stop, The Punchbowl PH.I order a half of Heresy Ale and continue on my way.
A little way after the pub I take a path on my right and cut across to Paglesham Creek.

I now walk along the road past Riverside Holiday Park to Wallasea Island.
I walked down Ferry Road to Essex Marina and down to The Burnham on crouch  Ferry.

I sat on the dock and rested my legs,phoned for the ferry and waited for it to arrive.

After a few minutes a rib style boat arrived and I paid the man £3.50 for a one way trip across The River Crouch to Burnham On Crouch.I asked if he made much. He said its a lot busier at the weekends and school holidays. He shares the work load with his brother and just does it to pay to keep his yacht. Fair enough,great service!

Once moored on the other side, I leave the boat and head into The Anchor Hotel for a half of Gold Beach Golden Ale.
An easy drinking lager style beer to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Gold Beach was the code name for one of the landings.
Availability: May and June

St Mary's House, Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex 
The clock tower at St Mary's House, Burnham-on-Crouch. The tower was built in 1877 and dedicated to a local oyster merchant called Luban Sweeting. The main part of the building was formerly Burnham Endowed School, and dates from 1785. It has now been converted into apartments.

The Rio cinema
Burnham on Crouch has been lucky enough to have a cinema in town since 1910.

The Electric Cinema was opened in 1910 from an old public hall. This was a brave venture as it was one of the first towns to have a cinema in the county. The Electric Cinema was sited next to the building that is currently Burnham Constitutional Club. The Electric Cinema, which was owned by the Newman family, provided basic facilities for about 250 patrons.

In 1931 the Electric Cinema ran into difficulty when the purpose built Princes Cinema opened its doors. After a short period the Electric Cinema closed and the building was demolished to make way for shops.

Princes Cinema was twice the size of the Electric Cinema and provided comparative luxury. Princes continued through several owners until the late 1960s when it was renamed the Rio, a name it retains today.
Many of you will remember the emergency lighting illumination was by gas - the Burnham Rio was the last cinema in the country to change to electric.

I walk up the hill and catch the train home, a total of 12 miles and a lovely walk.

No comments:

Post a Comment