This is the day

By wrencottage

Suburban thatch!

I walked to Buckhurst Hill this morning to have my hair cut, and took this photo on my return journey. 

This thatched cottage was originally the lodge to a big house called "Knighton", after which the area of Epping Forest known as Knighton Woods is named. The main house was owned by Edward North Buxton, a Liberal MP for Walthamstow and keen conservationist. He and his brother Thomas played major roles in saving Epping Forest and Hainault Forest for public use. The pair of them, assisted by the City of London Corporation, fought for the rights of commoners to use the Forest, which led to the Epping Forest Act being passed in 1878. 

Edward Buxton was also a verderer of Hatfield Forest, which formed part of the Hallingbury Place estate near Bishop’s Stortford. The estate was sold in 1923 to a timber merchant and Edward offered to buy from him the 215 acres of Hatfield Forest in the centre of the estate so that the space could be kept for public use. He heard the day before he died that he had been successful, and ownership of Hatfield Forest was bequeathed to the National Trust in his will. 

Those of us who live in this part of Essex owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Buxtons’ foresight and philanthropy, which allow us to roam freely in these beautiful forest areas.

Sign in or get an account to comment.