White Colne Heritage Trails

A leaflet is available from outside the Village Hall. It has a detailed map of the Heritage Trails and contains further  information to ensure that your walks will be interesting.  

Guided Walks


         Red Trail  (2 miles, 3½ km)

From the Village Hall, head down Bures Road and right into Colchester Road. Between the bus stop and the post box is the former Kings Head, until 1997 the last public house in White Colne. At the top of The Green is the old School House with its distinctive lancet-shaped windows, now a pair of semi-detached houses.  This housed the Colnes United British School until 1874 and later is believed to have been a Quaker Meeting House.

Further information about the houses on the Green is available on the interpretation board.  A small thatched cottage once stood on the level area on the Green.

The trail continues at the bottom of the Green, but for an alternative route turn right along Colne Park Road, pass the remaining brick abutment walls that once supported the railway bridge, turn left up a stepped bank and follow the line of the old railway track.

At the bottom of the Green, pass the now rendered former gas works cottage and old valve house.  Beyond the houses, turn right through the metal kissing gate. Follow the tarmac road and grass path to cross the old railway line. The alternative route rejoins here. The next way-mark is over the brow of the hill to the right of a copse visible straight ahead. There are good views of the Colne valley from here.

As you join the road you pass the Grade 2 listed Gates and Gate House to Colne Park. Follow the road briefly to the left and go through a wooden kissing gate on your right. You are now in the landscaped parkland of Colne Park. Aim for a way-mark post in the middle of the field and continue towards the buildings of Home Farm and The Monument.

To walk to the Monument, cross into the next field.

To follow the Trail, turn right at the hedge and you will see Colne Park House. Although this house dates mainly from the 1970s, earlier building on this site replaced the medieval Shryves Manor. Cross the driveway near the cattle grid and, keeping the hedge to your left, continue to the metal gate in the field corner.

Beyond the gate there is a permissive path to the right. You can follow this back to White Colne Meadows and the Village Hall.

Keep ahead on the public footpath which follows the hedge line and the driveway of Insteps Farm, the site of another former manor, Ingoldisthorpes. At the end of the drive turn right onto Bures Road. Buried in the fields to left and right is believed to be evidence of early settlement seen as crop markings in aerial photos.

As you follow the road back to the village hall notice to your left a square tower or belvedere which forms part of Chalkney House, now a residential home for the elderly.


Blue Trail (1½ miles, 2¼ km)

Turn right down a lane towards the delightful Chalkney Mill.  In this area, several important archaeological finds were made during gravel extraction in the early 20th Century. The mill dates from the early 18th century, initially a fulling mill, later converted to corn milling which ceased in the 1930s.

Turn right under the pylon into the ancient water meadows along the river. The water meadows are filled with wildflowers throughout the spring and summer and provide the ideal habitat for cricket bat willows. These majestic trees are grown in plantations which are normally harvested when they are 15 - 20 years old. You will often see geese grazing on the grass and ducks and moorhens on the river. Less easy to spot are the otters and kingfishers which also inhabit the riverbank.

Enjoy the view towards Earls Colne church, across fields which are often full of sheep and lambs in spring and summer.  Where the path and river diverge this area was known as Tanners Yard on a 1724 map. Tanning is recorded in the village as long ago as 1612.

You rejoin the main road next to number 22 Colneford Hill, which was the former butcher’s shop and slaughter house. Directly opposite you is the site of the old Town Gas Works. Turn right up the hill and pass Colneford House to the right; for detail on this see the interpretation board on the Green.

Green Trail (2½ miles, 4 km)

There is no footpath but the wide verges were used in the Second World War for bomb storage.  Some of the bends were also widened to make it easier for the trucks transporting munitions to the nearby airfields, mainly the American Bomber Base at Earls Colne.  

Just before a group of modern barns, turn right onto a footpath between two large fields. In the 18th century there were almost 30 fields here; now there are only four. Pass a pylon and turn left at the junction of two paths, heading towards the church.  As you cross the field the Old School House is visible ahead on the corner of Boley Road.  This was the National School from 1863 until its closure in 1932.  Turn right onto the road .

It is worth taking a little time to explore the churchyard .  

Continue along Boley Road, past the old Vicarage (right), the entrance to Berewyk Hall (left) and the 18th century Bart Hall.  Visible to the left is a private fishing lake. Reedings Brook which feeds this lake forms the eastern boundary of the parish. At a dip in the road, turn right into the field towards the pylons. The pond in a thicket along the field boundary is believed to be the result of a bomb dropped there in WW2.  The probable target was the railway line about 500m to the south.

Back at the intersection of the paths turn left and head south towards the valley. In the distance is Chalkney Wood

A leaflet is available from outside the Village Hall.

It has a detailed map of the Heritage Trails and contains further  information to ensure

that your walks will be interesting.  

For a  printable version of the Blue Trail click here - this may take a few moments to download, please be patient.

For a  printable version of the Green Trail click here - this may take a few moments to download, please be patient.

For a  printable version of the Red Trail click here - this may take a few moments to download, please be patient.

© Crown Copyright  Licence Number 100047555

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