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Thaxted Windmill and Church - - 158193.jpg
Thaxted Windmill and Church
Population 2,845 (2011)
OS grid reference TL615315
  • Uttlesford
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town DUNMOW
Postcode district CM6
Dialling code 01371
Police Essex
Fire Essex
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament
  • Saffron Walden
List of places
EssexCoordinates: 51°57′16″N 0°20′46″E / 51.9544°N 0.3461°E / 51.9544; 0.3461

Thaxted is a town and civil parish in the Uttlesford district of Essex, England.


Thaxted appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Tachesteda", Old English for 'place where thatch was got.' Once a centre of cutlery manufacture, Thaxted went into decline with the rise of Sheffield as a major industrial centre. A light railway, the Elsenham & Thaxted Light Railway, eventually opened in 1913, though the railway itself never reached nearer than three-quarters of a mile (1.2 km) from the town, as building earthworks across the River Chelmer proved too costly. With the growth of road transport, the line was closed to passengers in 1952 and closed altogether in 1953. The name of Cutler's Green, a small hamlet about a mile to the west of Thaxted, recalls the trade that yielded the area's early wealth. To the West of Cutler's Green is an area named 'Richmond's in the Wood'.


Thaxted's population of around 2,000 has remained almost unchanged down the centuries. Thaxted had a total of 2,845 residents according to the 2011 Census. In 1829 there were 2,293 people living in Thaxted; in 1848 there were 2,527. At the time of the 1881 census that figure had fallen to 1,914, and fell further by 1921 to 1,596. In 2001, the population was 2,526.


Thaxted clubs and societies include Thaxted Morris which was founded in 1911 and is the oldest revival Morris dancing group in England. Thaxted Morris Men hosted the meeting at which the "Morris Ring" was formed as a national organisation in 1934; and continue to host one of their meetings every year: in 2009 this was a celebration of the Ring's 75th anniversary.

The annual Thaxted Festival takes place over four weekends in June and July every year, presenting a programme of musical concerts.

Thaxted football club, the Thaxted Rangers, has a senior team and youth teams.


Notable Thaxted buildings include Horham Hall, Thaxted Guildhall dating from around 1450 and John Webb's Windmill built in 1804.

The parish church of St John, built between 1340 and 1510, is renowned for its flying buttressed spire, which is 181 feet tall and is the only medieval stone spire in the county. It has perpendicular windows and a stained glass representing Adam and Eve. The church, which stands on a hill and overlooks the town, is often referred to as "the Cathedral of Essex". From 1910 to 1942, the vicar was Conrad Noel, known as the 'Red Vicar' because of his well-known Christian Socialism.


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