Self-catering holiday accommodation and country cottages in Maldon, Essex
Maldon - a small market town, built on the Rivers Crouch and Blackwater estuary, is one of the oldest recorded towns in Essex. There is evidence of a settlement from the Bronze Age, about 3,500 years ago. Salt production, for which Maldon is famous, was already well established at least 500 years BC. Maldon Salt of today is a prized gourmet salt.
The Mud Race is an event that Maldon is famous for. Competitors battle with the mud of the Blackwater Estuary and freezing weather to raise money for charity.
The town of Maldon is very pleasant and belongs very much to the local people. Visitors tend to congregate around the Hythe Quay where Thames sailing barges are still active, albeit in a tourist service capacity. A group of pubs with outdoor seating overlook the quay and provide refreshments. A marine related industry is well established all along the quayside and this is where there are the ships' chandlers, boatyards and various engineering establishments.
A short walk from the Hythe Quay takes visitors into Promenade Park which provides a good number of recreational facilities. Apart from the usual lawns and flower beds, there is an artificial sandy beach and lake for children to play in safely, a swing park and various walks. There's an excellent leisure centre with a warm indoor swimming pool and flumes, gym and sauna on the road past the park out of town. Next to it is a new family entertainment centre called Madison Heights. This houses a state-of-the-art ten pin bowling centre, a truly imaginative and cavernous soft play area for young children with slides, tunnels and giant bouncy castle, pool tables, cafes, bars and restaurants. Adult fun nights can be arranged for the soft play centre - perfect for stag and hen nights and all-round silliness.
|Walks and flower beds in Promenade Park
|Swing park section for the children
The town centre is moderately busy and offers a wide range of shops. A couple of large supermarkets (Tesco and Safeway) have been built on the outskirts of the town in recent years and attract customers from the outlying countryside areas. Maldon lost its railway connection a good many years ago, although there is talk of re-establishing the line, but the advantage to local businesses is that the local people tend to shop locally.
There are still many historical buildings in the town although they're not necessarily obvious. The Moot Hall in the High Street is a prime example. The building was built in the 15th century by Sir Robert D'Arcy, whose name you will see in various locations around Maldon. At one time, the building housed the local court and prison. The old courtroom can still be viewed (by arrangement). The portico was added in Georgian times, but the building itself has been used for local government throughout its history. Visitors can view a copy of the Royal Charter awarded to Maldon by Henry II in 1171.
The All Saints Church to the left of the Moot Hall in the High Street dates back to the 12th Century. Statues of saints and important benefactors adorn the outside of the church, which is worth a visit.
St. Peter's Church has now been re-incarnated as the Maeldune Centre where visitors will find the Millenium Embroidery, art displays and Maldon Society Photographic Archives.
Maeldune Centre in the High Street with changing arts and crafts displays.
|Maeldune is the ancient name for Maldon - dun being the Saxon for hill
|Visitors can search photographic archives
A small modern square, Kings Courtyard, off the High Street tells the tale of Edward Bright who lived in Church House, High Street. This man was large, so large in fact that it led to a bet being made between a certain Mr. Hance and Mr. Codd that five hundred men could not fit into Edward Bright's waistcoat. Edward Bright weighed 44 stone when he died but five hundred would have appeared a ridiculous figure to most people. However, the bet was won when seven men from the Dengie Hundred (local unit of administration) fitted into the waistcoat. A bronze plaque by Catharni Stern now hangs in the Kings Courtyard to tell the tale.
If you're visiting Maldon during late July and early August, do find out about the Maldon Carnival which has been an annual event for over a hundred years. It usually entails a procession of floats representing the town, a Carnival queen, activities, stalls and exhibitions in Promenade Park. It's interesting to note that 'throwing water and missiles from the floats' is prohibited! It sounds like fun.
Self-catering Holiday Cottages in East Anglia - Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk
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