GOC London has been busy this Autumn. In September, Steve Forde led a walk in pleasant weather just beyond the Greater London boundary over two weekends. The walk followed a circular route from Brentwood station to Herongate village and a round Thorndon Country Park. Brentwood is served by a frequent TfL Rail service, but you could tell we were in Essex by the lack of red London buses!
A highlight of the walk was new Thorndon Hall, which was formerly the seat of the Petre family and is based on a Georgian Palladian country house. However the hall was largely gutted by fire in 1878 and the surviving east wing was adapted into partial residential use. Despite the tumultuous history, the building looked very impressive in the afternoon sun, at least to those of us with no architectural training! The house is now located within Thorndon Country Park which forms part of a medieval deer park. The park is now heavily wooded but also has attractive meadows and lakes used for fishing.
This was an area few of us knew, and we are grateful to Steve for such an enjoyable (and not too strenuous!) day out