The friendly, welcoming, historic and picturesque market town of Great Dunmow in North West Essex was originally on the site of a Roman settlement on Stane Street, a main Roman route between Colchester and St Albans. ‘Dunmow’ means ‘Meadow on the hill’.
The town was a thriving commercial centre during the Middle Ages and many buildings survive from this period including the Old Town Hall in Market Place and The Great Dunmow Maltings. www.greatdunmowmaltings.co.uk
Whilst Great Dunmow has beautiful open countryside all around it, it is also ideally situated for access to the A120 and approximately 8 miles from Junction 8 of the M11 motorway which leads south to London and north to Cambridge. Mainline railway stations can be found at Stansted Airport (Stansted Express, approx 5 miles from Great Dunmow), Bishop’s Stortford (approx 10 miles from Great Dunmow) and the Essex County Town of Chelmsford – the only city in the county (approx 13 miles from Great Dunmow). Buses run to Bishop’s Stortford, Stansted Airport, Chelmsford and Braintree from the town.
The ancient and famed Dunmow Flitch Trials are said to date back to 1104 and are mentioned in Chaucer’s 14th century ‘The Wife of Bath’s Prologue’. The Flitch Trials are held every leap year, successful happily married couples have to satisfy the judge and jury that they have ‘not wished themselves unmarried’ for a year and a day, before they are awarded the prize of a flitch of bacon.
The Flitch Trials are a much anticipated and celebrated event in the Dunmow events calendar and attract thousands of visitors (many from abroad) who receive a warm welcome when they come to join in the colourful traditional celebrations associated with the trials. www.dunmowflitchtrials.co.uk
The beautiful downs and commons in and around Great Dunmow are a typical feature of the countryside in this, one of the loveliest parts of Essex.