Sunday, 29 January 2012

Tiptree, Essex

I will not be rude about St Luke, even though, to my eye, there is very little of merit to be said for it. It was, however, open and that has to earn it some brownie points.

Victorian built, architecturally a dull external and a dire internal but it was warm, which is unusual, and it was open.

ST LUKE. 1855 by Ewan Christian, small; apsed, red brick, no tower.

St Luke (2)

TIPTREE. Where the great forest of Essex spread hundreds of years ago, fruit trees now stand in ordered rows. We came in spring, and found the 200-year-old windmill looking down on a pink and white cloud of cherry and plum and apple blossom, a lovely scene.

It is said that smugglers brought their contraband from the creeks, up the long hillside road, to conceal them in the brick tower of this mill. The great sails still jut out from its dark cone-like cap, an eerie landmark in the winter twilight.

Away beyond the heath towards Great Braxted stands an Elizabethan house with line transomed windows. It has a great Tudor fireplace and a rubble wall from a medieval priory.


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