Little Easton


Welcome to Little Easton

Little Easton is a small village, lying to the north of Great Dunmow, just to the west of the main B184 road to Saffron Walden. It has a population of just a few hundred people, one church in Park Road and one pub -‘The Stag’ in Duck Street. Named in the Domesday Book as Estaines Parva,the village has had many well-known inhabitants and visitors throughout its long history.

Little Easton Church built in the 12th Century

The church houses a number of notable tombs with effigies of the Bourchier and Maynard families. A plaque commemorates Ellen Terry the famous actress who loved to worship there during her visits to Easton Lodge, home of Lady Brooke, the Countess of Warwick. Recent additions to the church are the memorial windows (see photo below) to the 386th Bomb Group (The Crusaders) who flew from Easton Lodge Airfield (known then as Great Dunmow airfield) in WW2.


The remains of Easton Lodge, the Countess of Warwick’s former home, is situated at the end of Park Road, beyond the church and Little Easton Manor. The house was badly damaged by fire in 1918 and the remaining wing has been refurbished in recent years, together with the ornamental gardens which were a beautiful feature of the house in the early 20th century.

Easton Lodge from the Italian gardens before the disasterous fire.



Frances Evelyn Maynard, who became the Countess of Warwick on her marriage to The Earl of Warwick, lived at Easton Lodge until her death in 1938 (see photo). She was a famous, possibly notorious, figure in Victorian and Edwardian society for many reasons.

She was for some time the mistress of Edward Prince of Wales before and after he became King Edward VII. He visited Easton Lodge many times, together with groups of his society friends, arriving by train at Easton Lodge station which was paid for and maintained by the Countess.

Other famous visitors who passed through the station included Charlie Chaplin and George Bernard Shaw, who directed plays put on by the Countess at the Barn Theatre.

The Countess encouraged friends and acquaintances from the worlds of theatre and literature to visit her at Easton Lodge and, in some cases, to live nearby in property that she owned. H G Wells, the author, lived for some time in one of her houses, The Glebe, which stands on the edge of what was Easton Lodge Park.


Easton Lodge Station in the 1950’s.         

H.G. Wells


S L Bensusan lived at Easton Manor, another of the Countess's properties, which was later the home of Basil Dean , the film director who married Mercy Greville, the Countess's daughter.

In more recent times, Cliff Richard the singer lived at Battailes, a large country house where he set up a Christian meditation centre. With him came Jack Philby who became the Vicar of the Five Parishes (Little and Great Easton, Broxted, Tilty and Chickney) and did a great deal to put the area on the map.

Little Easton has been subject to many environmental threats over the past few decades – gravel extraction, Stansted Airport and massive housing developments but, so far, it has survived as a quiet rural village with an enviable lifestyle. Long may this continue!