Chipping Ongar, a really old church and some mud

Wednesday 9th December was bright and dry, which was a relief as the previous night had been wet. We collected at Chipping Ongar near Sainsbury’s and set off across a field towards Greensted. The surface was slippery mud but we made good time to reach the famous wooden church at Greensted. Looking at the building you notice that there are a lot of bricks in this wooden church but let us not quibble. As a bonus in these Covid times the church was open so we had a look round, wearing covers for our muddy boots.

On we walked past open fields to reach Tudor Cottage. This has a connection to the Tolpuddle Martyrs, some of whom stayed there for a while on their return from forced labour in Australia. Turning up a track we soon encountered the effect of last night’s rain and had to skirt several deep puddles while trying to keep our footing on the slippery mud. On a tarmacked section we admired Blake Hall in the distance, gleaming white in the sunshine, before crossing the Epping-Ongar railway line. We covered a big loop and came back under the line. Then it was the home straight, following a line of excellent oak trees with the church spire at Ongar coming closer.

We splashed in some puddles to try and remove some of the mud before we entered our cars and agreed that was the messiest walk for some time. How Eileen and Ken got dirt up to their knees was a puzzle to all of us who merely had splashes of mud on our trousers.

Brian U. 9th December 2020