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For the village in Kent, see Halstead, Kent. For other uses, see Halstead (disambiguation).
Halstead High Street.jpg
Halstead High Street
Halstead is located in Essex
 Halstead shown within Essex
Population 11,053 (2001)
OS grid reference TL816306
Civil parish Halstead
District Braintree
Shire county Essex
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town HALSTEAD
Postcode district CO9
Dialling code 01787
Police Essex
Fire Essex
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament Braintree
List of places

Coordinates: 51°56′42″N 0°38′28″E / 51.9451°N 0.6411°E / 51.9451; 0.6411

Halstead is a town and civil parish located in Braintree District of Essex in England. It has a population of 11, 053.[1]

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'.[1]

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.

Nearby Moyns Park, a Grade I listed Elizabethan country house, is said to have been where Ian Fleming put the finishing touches on his novel From Russia, with Love.

Social Life[edit]

Halstead has a number of restaurants, bars and pubs including:

  • The Locomotive in Butler Road
  • The Bull Hotel in Bridge Street
  • The White Hart in the High Street
  • Whispers Wine Bar in the High Street
  • Scenarios nightclub in Trinity Street

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 beautiful 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 great library, situated in a large open-plan building that used to be a technical school but was built as the Corn Exchange and which dates from 1864-1865.[2]


  • Matt Cardle - 2010 winner of X Factor: resident.
  • Steve Lamacq - Radio 2 DJ: former Ramsey School pupil & resident.
  • Richard Bryant - photographer: resident, since 1957.
  • Sheila Jacobs - well-known author and writer of Christian novels, including Watchers: sometime resident.
  • Christopher Portway - war hero, explorer and author: born in Halstead in 1923. Joined the Army straight after leaving school, to fight in the Second World War. Captured in Normandy, he later escaped from three prison camps in Eastern Europe. Whilst on the run from the Germans in Czechoslovakia, he met Anna who was later to become his second wife. After 1945 he made repeated attempts to reach Anna, but her home was now sealed off behind the Iron Curtain. On one such attempt, he was caught after cutting his way through electrified fences and crawling over a minefield, and was sentenced to 104 years in jail by the Communist authorities.[citation needed] Portway was a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, as well as being a recipient of the Winston Churchill Award for biography and travel. He was a frequent contributor to various magazines and newspapers and was the author of seventeen books.
  • Michael Portway - poet and brother of Christopher: chairman of Halstead in Bloom, the local charity dedicated to floral displays in the town.
  • Stephen Mann MIoD founder of Essential Safety Services Limited and International Speaker, spoke at the HSE conference, East West Summit in Moscow in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Stephen also won top trainer of the year at the HSE national conference in March 2013 in Southend-on-Sea.


Halstead is the home to three Primary schools:

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.



Halstead's largest football club is Halstead Town F.C.. The club play in the 10th tier of the English football league system, in the Eastern Counties Football League Division One.


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


External links[edit]