Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex
Click here for Stansted Mountfitchet’s Magna Carta baron Richard de Montfichet
Stansted Mountfitchet is a village and civil parish in Uttlesford district in the county of Essex, England, near the Hertfordshire border, 35 miles (56 km) north of London. According to the 2001 census it had a population of 5,533. The village is served by Stansted Mountfitchet railway station.
Stansted Mountfitchet is situated in north west Essex near the Hertfordshire border and 3 miles (5 km) north of Bishops Stortford. Stansted Airport is 2 miles (3 km) from the village. The village has two primary schools (Bentfield Primary School and St Mary’s (C of E) Primary School), and one high school which was renamed the Forest Hall School in September, 2013.
Stansted was a Saxon settlement (the name means ‘stony place’ in Anglo-Saxon) and predates the Norman invasion of England, although it was not until this invasion that it acquired the suffix Mountfitchet from the Norman baron who settled there. A small remnant of his castle remains, around which a reconstruction of an early Norman castle has been built. Believed to have been fortified originally in the Iron Age, and subsequently by the Romans and Vikings, construction of the Norman castle began in 1066.
St Mary the Virgin’s Church, built in the 1120s, is a redundant church under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. The brick west tower was added in 1692. A chapel of ease dedicated to Saint John the Evangelist was built in 1889 nearer the centre of the village and is now the village church.
Stansted Hall was built in 1871 and is now the home of the Arthur Findlay College – a college dedicated to the advancement of psychic science.
Other village attractions include the House on the Hill Toy Museum, which its owners claim “is the largest toy museum in the World”. Located next to Mountfitchet Castle and Norman Village of 1066, both attractions are owned by Alan Goldsmith. The museum opened in 1991 and holds over 80,000 toys, mostly from the 1950s to the 1990s.
A working windmill built in 1787 is in the village, and is open to the public once a month.
During the Second World War, the US Air Force constructed an airfield near the village. After the war ended, it was subsequently taken over by the government and developed as a commercial airport. Today, MAG Stansted Airport is accessible by road from Junction 8 of the M11 motorway, near Bishop’s Stortford and direct by train from London Liverpool Street.
A large number of homes have been built in a new development to the southeast side of the village, at the site of the former Rochford Nurseries in Forest Hall Road.
Photos courtesy of Claire Crommie. With thanks to Wikipedia for its wiki about Stansted Mountfichet.