Sunday October 24th 2021

Manningtree & Mistley

December 13th, 2010 by
Categories: Essex Towns A-Z

Picturesque and historic are just two words that describe Manningtree and Mistley.

The area is a magnet for walkers, birdwatchers and sailing enthusiasts and those coming to the area chance upon these two delightful small settlements.

Manningtree proudly boasts that it is England’s smallest town and is also the gateway to Constable Country, it is also proud of being a winner of the Anglia in Bloom competition. What it doesn’t so much boast about is a more sinister past… Matthew Hopkins the notorious “Witchfinder General” of the 17th Century started his career in Manningtree. It was here that he condemned his first coven of witches, their names are still to be found locally. On his death Hopkins was buried at nearby Mistley.

Mistley Towers
The shops, restaurants and pubs that line Manningtree’s streets offer visitors everything that they require at an all too often forgotten leisurely pace.
Both Manningtree and Mistley were important ports playing a major part in the wool trade (over five centuries ago) and later the brewing industry. Brewing is still alive and well in the area and Mistley is still working as a port, but nowadays more in the leisure industry.

Mistley Towers along with the lake behind are reminders of the wealth of the 18th Century Mistley. It was here that the Rigby family built a magnificent hall with landscaped gardens. Their vision to develop the area into a spa town to rival Bath sadly failed and the lake and the two towers are all that remain.

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