A village that thinks it's a town

PUBLISHED: 13:42 12 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:00 20 February 2013

Tolleshunt Knights

Tolleshunt Knights

Tiptree is a thriving village - officially the county's biggest. David Turner, editor of Tiptree's Open Door magazine, tells us what else makes it special

HAVING grown from a small hamlet of a few families to the current 10,000 population within the past 150 years, it is not surprising that Tiptree has aspirations of becoming even bigger.

In fact, local legend states that seer Mother Shipton once prophesied that Tiptree would indeed one day become a city.

Although having the status of being the largest village in Essex, Tiptree, situated between Colchester and Maldon, has maintained its rural appeal since it is still surrounded by forests and heathland. Legend has it that the location was supposedly named by an Anglo-Saxon called Tippa who lived under a tree.

Tiptree Heath, as the area was known before the village was created in the 1800s, is now the largest remaining fragment of lowland heath, which is being maintained through the partnership of Friends of Tiptree Heath together with the Lord of the Manor and Essex Wildlife Trust. The heath hosts an annual craft fair, health walks, children's activities and wildlife courses.

Tiptree probably would not have existed without the intervention of the Wilkin family, who started the world-famous jam manufacturers in the village. Next year, Wilkin and Son celebrates its 125th anniversary, with a host of events which are set to involve the community.

Another celebration is the village's second oldest school, Tiptree Heath School, which marks its centenary this year with an Edwardian theme. The village has four primary schools and a secondary school, Thurstable which is also a sports college, and a good number of pre-schools and nurseries.

The two Anglican churches of St Luke's in Tiptree, which also serves Tolleshunt Knights, and All Saints' in Great Braxted, form a benefice under the leadership of Rector Martin Fletcher. St Luke's extension is a hive of social activities with clubs and groups meeting there on a daily basis.

The Friends of St Luke's Church has recently been established to encourage more parishioners to become involved in their local church. The village also has a Catholic, URC and Kingswood churches.

As Tiptree has grown, so its infrastructure has changed. There are still a few family firms left in the retail centre, such as Staines, Brights, The Cheap Shop, Perrywoods and Millins, but the bigger names have arrived too.

Tesco occupied the site in Church Road where Tiptree Book Services - once a major employer in the village - was located, and Fiveways sits on the former basketworks site at the top end of Tiptree.

There is plenty of sports and fitness facilities for all age groups, including a gymnasium, a golf driving range, bowls, shooting, roller skating and horse riding, and a wide range of clubs and interest groups including gardening, running, a choral society, art, dancing, senior citizens, the Men's Supper, a ladies' group, breakfast clubs, Tipplers and the WI.
Tiptree is known for its landmarks. The lake in the centre of the village is home to many ducks and often swans, while the windmill, built in 1775, is now a private house that can be seen from across the village.
Despite growing fast, Tiptree maintains a small community feel, and the local church magazine, Open Door, aims to reflect that each month with a slice of life in the village, revealing what makes Tiptree so special.

David Turner
Open Door


More from Out & About

Tue, 16:32

We’ve put together 15 questions that will push your knowledge of Essex to the limit - let us know how you’ve done on social media!

Read more
Tue, 14:17

From James Bond to Batman, Essex has been known to bask in a little Hollywood glitz. Here are 19 that have used our county’s incredible locations on the big screen

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

Spend Halloween hunting down ghouls and ghosts in the county’s most haunted places and spaces. We pick 10 absolutely terrifying locations to visit this October.

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Chelmsford is on the rise, blossoming from its city status. One iconic landmark which has been part of the landscape for 300 years, and is also enjoying a renaissance, is Hylands House. Petra Hornsby reveals more

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Laurie Page of the Public Rights of Way Team at Essex County Council shares with us this beautiful six-mile walk around Bradwell’s stunning coastal delights

Read more
Friday, October 5, 2018

With one of the warmest and driest summers on record, this year has been a difficult one for gardeners. Susie Bulman from The Beth Chatto Gardens at Elmstead Market shares some top tips for plant survival, even in these conditions

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Our county’s remaining windmills stand the test of time as a tribute to a bygone era. Mica Bale highlights some of the best examples in Essex

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Whether you’re looking for a memorable day trip or an impromptu weekend getaway, Essex is a perfect patchwork of all the little things we love about Britain. Proudly showcasing the charm of the county, we pick 13 towns you must visit when planning a trip to Essex

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

This walk from the town of Bures on the Essex and Suffolk border leads you through the Essex countryside to the little villages of Alphamstone and Lamarsh | Words and photos: Laurie Page Public Rights of Way Team at Essex County Council

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

A popular Southend escape game venue has launched a new room inspired by the town’s seafaring past

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search