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Brentwood parkrun

This week I decided to return to making more progress towards completing all events in Essex by visiting Brentwood.

The area

While the modern town of Brentwood is a popular commuter town, being served by the Elizabeth line, it is also where the first events of the Peasants Revolt took place. Locals refused to pay a poll tax imposed on them, and instead rioted, threatening to kill the commissioner trying to collect the tax. Word of these riots spread to the wider country, initiating the wider revolt, including at Littleport, Billericay and North Walsham.

The town is surrounded by countryside, and in the west lies Weald Park; the remains of a former country estate. The park was originally considered as a possible location for the mountain biking course during the 2012 Olympics, before the committee ultimately decided that Hadleigh would prove a more challenging course.

Weald Country Park

The course

Owing to the wet weather, today's run followed an alternative route nicknamed "The Beast"! The course is an out-and-back route primarily through the woodland. The course is split into three named sections; the beast - a 1km climb, the little dipper - a number of small undulations, followed by the big dipper - a big undulation! The course is entirely off-road, and undulates throughout.

Paid parking is available in the four on-site car parks, while toilets and a cafe are available at the visitor centre at the main car park.

The run

Today's course reminded me of Sheringham parkrun, as both events are located in woodland, and include a 1km ascent (though Sheringham finishes with the climb)! The weather made the course extra slippy today however, with a special mention being needed for the turn-around point where fortunately, noone slipped today!

Part of the course through the woods

Being my 99th parkrun, and 99th different event, I decided to mark the occasion with a flake (no ice cream was to be found in the rain)!

Cadbury's Flake to celebrate 99 runs and 99 events

Thank you to all of the volunteers for braving the rain to host such an enjoyable run!

After the run

When the event was finished, I took some time to explore the park. Most remnants of the hall which stood on the site have been removed after its demolition following bomb damage, though a small number remain, including a ha-ha on the path leading to the remains of a folly intended to prevent deer from entering the area.

Ha-ha on the path to the folly

The majority of the follow (an octagonle temple - Belvedere Temple) was deconstructed when the council took ownership of the estate, though the stairs still remain.

Stairs to Belvedere Temple

Only the foundations of the folly remain.

Foundations of Belvedere Temple

As well as the woodland, the park also contains meadows, which are grazed by cattle and deer.

Meadows at Weald Country Park

The park also houses an Iron age settlement in Langton's Woods, though apart from a circular hill, the only obvious sign is a pond created at the time of the settlement.

Iron Age pond at Langton's Woods

Continuing my explorations, I eventually even found a field of horses who were trying to shelter from the rain!

Horses at Weald Country Park

While there are known to be deer in the park, the only ones I found were those sheltering from the rain in the deer enclosure near the visitor centre.

Deer at Weald Country Park

Links: Run report | Results | Strava

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