The River Stour at Manningtree
|Harwich and North Essex|
Manningtree is a village in Essex, on the River Stour which divides Essex to the south from Suffolk to the north. IManningtree adjoins built-up areas of Lawford to the west and Mistley to the east and the three parishes may collectively be spoken of as Manningtree.
Manningtree has traditionally claimed to be the smallest town in England. It claims the sttaus of a town by naming its parish council a town council, and in 2007 the town mayor, Lee Lay-Flurrie said that Manningtree’s claim to be the smallest this had been confirmed to her by the Census Customer Services, for the parish had but 700 people in 49 acres (20 ha) (down to the high tide mark). Fordwich in Kent claims the title too, by its population of a mere 351, though whether either is truly a town will be for philosophers to argue.
The lie of the land
Manningtree railway station provides a direct train link to London, Norwich and Harwich.
The name Manningtree is thought to derive from 'many trees'.
The town grew around the wool trade from the 15th century under its decline in the 18th century and also had a thriving shipping trade in corn, timber and coal until this declined with the coming of the railway. Manningtree is known as the centre of the activities of Matthew Hopkins, the self-appointed Witchfinder General, who claimed to have overheard local women discussing their meetings with the devil in 1644, and his accusations led to their execution as witches.
Many of the buildings in the centre of the town have Georgian facades which obscure their earlier origins. Notable buildings include the town's library, which was originally built as, 'a public hall for the purposes of corn exchange' and was later used around 1900 for public entertainment, and the oldest Methodist church in Essex, located on South Street.
The Ascension, by John Constable, which hangs in Dedham church, was painted for Manningtree church, pulled down in the 1960s.
| ("Wikimedia Commons" has material|
- Visit-Manningtree - Information and News/Events for the Manningtree area
- Manningtree Rail Users Association
- Manningtree High School
- Trinity Free Church - Manningtree
- Peers, Deborah (February 2009). "Once upon a time in... Manningtree". Essex Life (Archant Life): pp. 52.