A march around Mundon
PUBLISHED: 09:41 23 September 2013 | UPDATED: 09:41 23 September 2013
From the village hall, cross over the road and turn right along the main road and very soon turn left down West Chase. At the end, continue along the footpath, a wide track between fields offering enjoyable distant views. After half a mile, as you pass a thatched house, the route continues straight ahead along a hard, Tarmac surface. The track swings right past Mundon Hall. As it then bends left, turn right along the St Peter’s Way footpath passing a pond to the left and on to the pretty church of St Mary’s. The unusual little church at Mundon is a hidden treasure which remained along with the Manor House when the plague struck the community and the village was moved further to the west where you started. It has some rare box pews with doors and painted murals. It is currently being restored.
Go around the left of the church and leave the churchyard by the wooden gate. Cross a small field to the wooden gate on the other side and turn right. The path follows around the pond and S bends to the field with the petrified oaks; there is another view of this later along the route. Continue along the straight field edge path. At the footpath junction post, turn left and proceed across the crop field. At the end, cross a little bridge into the next field and at the next bridge turn right alongside the ditch. At the next footpath post you are directed left to a more substantial bridge. Do not cross it, but bear left keeping the stream to the right where you reach another bridge.
For the short walk, do not cross the stream but continue on; the grass path curves left and then it is very straight and narrow with a ditch to the right. Soon it is bordered by an avenue of trees. After about half a mile, you reach the footpath T-junction. Turn left to rejoin the longer walk at point 5.
For the longer walk, cross the bridge and go left up the bank and through the gate onto the sea wall. Turn left and follow the winding path that follows around the north side of Mundon Creek with its muddy banks and interesting sea birds. It swings to the right and across the water can be seen the Mayland Marina. There are sailing boats and motor launches but hopefully there will be at least one Thames Barge in dock (as the boatyard repairs these barges), many of which have sailed up the River Blackwater from Maldon. They are around 100 years old and used to carry goods and cargo around the Essex coast and up to London. Now, many offer sailing trips up the Blackwater. Continue around the sea wall. It meanders around the river following Lawling Creek, eventually veering left to a footpath T-junction.
Turn left and proceed towards the buildings of Brick House Farm. The path turns sharp left at the end of the farm buildings along a hard surface and then, before the old farmhouse, it turns right. Continue along the straight path for some distance until you reach a footpath post where there is another footpath to the left and where, if you took the shortcut, you rejoin the route.
Proceed along the wide straight avenue. After nearly another mile or so there is a better view of the petrified oaks. These old oaks have lost their leaves and have remained this way for years, allegedly being hundreds of years old. In the same field can be found llamas grazing along with a horse or two. Continue towards the farmhouse. The footpath goes through the second metal gate on the left taking you back to the wooden gate on the right which you pass through and retrace your steps back past the church and the same footpath that takes you back to Mundon village.
Distance: 4 or 5.9 miles
Terrain: Fairly flat with no stiles.
Starting point: The village hall in Mundon village. Mundon is reached via the B1018. Just west of Latchingdon village, turn north up Mundon Road to the village.
Map: OS Explorer 176 Blackwater Estuary.