Thaxted is a village and civil parish in the Uttlesford district of northwest Essex, England. The town is 15 miles (24 km) north from the county town of Chelmsford, and 5.5 miles (9 km) east from the M11 motorway. The parish contains the hamlets of Cutlers Green, Bardfield End Green, Sibleys Green, Monk Street, and Richmond's Green. Much of its status as a "town" rests on its tall, rustic, Tudor guildhall, a place where guilds of skilled tradesmen regulated their trading practices.
Thaxted Windmill and Church
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Thaxted was a development of a Saxon settlement on a Roman road. Archeological research of the area by Oxford Archaeology in 2007 produced finds showing Bronze Age, late Iron Age, Roman, late medieval and post-medieval occupation, including flint fragments, floor and roof tiles, pottery sherds, ditch enclosures, graves, and skeletal remains. A further archeological excavation in the centre of the town by the Colchester Archeological Trust in 2015 found a large medieval ditch which may have been a part of the town's defences, 15th- to 16th-century artifacts, and fragments of animal bone waste, mainly from cattle.
The town is listed in the 1086 Domesday Book by Norman scribes with no real sense of any orthodox orthography as 'Tachesteda'. The settlement of 108 households was in the Hundred of Dunmow, with a population that included 54 villagers, 34 smallholders, 16 slaves, and 4 freemen. The land supported 28.5 plough teams—being 7 lord's teams and 21.5 men's teams—and contained two mills, meadow of 154 acres (0.62 km2), and woodland with 850 pigs. In 1066 there were four cobs, 36 cattle, an additional 128 pigs, 200 sheep, and 10 beehives. The sheep had increased to 320, and the beehives to 16, by 1086. In 1066 the lord was WihtGar, son of Aelfric, who was lord or overlord of 27 other manors, chiefly in west Essex. After 1086 the lordship of Thaxted was given in part to Warner, and to Richard fitz Gilbert—son to Gilbert, Count of Brionne—who was also Tenant-in-chief to the king.
Thaxted parish is run by a parish council, and the town provides two district council representatives on Uttlesford District Council and one councillor on Essex County Council. The Thaxted electoral ward had a recorded population of 3,512 at the 2011 census.
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. In 2001, the population was 2,526. Thaxted had a total population of 2,845 according to the 2011 census.
Culture and communityEdit
Between 2007 and 2009 a village design statement was produced for Thaxted to describe the character of the town and parish and to inform any future development. It was drawn up after consultation with local residents and under the auspices of Thaxted Parish Council and the Thaxted Society, and was published after further consultation with the rural community council and Uttlesford District Council.
The Thaxted Society is a conservation charity founded to safeguard and promote Thaxted's legacy. It was fifty years old in 2013 and published the 100th issue of the Thaxted Bulletin in winter 2017. The society's remit is to scrutinise and respond to local planning and Government planning regulation and policy.
The annual Thaxted Festival takes place over four weekends in June and July every year, presenting a programme of musical concerts.
Thaxted football club, the Thaxted Rangers, has a senior team and youth teams.
Thaxted Morris Men is a morris side which was founded in 1911, under the instigation of Conrad Noel, Vicar of Thaxted, as a response to a renewed interest in morris dancing. The side performed locally as part of coronation celebrations for George V.
Horham Hall is a Grade I listed mansion at the southeast of Thaxted parish. It was rebuilt in brick by Sir John Cutte between 1510 and 1515, having previously been a timber-framed late–c. 1470 moated manor house.
In the early 1950s the town was used as the location for the film Time Gentlemen, Please!. Released in 1952, the British comedy film was directed by Lewis Gilbert and starred actors like Eddie Byrne, Dora Bryan and Sid James.
- The British composer Gustav Holst – town resident. Thaxted is the name given to a hymn tune, commonly used for "I Vow to Thee, My Country"
- Diana Wynne Jones – author of Howl's Moving Castle and other novels, was raised in the town
- Conrad Noel (1869–1942) – Christian socialist and known as the town's 'Red Vicar', serving in the post from 1910 until his death
- Samuel Purchas (1577–1626) – English cleric and author, born in the town his works are an important source of information about the age of exploration. son of an English yeoman. He graduated from St John's College, Cambridge, in 1600.
- "Town population 2011". Retrieved 27 September 2015.[failed verification]
- Mills, Anthony David (2003); A Dictionary of British Place Names, Oxford University Press, revised edition (2011), p.455. ISBN 019960908X
- "Thaxted - Tilty, Essex", The Guardian, 2 June 2007. Retrieved 1 August 2018
- Stansbie, D.; Brady, K.; Biddulph, E.; Norton, A.; "A Roman cemetery at Sampford Road, Thaxted, Essex", Archeological Publication Report (January 2008), Oxford Archaeology. Retrieved 1 August 2018
- "Fascinating medieval finds from historic Thaxted", The Colchester Archeologist, 19 March 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2018
- Thaxted in the Domesday Book. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
- "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 27 September 2015.
- Thaxted Design Statement. Retrieved 1 August 2018
- Ward, Amy (September 2008). "A Centre for Culture". Essex Life. Archant: 94. Retrieved 24 January 2009.
- "Cricket Pitches", Uttlesford District Council. Retrieved 2 August 2018
- Thaxted Cricket Club. Retrieved 2 August 2018
- Thaxted Morris Men. Retrieved 2 August 2018
- Butler, Charlie (31 March 2011). "Diana Wynne Jones: Doyenne of fantasy writers whose books for children paved the way for JK Rowling". The Independent. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
- "Conrad Noel". Henry S. Salt Archive. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica. 22 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 659. .
- "Purchas, Samuel (PRCS594S)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
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