Maldon Town Centre Heritage Trail 1
A circular walk of about 2 miles and 2 hours, taking in Market Hill and exploring Maldon’s historic town centre. The walk is dog friendly. Refreshments are widely available in the High Street
The walk is for the most part accessible to wheelchair users. Motorised wheelchair users have access to all areas except The Downs footpath and the narrow section shared with NCR1. Manual wheelchair users can access all areas except Market Hill and Thomas Plume’s Library
1 P Butt Lane car park
Start this walk from Butt Lane car park (CM9 5HD) where pay and display parking charges are clearly displayed. There are toilet facilities in the car park and refreshments are available nearby through the alleyways. A noticeboard and map provide more information.
2 The Downs
On leaving the Butt Lane car park entrance on foot there is no provision for pedestrian and wheelchair egress, so caution required. Turn left into Downs Lane, this will take you to Chandler’s Quay.
3 Chandler’s Quay
Beware of vehicles manoeuvering here. Turn left as you walk along; you will see houseboats with floral hanging baskets. Opposite the wharf and boatyards is one of the town’s oldest flour mills.
At the Fullbridge there are boatyards, colourful planters on the bridge and a recent “lighthouse” development.
5 Market Hill - Old Customs House
Market Hill is the steep entrance to the town. At the bottom of Market Hill is a very rare Victorian pillar box. As you walk up the hill, you will pass the old Customs House on your left. Be wary of cyclists. NMU’s can catch a bus from outside Tesco to the top of the hill, otherwise avoid this section.
6 Maldon Workhouse
Further up the hill, on the right, are homes (marked by a blue plaque) which served as Maldon’s Union Workhouse in the 18th and 19th centuries. Be wary of vehicles and machinery manoeuvring here.
7 Market Hill Garden
This beautiful peaceful oasis, with stunning views over the rooftops of the old houses and beyond, is a popular place to rest, halfway up one of the steepest hills in Essex. A noticeboard provides information on the Garden.
8 United Reformed Church
Further up Market Hill is the Maldon United Reformed Church. Its most famous pastor (commemorated by a blue plaque) was the Rev Billio, famous for his thunderous sermons.
9 St Peters Church and Churchyard
The former Parish Church, which is Grade II listed, is home to Thomas Plume’s Library and the Maeldune Heritage Centre, both open to visitors.On the side of the Church is a sundial, dating from the 12th century. The gardens feature a mixture of formal design with a mix of perennials and seasonal plants as well as dry beds around the edge against the walls. Shears Tomb stands at one corner of the churchyard. Outside the churchyard are three oldstyle telephone boxes.
10 Maeldune Heritage Centre
Inside the Centre is the Millennium Embroidery depicting 1000 years of Maldon history. The Embroidery, designed by Humphrey Spender, measures 42 feet and involved more than 100 volunteers in its making. The Centre also houses artefacts and information on local archaeology, the Maldon Society’s oral and photographic archive and exhibitions of work by local artists.
11 Thomas Plume’s Library
One of the oldest in England, is on the first floor, accessed by an ancient spiral staircase in the church tower. In 1704 Plume bequeathed to Maldon his collection of over 8,100 books and pamphlets and his collection of paintings to be housed in his Library. Some 2000 volumes have been added since. Books may be consulted without appointment during normal opening hours. Numbers are limited to 12 visitors at any one time. Admission is free; groups must be booked in advance.
12 Plume School Planter
Outside the churchyard is the Plume Planter, designed, built and planted by students. It features decorated tiles displaying various pictures each student associated with the town of Maldon.
13 Church House
Next to the church is the former home (marked by a blue plaque) of Edward “Ted” Bright, son of the “fat man of Maldon”. Use Pelican crossing to cross the High Street.
14 Friary Walled Garden
Return to the High Street and cross to take the lane beside Iceland. By the library is the Friary Walled garden, which will be open over Heritage Weekend. This Georgian garden was restored in 1987 and is maintained by Maldon & Heybridge Horticultural Society as a working garden. Visits can be arranged.
15 Site of Carmelite Friary
Nearby is the site of a former Carmelite Friary. Monastic communities were known to have kept extensive gardens for raising fruit and vegetables and herbs for medicinal and domestic purposes.
16 Chequers Lane
Walk down Chequers Lane by the Friary Wall (Grade II listed) to reach the Longfields open space. The award-winning homes were built on Friary Fields.
17 Olympic and Paralympic Avenue
This open space was once home to allotments. An avenue of London Plane Trees commemorating the 2012 London Olympics was planted by local schoolchildren as part of the town’s Olympic legacy. Information boards provide more detail. Beyond can be seen a small linear “Grow Wild” garden in front of the hedgerow. Some of the Maldon in Bloom work in the town.
18 Tenterfield Road
Come back up Chequers Lane and turn right into Tenterfield Road. Many of the cottages were home to outworkers in the weaving industry. Tenter hooks were used to stretch and dry woven cloth.
19 Friends’ Meeting House
At the end of the road, take the alley and then cross the High Street to Butt Lane by the public house. On the right you can see the Friends’ Meeting House, built in 1821. It has two rooms, originally for separate meetings of men and women.
P Butt Lane car park
The end of the trail, but if you wish to see more of Maldon, follow the Riverside Trail to visit boatyards, sailing barges on Hythe Quay, Promenade Park, Maldon Museum and St Mary’s Church.
See also the Heritage Walk 2 and the Riverside Walk
This walk is brought to you by the Maldon Heritage Group, formed in 2017 to enable member organisations to work together to share ideas, information and expertise with the objective of increasing footfall to venues and raising the profile of Maldon’s heritage to visitors and residents.