Northey Island (NT)



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Northey Island is a remote island in the Blackwater Estuary that is cut off at high tide. It is one of oldest recorded battlefields in Britain; Viking raiders used the island as a base during the Battle of Maldon in AD991 in which the Anglo-Saxons were defeated, and the first Danegeld was paid to encourage the Vikings to leave. Today the island is more tranquil, but crossing the causeway at low tide is still an exhilarating experience. This is a birdwatcher’s paradise, and in winter the pastureland is home to 5,000 Brent geese, along with redshank and plover. This is also an island at the heart of the new Marine Conservation Zone, a pioneering site for managing coastal change in East Anglia. Please note: access is by arrangement only; call or email to arrange a visit. Northey House and outbuildings are let on a private lease and are not open to visitors.

Northey Island (NT)


About the area

Discover Essex

Essex is full of pleasant surprises. It has the largest coastline of any county in England, with its fair share of castles, royal connections and scenic valleys. Take Colchester, for example, which was built by the Romans and is Britain’s oldest recorded town. Its castle contains the country’s largest Norman keep and yet, a stone’s throw from here, East Anglia’s newest arts centre promises to put Colchester firmly on the map as Essex’s capital of culture.

Tidal estuaries are plentiful and their mudflats offer migrating birds a winter feeding place. Essex was known as the land of the East Saxons and for centuries people from all over Europe settled here, each wave leaving its own distinctive cultural and social mark on the landscape. Walking a little off the beaten track will lead you to the rural retreats of deepest Essex, while all over the county there are ancient monuments to explore: 

  • the great Waltham Abbey
  • Greensted, thought to be the oldest wooden church in the world
  • the delightful village of Pleshey has one of the finest examples of a former motte-and-bailey castle
  • Hedingham Castle, magnificently preserved and dating from the 11th century.

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