High Street Heroes In... Thorpe-le-Soken
PUBLISHED: 18:20 23 March 2015 | UPDATED: 18:20 23 March 2015
With an impressive past dating back to the Saxon era, Thorpe le Soken is a small village with a big history. Jennifer Savin discovers how its High Street offers a perfect blend of the ancient and the innovative
The village of Thorpe le Soken is just right for those who crave the quiet of country living, with the hustle and bustle of city amenities still close by.
The gently-curving High Street within this quaint rural community is one of opposites, too. It not only serves a practical purpose, by connecting residents to the busier neighbouring towns, but is also the perfect place for a leisurely spot of indulgence.
The chairman of Thorpe le Soken Parish Council, Daniel Land, explains: ‘Thorpe le Soken is a village where you can relax, sit back and watch life go by, literally. There are pubs, restaurants and many independent local traders on the High Street, offering a mix of both vintage and modern finds. Life here suits the pace you want to live it at and if stress is a problem, well then the Lifehouse Spa is only a stone’s throw away!’
The spa in question is a huge recent development for the village and is situated in the historic grounds of Thorpe Hall, a venue previously inhabited by Lord Byng and favoured by royalty, such as Queen Victoria.
The local church, St Michael’s, while smaller in contrast, can also boast an exciting back story. The building’s first recorded presence is in 1147, but it is widely believed that this site on the High Street was used as a place of worship prior to that, during the Saxon era.
Since undergoing a rebuild in the Victorian ages, the church is now growing old gracefully while continuing to be a ‘buzzing’ part of local life and a sterling representation of the overall vibe of Thorpe le Soken — an exceptional balance of old and new.
Essex Life meets some of the local traders helping to make Thorpe le Soken so special... ➤