infobox UK place
country = England
official_name= Thaxted
latitude= 51.9544
longitude= 0.3461
population = 2,600
shire_district= Uttlesford
shire_county = Essex
region= East of England
constituency_westminster= Saffron Walden
post_town= DUNMOW
postcode_district= CM6
dial_code= 01371
os_grid_reference= TL615315

Thaxted is a town in the Uttlesford district of Essex, England, with about 2600 inhabitants.

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 is renowned for its Flying-buttressed spire, Perpendicular windows and Adam and Eve glass.

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 (1.2km) 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 (place) about a mile to the west of Thaxted, recalls the trade that yielded the area's early wealth.

Thaxted's population has remained almost unchanged down the centuries, hovering near the 2,000 mark. 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 fell to 1,914, and fell further in 1921 to 1,596. [Mark Arman. 1978. "An Historical Guide and brief tour of the Ancient Town of Thaxted in Essex". [Published by author] , ISBN 0946943001.]

Two one-time residents of Thaxted made significant contributions to British culture:
* The British composer Gustav Holst was a long term resident. Sections of his most famous work, "The Planets", were inspired by local charactersFact|date=August 2008. Holst's setting of the patriotic hymn "I Vow to Thee, My Country" to the trio melody of "Jupiter" in "The Planets" is named after the town.
* Diana Wynne Jones, author of "Howl's Moving Castle" and many other novels, was raised in the town.

Thaxted is also a centre for Morris dancing, the "Morris Ring" having been founded there in 1934. The Morris Ring is the National Association of Morris Dancers. "Morris" being a traditional form of English folk dance.

The town was used for many of the exterior scenes in the 1952 comedy film "Time Gentlemen Please".

ee also

Conrad Noel (1869-1942) - An ardent Christian Socialist, Noel was Thaxted's most famous and controversial vicar, serving in the post from 1910 until his death.


External links

* [ Thaxted Church on Essex Churches website]
* [ Pictures and information on Thaxted station from]

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