Skip to main content

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

Popular posts from this blog

Coldham's Common parkrun

As my recovery from injury is still underway, I decided that I would attend a flat course this week to avoid any potential for reaggrevation. Unfortunately this means I will need to pause my completion of the Essex events, as the remaining courses are all somewhat lumpy. Having visited all of the other Cambridge parkruns, including Storeys Field parkrun, Fulbourn Hospital parkrun, and Cambridge parkrun knowing that they are all relatively flat, I decided that this week I would complete the Cambridge set. The area Coldham's Common has a long history, serving as both a hospital during the 17th century smallpox outbreak, and a quarry during the 19th century, as well as a rifle range also during the 19th century. The course The route follows two laps of the perimeter of the common through an hour-glass shape, connecting two fields through a five-bar-gate. The course is all on grass, and is all flat. Limited parking is available nearby, while toilets are available in

Aldenham parkrun

Icey conditions in days leading up to parkrun day meant many events were cancelled this week. While I would have ideally been able to visit another event in Essex, I decided that I valued having options more in the event of cancellation this week, and so I instead headed to the cluster of events surrounding the Watford area. The area Aldenham Country Park is located near Watford, and centres on Aldenham reservoir, with grassland and woodland surrounding the reservoir itself. The reservoir was excavated by French prisoners of war during 1795 as part of the wider management of the Grand Union Canal's water levels, and now serves as a reserve water supply. In addition to the reservoir, the country park also supports the breeding of a number of rare species of farm animals, including cattle, goats, pigs, and sheep. The course The course follows two laps of the reservoir, with the second lap skipping the inner peninsular. The course is flat, and is run mainly on trail pat

Markshall Estate parkrun

Having spent a number of weeks focussed on events in the north of the East of England, I decided that this week I would pay some attention to the south of the region and visit Markshall Estate parkrun while still in the best time of the year to visit an arboretum. The area The Markshall Estate (interchangably the "Marks Hall" Estate) is the remains of a former country estate located in Coggeshall, between Colchester and Braintree. The hall itself was demolished in 1950, leaving its grounds to be converted into an arboretum, featuring trees from around the world. Coggeshall has been a settled area since at least the Saxon area, and was later served by Stane Street; a Roman road stretching from modern day Colchester to near St Albans. The course The route follows just under two laps of the arboretum, starting at the top of a hill, and finishing at the bottom, meaning this is a net down-hill course. The course is run on a mixture of tarmac, concrete, gravel, trail an