The River Stour at Manningtree
|Population||911 (2011 census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||East of England|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
Manningtree is a town and civil parish in the Tendring district of Essex, England, which lies on the River Stour. It adjoins built-up areas of Lawford to the west and Mistley to the east and the three parishes together are sometimes referred to as "Manningtree".
Manningtree is a claimant for the title of smallest town in England.
Manningtree has traditionally claimed to be the smallest town in England, and in 2007 mayor Lee Lay-Flurrie said that this had been confirmed to her by the Census Customer Services, with 700 people in 20 hectares (using the high tide mark). However both this figure and the 2011 census population for the civil parish of 900 is much higher than the 351 population of Fordwich in Kent. In April 2009 it was proposed that Manningtree should merge with Mistley and Lawford to form a single parish, losing its separate identity as a town. As of 2018 such a merger has not occurred and the town council currently claims to be the smallest by area.
The name Manningtree is thought to derive from 'many trees'. The town grew around the wool trade from the 15th century until its decline in the 18th century and also had a thriving shipping trade in corn, timber and coal until this declined with the coming of the railway. Manningtree is known as the centre of the activities of Matthew Hopkins, the self-appointed Witchfinder General, who claimed to have overheard local women discussing their meetings with the devil in 1644 with his accusations leading to their execution as witches.
Many of the buildings in the centre of the town have Georgian facades which obscure their earlier origins. Notable buildings include the town's library, which was originally built as 'a public hall for the purposes of corn exchange' and was later used around 1900 for public entertainment, and the oldest Methodist church in Essex, located on South Street.
- Margaret Thatcher lived in Manningtree, and worked for BX Plastics
- Matthew Hopkins, the self-styled Witch-Finder General, lived in Manningtree
- "Town population 2011". Retrieved 25 September 2015.
- "Essex: Town is happy to be small wonder". Echo Newspapers. 7 November 2007. Retrieved 24 September 2010.[dead link]
- "Area: Fordwich CP (Parish)". National Statistics. 28 April 2004. Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 24 September 2010.
- Collitt, Andrea (17 April 2009). "Manningtree: Threat to Mayor". Harwich and Manningtree Standard. Archived from the original on 4 October 2011
- Peers, Deborah (February 2009). "Once upon a time in... Manningtree". Essex Life. Archant Life. p. 52.
- "Manningtree,Mistrey, Little Bemtley and Tendring ward population 2011". Retrieved 25 September 2015.
- Lewis, Russell (1975). Margaret Thatcher: a personal and political biography. Routledge and Kegan Paul. p. 16. ISBN 0-7100-8283-5.
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