- Start: Crossroads of Old Church Lane and B1002 GR631 978
- End: Crossroads of Old Church Lane and B1002 GR631 978
- Country: England
- County: Essex
- Type: Country
- Nearest pub:
- Ordnance Survey: OS Explorer 175
- Difficulty: Medium
Explore some of the oldest settlements of Mountnessing with this meander past Mountnessing Hall, an iron church and the timeless charm of the village windmill by Charlotte Fellingham
Mountnessing takes its name from the Montenay family and the term Montenays ing, ing meaning meadow. From the main road, turn left down Church Road and go over the A12 and the railway, out into the countryside. Turn right at a fingerpost across a field on a track. At the arrow by the trees, walk on the right-hand side of the ditch. At the bridge cross over and walk ahead uphill to Arnolds Farm Lane. Cross over the road and take the footpath ahead across the field, under the telephone wires heading for the gap between two copses of trees, walking close to the left-hand copse. If the crop is short, watch out for brown hares.
At the road, turn left then immediately right onto the next path. Go straight ahead on the marked path through the crop. Go across the footbridge and then across the next field, following the line through the crop towards the steeple. At the end of the field, stay straight ahead on the track, passing in front of Mountnessing Hall. Past the hall, turn left on the path through the churchyard, winding round the back of the church which dates from Norman times. The church is almost two miles from the village, so an iron church was built closer to the village, which you passed at the beginning of the walk. The path leaves the churchyard onto a bridleway. Turn left following along the edge of the field. Follow the path round to the left then right through woodland. As the bridleway emerges from the trees, go straight ahead. At the house, bear left between the fence and the hedge. At the road, turn right.
At Westlands Farm, turn left onto a bridleway. As the wide track heads for the woods, the bridleway moves to the right of the woods. Follow the field edge right, then left towards the road. In front of you is a good view of Tilehursts turret, it looks like the perfect venue for a murder mystery. At the lane, turn left past the barns, and as the road turns sharp left, go straight ahead onto a footpath that leads back to the railway. By Lodge Wood, cross the bridge, turn left then immediately right on a track across the field. At the road, turn right under the bridge and on to Burnthouse Lane. At the
T-junction, turn right and then cross over the road to take the subway beneath the A12. Once out the other side, turn left back into Mountnessing. On the way back to the car park, stop and take a look at the windmill, a Grade II listed building that was restored to working order in the 1980s.
Distance:4 miles / 7.2 km /
Terrain:Muddy when wet
Start:Crossroads of Old
Church Lane and B1002 GR631 978
Map:OS Explorer 175
Southend-on-Sea and Basildon
Parking:At village hall GR631 979
Refreshments:Pubs in Mountnessing
Tourist Information Centre:
Brentwood Tourist Information Centre
Pepperell House, 44 High Street, Brentwood, Essex, CM14 4AJ.
Places to visit:Mountnessing Windmill is open to the public
on the third Sunday of each month from May to October, 2pm to 5pm