1st May 2014
Doddinghurst is a pleasant small Essex village surrounded by farmland, located just outside the London metropolitan area and M25 motorway. It contains about 1200 dwellings, mostly houses and bungalows built in the latter half of the 1900, but with an interesting collection of older properties, some dating back many centuries. The village was referenced in the Domesday book although there is little here now older than the 18th century.
The village has a modern St Margarets Roman Catholic church and an old and the very attractive All Saints which holds both Church of England and Methodist services. The original tiny Priest House now serves as a lovely little community hall next to the church, whilst opposite there is a larger Village Hall which also supports various events. There is a small parade of shops and this will soon contain a large Turkish Restaurant once conversion from being a village pub is complete. There is a Post office inside the supermarket, leaving the original Post Office and local shop to be reinvented as a charming and popular cafe/teashop.
The centre of the village has a childrens' playground and recreation fields. Nearby are Infant and Junior schools and at the top of the village, a Health Centre which is shared with adjacent villages. The farmland and woods around the village are threaded with footpaths. Those within the parish boundary are described here. There are many other interesting footpaths linking to the other local villages, but getting these onto the website is a task for future years.
Public transport to Doddinghurst is rather limited. The Swallow/Eos service 61 which is financially supported by Essex County Council runs from Blackmore hourly through Doddinghurst to nearby Brentwood between approximately 7a.m to 6 p.m. from Monday to Saturday. there is no service in the evenings or on Sunday. Brentwood has connections to other bus services and Transport For London rail services, although the 61 service only attempts to get through the congested traffic to the station twice in the morning and twice in the peak afternoon commuting times.
Doddinghurst has its own hard-working Parish Council which seeks to stretch limited finances to provide the best possible local services
Doddinghurst has many community activities, ranging from two groups which organise bus or coach trips, through dancing, needlework, badminton, a busy coffee morning with lovely cakes every Friday in the Priest House, a Horticultural Society and the writer's own involvement in Neighbourhood Watch.