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Essex Walks: Steeple

  1. Description
  2. Directions
  3. Photos
  4. History

Description & Map

Title: Steeple
Distance: 4½ miles
Time taken: 2 hours
Location: Steeple, about 5 miles south east of Maldon
OS Explorer Map: Blackwater Estuary 176
Grid Ref.: TL 937 031
Parking: [Limited] Garden Fields, off The Street,Steeple, CM0 7JY
Bus:bus D1/D2 from Maldon, D2 from Southminster [ link ]
Train: No train service
Refreshment: The Sun & Anchor, The Star, Steeple
PEAR Rating: PEAR Rating Parking: 1/3 Easiness: 3/3 Amenity: 3/3 Refreshments: 2/3

[Click image to enlarge]

OS map extract 
[Click image to enlarge]

Download and print all 3 for your walk: 1. pdf Download Directions PDF
2. pdf Download PDF photo-set
3. pdf Download Steeple Map PDF
View online on 3 different interactive maps: Link to full screen OS map Steeple Map (Ordnance Survey)
Link to full screen Google map Steeple Map (Google)
Bing map Steeple Map (Bing OS 1:25k)
Additional information: gpx GPX track
Elevation View Elevation Profile
Display local weather Steeple Weather
Steeple Bay Coastal Path coast coast Creek

Walk Description  

This walk branches off the long distance footpath St Peter's Way at the village of Steeple. It heads north to the Blackwater Estuary and follows the sea wall anti-clockwise until it returns to the village. The views across the creek towards Osea Island are magnificent, and the intertidal salt marsh and mud flats provide habitat for Brent geese, Grey Plover, Dunlin and Black-tailed Godwit.


pdf Download Description & Directions PDF here

A. Park in Garden Fields (a residential road 150 yards east of the Sun & Anchor) near the junction with The Street. Parking spaces here are quite limited but a single car should be able to squeeze in. Walk west along The Street to the pub. Just to the right of the pub car park, the footpath starts (1).
B. Walk through a wooded area until you reach a kissing gate opening onto a large meadow (2). Walk straight ahead.
C. Look for a footbridge at end of the hedge (3) and carry on in a roughly north westerly direction, until you see a pond on your right.
D. At the pond (4), carry straight on over another stile and walk along the field edge with hedge to your left.
E. Following the field edge, you will come to a stile leading into a dense thicket (5). Being so close to the estuary, it is very muddy here.
F. As you emerge from the thicket, you cross over a footbridge and need to climb up the embankment in front of you. Turn left and take the stile over the Shoat Farm sluice outfall (6). You are now on the estuary bund protecting the inlands from flooding.
G. The route for the next 2 miles is simple - stay on the coastal path and enjoy the views. Osea Island can be seen across the Blackwater.
H. As you round the north west tip of the peninsula, you will pass the Steeple Bay Holiday Park. Keep to the coastal path (7).
I. As you begin to approach Steeple (on your left) you will come across another delapidated wooden stile. This is where the footpath intersects St Peter's Way. Turn left here, then right towards the west and Steeple (8).
J. After a third of a mile, you will pass through Hall Farm and exit via the farm's main gates onto Canney Road (9). Carry straight on towards Steeple.
K. Turn left at the junction onto The Street (10).
L. St Lawrence and All Saints Church is on your left (11), before you reach the Sun & Anchor and the Star pub-restaurant opposite the Garden Fields parking.

pdf Download Description & Directions PDF here


Download PDF photo-set here pdf
P Parking: Garden Fields 1 Pub path 2 Kissing Gate
3 Footbridge 4 Pond 5 Thicket
6 Shoat Farm 7 Steeple Bay 8 Steeple
9 Steeple 10steeple 11Steeple Church



St Lawrence and All Saints

Steeple Church St Lawrence and All Saints was built in 1884, designed by architect F. Chancellor, after the original church was destroyed in a fire. The new site is 600 yards further east and incorporated much of the old building material, some of it dated back to the 12th century. The parish church previously stood 150 yards south of Steeple Hall where the churchyard is still enclosed.


Steeple Wheel Pump

Wheel pump On the south side of The Street, a rare example of a 19th century wheel pump can be seen. The pump has two spouts and a balanced handwheel turning the crank mounted on a pair of ornate Gothic arched iron side ties. The pump is notable as it is only one of three in the county to have a wheel instead of the normal handle. The pump was probably built by the Rural Sanitary Authority in about 1876 when the well was repaired.