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Cold Norton - a synopsis

The Parish of Cold Norton lies approximately 4 miles south of Maldon and 10 miles south east of Chelmsford. It is situated at the south-east end of the Danbury Ridge. The village is inconspicuous from distant viewpoints as it is set within a dip of the gently undulating landscape. To the south of the village lies Beacon Hill from where the land slopes down to the Crouch Valley. North-eastwards from the village the land falls to a low-lying plain and the Blackwater Estuary.

The main part of the settlement is astride the Latchingdon Road between Three Ashes Corner and the railway bridge, with some housing extending north and west of Three Ashes corner, eastward from the railway bridge towards Palepit Corner, and to the south near to North Fambridge. The Parish Church of St. Stephens is located on a south-facing slope on the road leading to North Fambridge.

The built core of the village is generally well landscaped with many mature trees and established hedgerows. The rural parish beyond is partially wooded with scattered areas of dense vegetation, particularly along the disused railway. The golf course to the south of the village includes Beacon Hill, which is a dominant feature in the landscape.

Views of the Blackwater and Crouch estuaries can be enjoyed from Hackmans Lane, St Stephens Road and Beacon Hill. The meadow to the north of the playing field affords an excellent view across the fields to Purleigh. A network of public footpaths criss-crosses the parish.

There are 412 dwellings, some industrial and commercial enterprises and the Three Rivers Golf and Country Club.

Cold Norton has a number of facilities, which are appropriate to the size of the village. In St Stephens Road there is a thriving primary school, with 146 pupils in attendance. The Village Hall is centrally located and is the base for many groups and clubs, which include the Pre-School Playgroup, WI, Badminton Club, among many. Alongside the Village hall is a playing field and recreation land totalling 2.03 hectares. The playing field boasts a range of playground equipment, a full-size football pitch, a hardstanding, marked out for netball and basketball, and a new area of hardstanding for some skateboarding equipment. The recreation land to the north of the playing field is intended as a natural meadow, where residents can enjoy its quiet and scenic beauty. There is an area of allotment land adjacent to Clarke Rise. There is an excellent general store that also houses the Post Office. The ‘Norton Barge’ public house is situated on the Latchingdon Road, near the traffic lights. A Mobile Library unit visits the village once a week.

The Village Appraisal showed that the largest proportion of people in Cold Norton are of working age. There are 15% over 60 and 24% less than 16 years of age. There is a significant dip in the population with ages 18 to 24. The population as at 2003 is approximately 1015.