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For other uses, see Thaxted (disambiguation).
Thaxted Windmill and Church - - 158193.jpg
Thaxted Windmill and Church
Thaxted is located in Essex
 Thaxted shown within Essex
Population 2,845 (2011)[1]
OS grid reference TL615315
District Uttlesford
Shire county Essex
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town DUNMOW
Postcode district CM6
Dialling code 01371
Police Essex
Fire Essex
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament Saffron Walden
List of places

Coordinates: 51°57′16″N 0°20′46″E / 51.9544°N 0.3461°E / 51.9544; 0.3461

Thaxted is a town in the Uttlesford district of Essex, England, which had a total of 2,845 residents at the 2011 census.


Thaxted appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Tachesteda, Old English for "place where thatch was got." Once a centre of cutlery manufacture, Thaxted went into decline with the rise of Sheffield as a major industrial centre. A light railway, the Elsenham & Thaxted Light Railway, eventually opened in 1913, though the railway itself never reached nearer than three-quarters of a mile (1.2 km) from the town, as building earthworks across the River Chelmer proved too costly. With the growth of road transport, the line was closed to passengers in 1952 and closed altogether in 1953. The name of Cutler's Green, a small hamlet about a mile to the west of Thaxted, recalls the trade that yielded the area's early wealth. Just to the West of Cutler's Green is the mysteriously named Richmond's in the Wood.


Thaxted's population has remained almost unchanged down the centuries, hovering near the 2,000 mark. In 1829 there were 2,293 people living in Thaxted; in 1848 there were 2,527. At the time of the 1881 census that figure had fallen to 1,914, and fell further by 1921 to 1,596.[2] In 2001, the population was 2,526.


An electoral ward in the same name exists. The population of this ward at the 2011 census was 3,512.[3]

Notable buildings[edit]

Notable Thaxted buildings include Horham Hall, Thaxted Guildhall dating from around 1450 and John Webb's Windmill built in 1804.

The large parish church of St John, built between 1340 and 1510, is renowned for its flying buttressed spire, which is 181 feet tall and is the only medieval stone spire in the county.[4] It has perpendicular windows and a stained glass representing Adam and Eve. The church, which stands on a hill and overlooks the town, is often referred to as "the Cathedral of Essex".[5] From 1910 to 1942, the vicar was Conrad Noel, known as the 'Red Vicar' because of his well known Christian Socialism.[6]

Society and leisure[edit]

Thaxted has many clubs and societies. Thaxted Morris was founded in 1911 and is the oldest revival Morris dancing group in England.[5] Thaxted Morris Men hosted the meeting at which the "Morris Ring" was formed as a national organisation in 1934; and continue to host one of their meetings every year: in 2009 this was a celebration of the Ring's 75th anniversary.

The annual Thaxted Festival takes place over four weekends in June and July every year, presenting a programme of musical concerts.[5]

The town was used for many of the exterior scenes in the 1952 comedy film Time Gentlemen, Please!.[citation needed]

In late 2010 and into early 2011, the town's recreation ground play park was renovated. It now provides children with new equipment such as swings, a zip wire, a climbing frame and much more.[citation needed]

Thaxted also has its own football club who are known as the Thaxted Rangers, they have a senior team as well as several youth teams.

Notable residents[edit]


  1. ^ "Town population 2011". Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  2. ^ Mark Arman. 1978. An Historical Guide and brief tour of the Ancient Town of Thaxted in Essex. [Published by author], ISBN 0-946943-00-1.
  3. ^ "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c Ward, Amy (September 2008). "A Centre for Culture". Essex Life (Archant): 94. Retrieved 24 January 2009.  (Registration required).
  6. ^ "Conrad Noel". Henry S. Salt Archive. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  7. ^

See also[edit]

The Hundred Parishes

External links[edit]