8 Oct 2011

Manningtree and Mysterious Mistley

We went to the smallest town in England, Manningtree (at just over 19ha), and also Mistley (eventually) this morning. We've passed Manningtree Station a few times when we travelled to Norwich and Ely, and have thought that it looks like a nice town. The origin of the name Manningtree has been some theories, such as the simple 'many trees' to a place belonging to someone called Mann or Manni, The origin of name Mistley is likely coming from the Saxon word for the herb basil "mircel" combined with "ley" meaning pasture. But going back 1,000 years, both town came under the same name of "Sciddinchou" in the Domesday Book, there are various spellings of this old name though... It means "hill of the shed dwellers".

Manningtree town is a bit far from the station. It's small town but very compact and attractive. We were trying to have a breakfast, but unfortunately pubs and cafes were closed around 9:30 on High Street. We saw a market was held, so people might be there... We could see the River Stour which passes Harwich and debouches into the North Sea. You can get a ferry from Harwich to Holland.

the River Stour

We walked along the River Stour, we saw many swans, even on the road! They tried crossing the road, and didn't care about cars!! It's famous view here. But from far, we thought they were statues or something at first :)

Anyway, we hadn't walked so long, but already passed the smallest town Manningtree and were in next town named Mistley. We could see Mistley Towers, which are the remains of a church built in 1776, unusual in having towers.

Mistley Towers
Mistley Church

We had a breakfast at a cafe on the other side of the Mistley Church. I thought it's unremarkable cafe at first, but it seemed like a quite popular. It was interesting to watch people popping in continuously :) Seats were almost full!

After having a big breakfast, my bf was talking on the phone with his business partner outside the cafe. There were some birds like following pictures. He said "... anyway, I am watching a turkey now." What a crazy conversation! I've never saw a man who was talking about business on a phone as well as watching a turkey! His business partner must be stunned and couldn't believe his situation. He said loudly "... it's true I'm watching a turkey now!" It was quite funny. But that was true, Mr.T, this is the proof :)

We didn't go back to Manningtree, because Mistley Station was close from there rather than going back. Mistley seems like a town for distribution because there was a quay on the river. We could see some distribution-centre warehouses and a few cargo ships on the river.

The station was like a ghost station, no staff, no ticketing facilities, no people, just us. So we got "Permit To Travel" from a machine. This mean we need to exchange a proper ticket at the first opportunity station. What a mysterious station it is.. Am I the only one that I can see the word "Mistley" as "Mystery"? So I decided to call this town Mysterious Mistley :)

(Mysterious) Mistley Station