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Published: November 3rd 2007
St Peter's Church
Where some winding steps led to the Plume Library.
Saturday 3 November
We'd decided to have a catch up day today and Rags bought us a couple of papers to relax with. We were sitting enjoying the papers feeling a bit guilty because the sun was out again when Rags said, “Aren't there markets somewhere today?” We'd written them down in our notebook so Judy checked and yes, Maldon had markets so with the added incentive that this was a harbour town we rushed around and readied ourselves to leave by 10am.
After a couple of wrong turns we arrived in Maldon by 11am. Once we had found the parking area and had “paid and displayed” our ticket enabling us to stay until 3.15 we were happy, especially since there were also conveniences near the carpark entry. We've found the English very civilised when it comes to these basic needs!
Maldon sits on the River Blackwater and was once an important harbour. It is well known for its production of sea salt.
Well, we were glad we didn't just come for the markets as they were pretty ordinary and 5 minutes later we headed to the very delightful main street. There were lots of little shops,
dating from the 14th century, and Judy found a cute little purple top that she thought would be great for her “Red Hat” outings when she gets home.
We found the Plume Library which was started in the seventeenth century by Thomas Plume to house over 7,000 books. The Plume Library is to be found at St. Peter's Church. Only the original Tower survives, the rest of the building having been rebuilt by Thomas to house his library (on the first floor) and Maldon Grammar School (on the ground floor). The ground floor now holds the celebrated Maldon embroidery which is 13 metres long, made by locals and depicts the history of Maldon from 991 to 1991.(This was a wonder to behold but too hard to photograph!)
We found an antique market at the Town hall and after a wander through here we enjoyed a gamon steak and chips for lunch. We had a great conversation with the people next to us who every Saturday, being locals do a lunch crawl. (A bit here a bit there) But we most probably won't have gamon again - it was a bit like a tough ham steak!
A great variety of architecture in Maldon.
before we headed down to the harbour area known as “The Hythe”. Maldon sits on a hill but “The Hythe is at sea level. At this time the tide was out and it was interesting seeing everything sitting on the river bed. A local told us that it looks quite different at 6pm when the tide comes in. Barges that now are used for evening pleasure trips sat stranded on the mud. Our local told us that every December they have a mud race across the river - sounds like fun! (Found a You tube video if you are interested - we had a laugh -
It was after 3 before we left and then we stopped just outside at Morrisons, a large supermarket to do a bit of shopping - we're tired of Tesco's! We got lost in the carpark trying to find the exit and had to ask someone. In typical English fashion the exit says Entry
When we got home although it felt late it was sill relatively early (4.30pm) and so we set ourselves the aim of catching up with our blog entries as we've been a few days behind since we've been
Barges at Maldon
Hythe Quay at Maldon is home port to the largest fleet of fully rigged sailing barges. These vessels, with their tan sails, would carry hay, straw and grain up to the Capital to feed the growing number of horses that were used, and in return would bring manure and used straw back to Essex.
so busy. We shared it out and now we've caught up - until tomorrow.
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