The morning of 13 October 2018 was spent at Stansted Mountfitchet where, of course, the original Norman castle was built at the top of a steep hill. After the breath-taking climb we were rewarded with the choice of visiting the toy museum or the replica Norman village. The museum, an independent venture, is rammed with toys, books, games, every kind of childhood delight, spanning three centuries - many of the newer exhibits being very familiar to some of us!
Next door the Norman village contained replicas of dwellings and workshops that would have made up a typical settlement. The buildings housed rather scary (and vocal) animated figures.
Blessed by fine weather, we journeyed on to Wimpole Hall and estate for an afternoon visit. Built in 1640, the Hall has had many owners, the last of which, Mrs Elsie Bambridge, was the daughter of Rudyard Kipling. Mrs Bambridge bequeathed the property to the National Trust on her death in 1976. The house has many interesting features, from the chapel to the plunge bath, while the large estate offers a variety of woodland and countryside walks.
Altogether a brilliant end to our programme of summer outings.