Perhaps the most photographed village in Essex, there are few places that can rival sitting on the grass by Finchingfield’s duck pond in the height of summer. The village’s quaint cottages frame the village green. Overlooking them on a hill is what some say is the oldest windmill in Essex; others claim the windmill at Great Bardfield is older. A mill is thought to have been on this site since mediaeval times, with the current structure built about 1756 and in use until 1890. Known variously as the Post Mill, Duck End Mill and Letch’s Mill, it’s the only survivor of the seven windmills that once stood in the village.
There are several other notable buildings that you should check out. The Guildhall, dating from about 1500, is located near the church, converted into a schoolhouse and alms house in the early 17th Century. Several cottages are worth seeking out, including Pepper Pot Cottage, thought to be the inspiration for one of the Lilliput Lane series of collectable ceramics, and on the edge of the village, the house once owned by Dodie Smith, author of 101 Dalmatians.