Colne Engaine

St.Andrews Church - Colne Engaine

St. Andrews Church

St Andrews Church is a fine country church, which has stood for over 900 years as a prominent landmark over the Colne Valley. The church with its attractive brick Tudor tower was sympathetically restored in the 19th century.

Colne Engaine Pond

The Pond

Five Bells Pub - Colne Engaine

Five Bells Pub

In Mill Lane below the church (where there are now six bells). First recorded landlord Nicholas Bunting 1579, the Landlord and Lady of the Five Bells is now Darran and Caroline Lingley , having bought the pub from Tim Borley in May 2002.

Overshot Mill

These wonderful sketches shown on this page have been drawn by local artist Bill Soan, to see the full size image of St.Andrews Church.

Across from Earls Colne, on the North Bank of the River Colne, lies the much smaller parish of Colne Engaine (population 900+), named after the river and the family which which was principal landlord from 1279 to 1367 - the Engaines. Colne Engaine is approached by five roads, centering on the hilltop church of St Andrew (12th and thirteenth century ) and the Green: from Earls Colne by Station Road, from Halstead by Brook Street, from Pebmarsh, which speaks for itself from Bures and White Colne via the settlement of Countess (of Oxford) Cross by Green Farm Road, and from Colne Park and White Colne by way of Mill Lane. Recent development has been met by the in-filling of the triangles between the approach roads, thus avoiding ribbon development.

Until the Second World War, life centered mainly on the surrounding agricultural land, though from the nineteenth century on a fair number of people worked at Hunt's foundry in Earls Colne, on the Colne Valley Railway, at the Courtauld textile mill at Halstead, and at the two village builders. Of these only H.W.Bone & Co, builders, remains and farming is done more by machines than men, so present-day Colne Engaine is largely a dormitory for those who have to commute to other places to earn a living. Nevertheless it remains a country parish with those vital necessities to keep it so - a church, school, village hall (gift of the great Miss Courtauld of Knights Farm), and public house.

Colne Engaine is well endowed with public open spaces -the Village Green, Booses Green, a football field and a large Recreation Ground.
Footpaths are too numerous to list but it is possible to walk in a circle round the village, only stepping on any road to cross it. The best of the footpath walks is probably that which starts from Burrows Road, Earls Colne, crosses the Colne and joins the Peb Brook at Overshot Mill, following the brook all the way to its source at Pebmarsh.
For those who prefer tarmac under foot, see Colne Engaine Parish Roadwalks by the Vernon Clarke, published by the Colne Engaine History Society for this and other publications of the Society a list, and the address from which to get them, is on the History society's own pages.

For more information on walking in the Colne Valley view the Walking pages.

Two World Wars did not pass the Parish by. In the first, no less than eighteen men gave their lives and two died in the second, all commemorated in the Church. A vivid account of a local man at war on the Western Front and in Italy, during the First World War is given by the late Harry Gilbert in "Harry" The Story of an Essex Countryman (published by the History Society), which also covers his memories of the Second World War as a railwayman shipping bombs from Earls Colne Station, as a farmer and as Sergeant of the local Home Guard Platoon, when a German Heinkel 111 bomber was brought down at Peverels Farm, Countess Cross in 1940.

Some things to see, besides the village and the wonderful countryside, include:

The Essex Wildlife Trust
Along the route of the dismantled Colne Valley Railway from White Colne to Station Road, Colne Engaine, with marvelous views across the river towards Earls Colne.

The Memorial Pillar
More than seventy foot high, erected at the end of the eighteenth century, to the design of Sir John Soane, at Colne Park , is visible for miles around the best view can be seen on one of the walks on the Walking Pages see The Monument walk.