Once a Saxon settlement, this historic village was the scene of a battle between the warring sides during the English Civil War. It lies on the banks of the River Trent which is spanned by a 14-arched bridge. It plays an important role in the canal network - the Trent and Mersey and the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canals meet here. In 1916 ‘Lord of the Rings’ author J.R.R. Tolkein stayed at his wife’s cottage, Gipsy Green, while convalescing from trench fever and the locality provided ample inspiration for his early book ‘The Silmarillion’. The nearby village of Norbury is thought to relate to his ‘Norbury of the Rings’.
Essex Bridge - Photo: