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Finchingfield looking East
Finchingfield is located in Essex
 Finchingfield shown within Essex
Population 1,348 
OS grid reference TL683327
Civil parish Finchingfield
District Braintree
Shire county Essex
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Braintree
Postcode district CM7
Dialling code 01371
Police Essex
Fire Essex
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
List of places

Coordinates: 51°58′03″N 0°27′00″E / 51.96747°N 0.44995°E / 51.96747; 0.44995

Finchingfield is a village in the Braintree district in north-west Essex, a primarily rural area. It is approximately six miles from Thaxted, further from the larger towns of Saffron Walden and Braintree.

Nearby villages include Great Bardfield, Great Sampford, and Wethersfield.


There has been a settlement in Finchingfield since historical records of the area began. There also is archaeological evidence for a Roman villa 400 metres south-south-west of the village church, and during the time of William the Conqueror it was called Phincingfelda.

The village was an official stop for horse-drawn coaches travelling from London to Norwich. Spains Hall, the nearby Elizabethan country house, was built in the early fifteenth century. The hall is named after Hervey de Ispania, who held the manor at the time of the Domesday Book in 1086. Since then, the land has been owned by three families: the de Ispania family, the Kempe family, who acquired it when Margery de Ispania married Nicholas Kempe in the early fifteenth century, and the Ruggles family (later the Ruggles-Brise family who reside there today). The hall was the hub of the community, those families owning much of the village, and employing most of the villagers.[1]

Society and leisure[edit]

The civil parish of Finchingfield had a population of about 1,348 at the United Kingdom Census 2001.[2]

The ecclesiastical parish covering Finchingfield includes Cornish Hall End, Shalford, and Wethersfield.

There are many societies and clubs founded in Finchingfield, including The Finchingfield Society, the Horticultural Society, the Royal British Legion, and Finchingfield Cricket Club.[1]

It often is called the most beautiful village in England, a 'picture-postcard' village and one of the most photographed, with a duck pond and village green surrounded by Georgian and medieval cottages; St John the Baptist Church on the hill; an eighteenth-century windmill; three public houses; tea rooms; a hall; a primary school; and a doctor's surgery.[1] It often has appeared in television programmes, films, and commercials, as well as on chocolate boxes, biscuit tins, and other quality products.

It was the later home and resting place of Dodie Smith, whose books include The Hundred and One Dalmatians (1956). She lived in The Barretts at Howe Street, a hamlet in the parish about 1.35 miles (2.2 km) from the village.

The 2013 Sky series Chickens was filmed in the village. it is about three young men who avoided going to fight during World War I, written by and starred Simon Bird and Joe Thomas.

Notable people from Finchingfield[edit]



  1. ^ a b c Jarvis, Joanne (November 2008). "Finchingfield's friendly faces". Essex Life (Archant). pp. 78–79. Retrieved 24 January 2009.  (Registration required)
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Cruella's 'home' up for sale". BBC News (BBC). 25 September 2002. Retrieved 24 January 2009. 
  4. ^
  • Clifford-Smith, Stephanie (22 March 2008). "Village trials". The Australian (News Limited). Retrieved 24 January 2009. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]