Total Pageviews

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Ride to Leigh On Sea,Essex

I set off on Sunday the 3rd April 2016 for Leigh On Sea. I left Romford and cycled along through Hornchurch and up into Upminster. I pass the Upminster windmill where I stop for a picture.

Upminster Windmill is a Grade II* listed smock mill. It was formerly known as Abraham's Mill and was in Essex when built. It has been restored and is a museum open to the public at selected times.

 Then onwards along St Marys Lane through West Horndon along Dunnings Lane onto Fen lane and into Bulphan.I stop to take a photo of St Mary The Virgin Church in Bulphan.
Bulphan is a village in the borough of Thurrock and one of the traditional (Church of England) parishes in Thurrock. It is pronounced 'Bull-ven' though newcomers often mispronounce it as 'Bul-fan'.

 I follow round along Church Road right on the Bulphan Bypass and then back onto Church lane onto Brentwood Rd before turning onto Doesgate Lane.At the end I turn right and then left onto Old Church Hill. I remember this from a previous ride, I didn't make it up this long steep hill before.
Just over 3/4 of the way up I give up again and stop to take a photo of St Mary's and St John's, Langdon Hills. I pushed the bike the rest of the way up.

I stop to take a picture of the view of how far up this hill takes you!

At the top I turn left onto High Road and pass St Mary and All Saints Church .
St Mary's Church was built in 1876 to replace the church in Old Church Hill, which was considered too small and too far from the migrating population. It was paid for by the rector of the day, Revd Digby Cleaver. The old church is now a dwelling place, but the churchyard remains under the control of the current church.
The church is built on a man-made mound at the highest point of Hall Wood. It is reputed to be the highest church above sea level in Essex. The ground falls away steeply behind the church, and the solid foundations have prevented significant movement in the building.

I turn right onto Dry Street and follow this to Nether Mayne in Basildon. Dry Street was a godsend with the fast downhill after that climb!
From Basildon I traveled into Vange, Pitsea, Bower Gifford and round Sandlers Farm roundabout and onto Benfleet up Bread and Cheese Hill.
I reach the roundabout near Benfleet, where there is a statue of a bicycle. To commemorate the cycle track nearby in Hadleigh used in the 2012 Olympics.

I follow the A13 and turn right into Tattersall Gardens and down to Leigh On Sea.

Old Leigh

"[Leigh:] a proper fine little towne and verie full of stout and adventurous sailers."
-William Camden, (Elizabethan historian, 1551-1623).
The riverside settlement of 'Old Leigh', (also regarded colloquially as 'the old town'), was historically significant, situated as it was along the primary shipping route to London. From the Middle Ages until the turn of the twentieth-century, Old Leigh provided a market square and also hosted the village's earlier high street. Leigh had grown to become a prosperous port by the 16th century, ships as large as 340 tons were built here for fishing and other purposes. By the late 19th century however, Leigh's deep water access had become silted up, and the village began to decline in importance as an anchorage and port of call.
The main seafood catch from Leigh fishing boats has always been shellfish and whitebait. Many of the local trawlers were at one time bawleys, and two of Old Leigh's pubs - the Peter Boat and Ye Olde Smack- owe their names to types of local fishing boat, (peter boat, smack). Local fish merchants land, process and trade a wide range of supplies daily, including shrimps, lobster, crab, seabass, haddock, cod and mackerel, cockles, whelks, mussels and oysters.
With the advent of the railway line from London to Southend during the mid-19th century, much of 'the old town' was demolished to accommodate its passage, and new housing and streets began to be built upon the ridge of hills above the settlement. (The current railway station is situated near the western end of Old Leigh's cockle sheds and boat marina, replacing in 1936 the original station, which was situated opposite Bell Wharf.).

I stopped at Osborne Brothers for half Pint of cockles.

I cycled to the station and caught the train back, passing Hadleigh Castle on the train.

I reached Upminster, where I was to catch my connecting train but a 24 minute wait saw me cycling back from here as it would be quicker. altogether  37 mile ride!