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Great Notley parkrun

After venturing into Suffolk last week at Clare Castle parkrun, this week I decided to return to Essex to continue making progress towards completing the region. The area Great Notley is a garden village situated in Braintree. The village was constructed with the ideas of instant community and instant maturity in mind. While the hamlet of White Court predates the modern development, the area as a whole has been designed to act as a single coherent community while supporting three new hamlets in addition to White Court. Like Kesgrave on the outskirts of Ipswich , Great Notley offered local planners a means of increasing residental capacity in the area without redeveloping existing infrastructure. The course Great Notley parkrun's course is run on a mixture of gravel and grass, over two laps of the country park. The route is mostly flat, although the second lap does start with a small hill which offers great views over the park and surrounding area! Paid parking is

Clare Castle parkrun

After the hustle and bustle of Chelmsford Central parkrun last week, I decided that I wanted to attend a smaller event that would also contribute to completing a region this week, and Clare Castle parkrun fit the bill perfectly. The area According to a 2015 poll, the village of Clare is one of the top 50 rural villages in the UK owing to its period buildings, though it lacks the tour busses common in other rural villages. The village has been populated since prehistory, including both Roman and Norman occupations, though the area takes its name from the Feudal period, where the area was the manor of the Clare dynasty, with Clare Castle being its home. Clare Castle dates from before 1090, and has provided incomes and support for nearby villagers over its time. Its occupants have included some notable people throughout the years, including Elizabeth de Clare; one of the wealthiest women in the UK. Unlike the castles at Colchester Castle , Norwich or Thomas Mills (Framlingham)

Chelmsford Central parkrun

Continuing with my focus on Essex events started last week at Billericay parkrun , this week I decided to attend Chelmsford Central parkrun. The area Chelmsford is a very young city, having only recived its letters patent in 2012 (6 June 2012), although this does mean it could technically claim to be the oldest city in Essex, ahead of both Southend (1 March 2022) and Colchester ( 23 November 2022 ). Chelmsford Central parkrun takes places in three of Chelmsford's main parks - starting in Central Park, before heading along the River Can, joining Admirals park and Tower Gardens, before returning to Central Park. An 18-arch Victorian Railway viaduct crosses through central park. The course The route follows a mixture of tarmac paths and grass walks through Central Park, Admirals Park, and Tower Gardens, using the River Can to connect them. The route is mostly flat, with only one minor hill at around the half way point. A number of pay and display car parks are availab

Billericay parkrun

After the hustle and bustle of Gunpowder parkrun last week on Guy Fawkes day, I decided that I'd focus on some more time on the remaining Essex parkruns in the coming weeks. My aim is to complete the Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex regions within a few weeks of each other, and so my next few events will all be focussed on those regions. The area Billericay is a small town in Essex, near to both Wickford Memorial parkrun , as well as Basildon parkrun . The town is popular with commuters given the easy access to London. Lake Meadows park, home of Billericay parkrun, has an interesting history of its own. Originally owned by Barking Abbey before the dissolution of the monestaries, the land eventually found its way into the hands of the Spitty family. The Spittys became a prominant family in the area, serving in many public offices, as well as the Essex Militia. The family were known to sponsor many local events and developments, with the park's lake being constructed to p

Gunpowder parkrun

The decision as to which parkrun I'd attend today was a simple one - I couldn't pass up the opportunity to attend Gunpowder parkrun on Guy Fawkes day! The area Gunpowder parkrun takes place in Gunpowder Park, situated just south of the M25 near Waltham Abbey. Waltham Abbey is part of Epping Forest, which also includes Roding Valley parkrun . Gunpowder park takes its name from the gunpowder mills which were located in the area, while the park itself is a former munitions test site. While the site has transitioned to more of a nature reserve in modern times, there are lots of reminders of it's former life scattered throughout the park. The course The route follows just over two laps of the meadows in the northern half of the park, all on tarmac, with only one left turn per lap. The parkland undulates throughout, while the paths generally weave around it. A small paid car park is available at the main entrance, which also houses toilets, and there are a numb

Thetford parkrun

In an effort to continue targeting the eastern-most event, I decided that today would be the day I finally attended Thetford parkrun, having passed the town quite frequently while I was visiting the 10 or 11 East Norfolk events, including the 4 Norwich events; Norwich , Catton , Sloughbottom , and Colney Lane parkruns. The area Thetford has played several important roles throughout history, providing flint for use in tools since 2000BC, which saw the town grow to approximately the sixth largest town in Britain in 1086. The town was impacted greatly by the dissolution of the monastaries, which resulted in severe squalor in the town, with attempts in he 1800s to restore the town ultimately failing. The town eventually saw growth again in the 1980s as a result of an agreement with the London Country Council to relocate Londoners. Thetford Priory was one of the last casualties of the dissolution of the monastaries. Attempts by local politicians to repurpose the buildings owing to