Last Tuesday it was sunny and bright,so as pleasant days in October are few and far between, I decided to go out and went walking, alongside and around the village of Stow Maries in Essex. Stow Maries is a village and civil parish in the English county of Essex. It is located on the western (inland) end of the Dengie peninsula and forms part of the Purleigh ward in the Maldon district. I looked especially for a nature reserve belonging to the Essex Wildlife Trust, so I could take out the camera and shoot things of interest along the way. On parking the car I found out that the nature reserve I’d arrived at,was actually formed along the footpath that was once the Woodham to Maldon railway line. Having walked along the Flitch Way I was interested to see how it compared. While it was not as well kept it was still interesting as were the other historical sites in the area which included:
Stow Maries Airfield
An airfield was established at Stow Maries in September 1916 during the First World War for the Royal Flying Corps. By 1919 the need for airfields lessened and Stow Maries was closed. The site was considered for development as an airfield during the Second World War but considered unsuitable due to the clay soil. Even though not opened it played a role nonetheless, being bombed by the Luftwaffe and used as an emergency landing site by a damaged Hurricane fighter plane.The airfield buildings are still mostly intact, with the original windows still in place. The buildings were used to store grain and farm vehicles until 2008. The airfield has subsequently been purchased by Steve Wilson and Russell Savory and is being restored to a state that it would have been found in 1919.
Starting in 2014, to commemorate the Centenary of World War I, and in partnership with the 14-18 Aviation Heritage Trust and the Vintage Aviator Ltd The Vintage Aviator (both New Zealand), the WW1 Aviation Heritage Trust Ltd (“WAHT”, UK) will bring 5–8 different World War I aircraft to the UK to tell the story of the technical and tactical aerial combat that occurred between allied and German aviators throughout the Great War. Subject to funding, WAHT will acquire a WW1 aircraft each year on behalf of the nation to tell the story of each year of the War at airshows and commemorative events in the form of air displays, flypasts and static diorama. It is planned that ultimately these aircraft will be based at the Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome in Essex supported by an apprenticeship scheme to foster the preservation and restoration of World War I aircraft and creating a centre of excellence dedicated to keeping the aviation legacy of the war alive.
Stow Maries Station
Stow Maries also once had a railway station too. The station at Stow Maries was a halt on the Woodham Ferrers to Maldon branch line. The track has been removed and it is now used by the Essex Wildlife Trust. The Trust owns the halt and a four-acre meadow – a total area of six acres.The halt can be reached from Church Lane. The local parish church is the Church of St. Mary and St. Margaret in the Maldon and Dengie Deanery, part of the Diocese of Chelmsford.The church has a 14th-century chancel and a 15th-century nave that was extended in the 16th century. Some refurbishment took place in 1870.The north vestry was added in 1912 and rebuilt in 1950. The Rectory House (now The Old Rectory) was built in 1799 and is thought to have been designed by Humphrey Repton assisted by his son John Adey Repton.
I also visited Bicknacre and North Fambridge along the way, but these photos (the nature ones) come from Stow Maries.