Wrabness is a small village, near Manningtree, Essex. The village is located six miles (10km) west of Harwich. Wrabness railway station is served by trains on the Mayflower Line from Manningtree to Harwich.
The population is approximately 400.
Wrabness is a fine example of a relatively unspoiled village. The people of the village are friendly and helpful. A Community shop and bar serves the local community.
For a small Essex village it is surprising to find a relatively modern village hall, which is the focus of many community events. A children’s park with swings and slides is also a rare find in such a village these days and gives the whole area a very traditional feel.
A bonus is the much treasured services of the railway and bus routes. The station is on the Mayflower line and there are regular services between London, Manningtree and Harwich. On the other side of the village is a main line bus service with links from Harwich through to Colchester.
The oldest building in the village is All Saints’ Church, which dates from around 1100. The church’s bell tower collapsed in the seventeenth century, and the bell moved temporarily to a wooden bell cage in the church yard. The bell cage remains to this day.
Wrabness “Local Nature Reserve” was designated in 1993.It covers 52 acres (210,000 m2) on the banks of the River Stour estuary. The site was once a former mine depot established in 1921 by the Ministry of Defence. It was closed in 1963. Following closure, a number of planning applications were put forward (including an application for a prison in 1968 and 1989). The site was saved from closure when it was bought by Wrabness Nature Reserve Charitable Trust in 1992.
The site has now been taken over by the Essex Wildlife Trust. The reserve is an important wildlife site – owls, yellowhammers, whitethroats, turtle dove, song thrush, nightingales and bullfinches can be seen. There are also many wild plants such as corn mint, hairy buttercup, sea aster and ox-eye daisy. There is good access with a hard-core path around the reserve making it accessible for pushchairs or people with disabilities.
Grayson Perry’s A House for Essex. In 2015 a conceptual holiday home was created by the artist Grayson Perry, working with FAT, and commissioned by the charity Living Architecture. It is known as “Julie’s House” or “A House for Essex”, in homage to the “single mums in Dagenham, hairdressers in Colchester, and the landscape and history of Essex”. The house is highly decorated incorporating rooftop ornaments, and overlooks the River Stour.