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Things to do in Finchingfield, Essex

A view of Finchingfield's duckpond. © Allison Bennet
A view of Finchingfield's duckpond © Allison Bennet

Described as picture-postcard pretty, Finchfield is an idyllic Essex village complete with a village pond, redbrick cottages and a white 18th-century windmill.

The village currently has about 1350 inhabitants who are kept busy with many local societies and clubs.

There is a horticultural society, a local cricket club, a branch of the Royal British Legion and the Finchingfield Society which all make good use of the village hall.

Locals also meet and fly their radio-controlled planes on the local sports field.

St John the Baptist church, Finchingfield
St John the Baptist church, Finchingfield © Allison Bennet

The guildhall is the oldest building in Finchingfield and houses a library and a small museum.

The village also has an excellent antiques centre and several tea rooms and cafes.

The Mediaeval and Georgian cottages are arranged along the winding country lanes.

The village centre has a sizeable duck pond and a village green.

Finchingfield Windmill
Finchingfield Windmill ©Adel - stock.adobe.com

There are three charming pubs, a post office, a general store, a health centre and a primary school.

Visitors can even buy a copy of the newsy parish magazine, the Villager, from the local post office.

The main village pub is the Fox on the Green.

The Red Lion is known for its food and real ales and the Three Tuns is a local venue opposite the doctor's surgery.

St John the Baptist Church is at the highest point, looking down the main street of the village.

Church Hill, looking west, in Finchingfield
Church Hill, looking west, in Finchingfield ©calumsmith0308 - stock.adobe.com

Surrounded by an old cemetery, the church has a square clock tower and a crenellated roofline. It has a ring of eight bells including a 15cwt tenor bell.

Things to do in Finchingfield

Walk through the village exploring the shops and gardens along the way and continue on to see the old post windmill.

Further along the village, you will come to Honeypot Cottage which collectors of Lilliput Lane cottages will recognize as a favourite model!

St John the Baptist Church
St John the Baptist Church ©PJGCC - stock.adobe.com

This quintessential English village offers photographic opportunities galore, tea rooms and local buildings to enjoy.

Further afield the area is ideal for country walks along the narrow country lanes and public footpaths.

The nearby villages of Hempstead (birthplace of highwayman Dick Turpin) and Thaxted are equally lovely to visit.

Finchingfield, looking east across the village green.
Finchingfield, looking east across the village green. ©calumsmith0308 - stock.adobe.com

One of Finchingfield's most famous residents was Dodie Smith, who wrote the well-loved story of 101 Dalmatians.

History of Finchingfield

The area is mainly rural and has been inhabited since records began.

The Domesday Book, which was written in Latin, records the village as Phincingfelda but there is much older evidence of a Roman villa just south of the churchyard.

Winter in Finchingfield
Winter in Finchingfield ©PJGCC - stock.adobe.com

The village was once an important changing place for horse-drawn coaches on the main route from London to Norwich.

Spains Hall would have been the main hub of the community when it was built in the early 15th century.

This beautiful Elizabethan country house owned many of the village cottages and employed most of the villagers.

In more recent times nearby Wethersfield was the site of a US airbase and is now a National Police Training Centre.

Many visitors to Finchingfield are former members of the USAF.

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