As my bike and I shook and clattered along the ageing path I stopped to cogitate on the farm in the distance. I wondered how long folk had farmed this land? Certainly there was a Celt Iron Age settlement around here somewhere when the Romans brought us roads, wine, revolting Boudicca and failed to take Scotland. Interestingly enough Tacitus wrote of his father in law who was governor here twice in the 70's and 80's. That's first century by the way! His name Agricola, as in Farmer! Good job his dad was into growing things and not a plumber. Not that Agricola did much in the way of farming, unless you call dealing with rebellious Celts a kind of reaping. Hunter gatherers from the distant past were in Essex 8000 BC and by 2000 BC some had become resident in the district. It is possible the trees which covered the area were cleared soon after this time I guess and so for around three thousand years this area has provided fodder for the people in one way or another. Not long when you consider Iraq has been doing the same for about ten thousand years but I find this strangely fascinating. Not so the farmer who rushed past me in his Japanese 4x4 leaving the dust to settle on my almost clean bike. I blame the EU!
That church has stood there for between 800 and a 1000 years also. It may sit on a Roman cemetery, which may sit on a Celt one, and the Saxons may even have built the first church around 600ish there, or not as the case may be. So rarely do i see this view it took me by surprise.