Finchingfield looking East
Finchingfield shown within Essex
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|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
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Finchingfield is a village situated in the Braintree district of Essex. It is in the north-west of the county, which is a primarily rural area. It is situated approximately six miles from Thaxted and somewhat further from the larger towns of Saffron Walden & Braintree.
There has been a settlement at the site since records began; in the time of William the Conqueror it was called Phincingfelda and there is archeological evidence for a Roman villa having been situated some 400 metres south-south-west of the village church. The village was an official stop for horse-drawn coaches journeying from London to Norwich. Spains Hall, the nearby Elizabethan country house, was built in the early 15th century and was the hub of the community, owning much of the village and employing most of the villagers.
Society and leisure
The Civil Parish of Finchingfield had a population of about 1,348 according to the United Kingdom Census 2001 with three types of inhabitants: those who have lived and worked in the area all their lives; those who have moved to the village to work locally or retire; and commuters.
There are many societies and clubs in the village, including The Finchingfield Society, the Horticultural Society, the Royal British Legion and Finchingfield Cricket Club.
Finchingfield is often called the most beautiful village in England and it is regarded as a 'picture-postcard' village and one of the most photographed in England with a duck pond and village green surrounded by Georgian and medieval cottages; a church, St John the Baptist Church, which is on the hill; an 18th century windmill; three public houses; tea rooms; a hall; a primary school; and a doctor's surgery. Finchingfield has often appeared in television programmes and films and in television and film commercials. Finchingfield has been seen frequently adorning chocolate boxes, biscuit tins and other quality products.
Finchingfield was the later home and resting place of Dodie Smith, whose books include The Hundred and One Dalmatians (1956). Dodie Smith lived in The Barretts at Howe Street, a hamlet in Finchingfield Parish about 1.35 miles (2.2 km) from Finchingfield village.
Notable people from Finchingfield
- Thomas Howard, 21st Earl of Arundel
- Norman Lewis - Travel Writer, Novelist, founder of Survival International.
- Dodie Smith, author of The Hundred and One Dalmatians.
- Jarvis, Joanne (November 2008). "Finchingfield's friendly faces". Essex Life (Archant). pp. 78–79. Retrieved 24 January 2009. (Registration required)
- "Cruella's 'home' up for sale". BBC News (BBC). 25 September 2002. Retrieved 24 January 2009.
- Clifford-Smith, Stephanie (22 March 2008). "Village trials". The Australian (News Limited). Retrieved 24 January 2009.
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