The Fair Maid Walk

The Fair Maid Walk

The cover of the booklet with the Miller's Drift walk

The Fair Maid Walk is one of 3 walks in the first booklet produced by the River Colne Countryside Project (prior to 2013).  Produced in association with local people & groups, this self-guided walk was originally marked out with way markers like those below.   The River Colne Countryside Project is a joint venture between CBC and BDC; it is a partner in the Colchester Countryside Service.

If you would rather use a printed copy then please download the following PDF file. It will squeeze onto 1 page if printed double-sided.


Colne Valley Trail Waymarker

This is one of three walks that can be started from Chappel. Chappel is between Halstead and Colchester on the A604 and can be reached by bus from these towns (No. 88). It also has a station on the Marks Tey-Sudbury railway line. The walk is about 6.5 miles long and should take 2 – 3 hours.

The other two walks are:

The Text & Original Images to Accompany the Walk

Key to map

This walk starts from Chappel, parking is available at the the Swan or just up the road at the edge of the “Playfield”.

Joan Wake, known as the “Fair Maid of Kent”, owned Wakes Hall in the mid 14th century when it stood on the site now occupied by Old Hall Farm. In 1361 , she married her third husband, Edward the Black Prince. Although Edward was never crowned King, his son by Joan Wake succeeded to the throne as Richard II. This walk was named by Wakes Colne Parish Council.

Wakes Hall

Wakes Hall

The original Wakes Hall stood on the site now occupied by Old Hall farm. The ancient Manor House was pulled down in the 1830’s by the Coggeshall brewer Henry Skingley, who built the Hall we see today.

Chappel Viaduct

Chappel Viaduct

Built between 1847 and 1849 by Peter Bruff, Chappel Viaduct carries the Marks Tey to Sudbury railway line across the Colne Valley. It stands 80ft above the river, has 32 arches and is 1,066ft long. Remarkably, the viaduct contains 4.5 million bricks!

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