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Halstead High Street
Halstead shown within Essex
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The town is near Colchester and Sudbury, in the Colne Valley. The town originally developed on the hill to the north of the river. The name Halstead is said to have derived from the Old English hald (refuge, shelter, healthy) and stede (site, place or farm), meaning 'healthy farm' 'safe place' or 'place of refuge'.
The single wide High Street is dominated by the 14th-century church of St Andrew, which was extensively renovated during the Victorian period but retains much earlier decoration including tomb monuments dating from the 14th century and earlier. The town's other attractions include a local Antiques Mill.
A historical society holds regular monthly meetings throughout the year and a town museum attached to the town council offices features some historical artifacts and various objects limited to local interest. The Empire Theatre in Butler Road hosts occasional bingo nights.
The historic core of Halstead can be observed on a walk up the market hill. A river walk runs through the town from east to west, and just outside the town is Broaks Wood, a popular area for walking owned by the Forestry Commission. Halstead Public Gardens were established in 1900 and is noted for its floral displays. The Townsford Mill that spans the river at the bottom of the town houses the Antiques Centre, with thousands of interesting pieces ranging from clothing to household items. Halstead has a library situated in a large open-plan building that was built as the Corn Exchange but used to be a technical school and which dates from 1864-1865.
- Matt Cardle - 2010 winner of X Factor: resident.
- Steve Lamacq - Radio 2 DJ: former Ramsey School pupil & resident.
- Richard Bryant - photographer. Resident since 1957.
Halstead is the home to three Primary schools:
- Holy Trinity
- Richard de Clare
There are many secondary schools within easy travelling distance. Most pupils opt for either Sible Hedingham, Braintree or Colchester.
The Ramsey Academy (formerly The Ramsey College) is another school, to the north of the town centre.
Yellow House School is an independent school for children with special needs.
The town is home to Halstead Cricket Club. The side field three teams in the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship.
During the 2011 season the club, with the help of club member and former Bangladesh bowling coach Ian Pont brought in Bangladeshi international cricketer Syed Rasel. Other players to have played both first class cricket and for the club include former Essex and Leicestershire man Darren Robinson, international coach Richard Pybus and New Zealand U-19 and Canterbury bowler Matt Henry.
Since 2010 the town has a rugby club called The Halstead Templars R.F.C
- Halstead Then and Now in Old & Current Photography
- Halstead and District Local History Society Website
- Connect Halstead
- Halstead Webcam
- Halstead Residents' Association
- Halstead Gazette
- Braintree District Council
- Halstead Town FC
- Halstead CC