Essex is more associated with 'new towns' than rural pursuits, but once the county was dependent on agriculture and this is reflected in the remaining towns and villages. For example, the picturesque market town of Thaxted has an early 19th century windmill. And near Finchingfield village is Spain's Hall an ornate Tudor brick mansion.

Overlooking the Thames Estuary and Essex Marshes is Hadleigh Castle, while Audley End House and gardens (near Saffron Walden) provide the visitor with an opportunity to wander round the Jacobean house and parlkand. Inside there's a natural history collection and an impressive carved great hall.


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