Rayne, Essex

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Coordinates: 51°52′36″N 0°30′51″E / 51.8768°N 0.5142°E / 51.8768; 0.5142

Rayne is a village of about 3,000 residents in the Braintree district of Essex in the East of England.

It lies on the Roman road called Stane Street, about two miles (3 km) to the west of Braintree, which is the nearest town.

It used to be a more important settlement than Braintree in Norman times, although this has not been the case for a long time now.

If you enter Rayne from Braintree, you immediately arrive at a crossroads. The playing field is to your left, while to your right is a pub called The Swan. Turning left into Gore Road takes you to the village hall, which overlooks the playing field. Alternatively, turning right into Shalford Road takes you past the allotments and the Rectory, and on into the north of the village. To the east of the village can be found All Saints' church, a war memorial, a stream called Pod's Brook, and a small airfield. There are also the old manor house of Rayne Hall, and Old Hall; a previous Rectory. Rayne Hall was for a long time the home of the Capel family, who became Earls of Essex. In mediaeval times the Church was known for healing miracles: it was said that infertile women visiting the church were later able to conceive. Most unusually a number of the churchyard memorials are made of cast iron: these were manufactured at the former foundry in The Street at around the end of the nineteenth century using a common mound into which individual letters were inserted to spell out the details.[1].

If you continue west along the main road ("The Street"), you will pass an Indian restaurant, another pub, the Welsh Princess [1], the site of the former Rayne Iron foundry (redeveloped for housing and offices in 2009), the Post Office stores, and another pub, The Cock. Continuing in that direction out of the village leads to the town of Great Dunmow.

Just after the Post Office is a turning into Station Road, which leads down to the former Rayne railway station, which is now the Rayne Station Centre of the Flitch Way Country Park, a linear park stretching along the former trackbed of the railway.[2] This is also now National Cycle Network route No. 16.

Rayne, which is located about 40 miles (64 km) [65 km] north-east of London, is twinned with Verberie which is about 40 miles (64 km) north-east of Paris in the Department of Picardie, which coincidently is twinned with the County of Essex.

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