The red brick walls in the centre of the village could well be unique as nothing similar, and to the extent, has been seen elsewhere. In the mid 1800s the Rector, the Revd. C.B. Leigh paid for the village school, a new rectory (now Goldhanger House), restored the Church and built the walls around the Church. He also encouraged villagers to build similar walls to keep farm animals out of gardens.
This was because at that time there were two farms in the middle of the village: Hall Farm and Church Farm, and both had animals that would have been regularly driven through the streets to fields at the edge of the village.
The walls remain a significant and historic feature of the village and the Conservation Area Review produced by MDC in 2007, recognised their importance and referred to them many times throughout the document, for example.
The conservation area is given cohesion and a sense of identity by the common use of low red brick boundary walls to properties... Soft brick, particularly when used with lime mortar, adds warmth, colour and texture to the streetscape.
Over 40 properties in the village still have these red brick walls and if they were all joined end to end would stretch for 3/4 of a mile.
Part of the village old-world-charm is the sense of maturity created by these ancient and partially decaying walls.
The walls in the village are not all of a uniform construction and vary in the style of capping or coping. The walls around the churchyard have angled “saddleback” capping and are clearly some of the oldest.
Two years ago high winds demolished part of the wall at the east end of the churchyard and the PCC has embarked on fund raising to restore it.
Article by David Newman
For more about our walls see: Goldhanger walls