Stansted Mountfitchet is a small English village which is home to less than 6,000 souls and yet which has still managed to punch well above its weight in terms of historical achievements and accomplishments. Whilst a number of English towns and villages were directly founded as a result of the Normans, most curious of all is that Stansted was originally a Saxon settlement and the translation of the town in its most literal form means "stormy place". The inspiration for such a curious name is not entirely clear or evident (despite the best attempts by historians within the region) and so debate still continues as to reasons for the moniker.
What is clear however, is the precise origins of the Mountfitchet component of the name as this was a prefix added after the Normans invaded Britain and historical records indicate that the Mountfitchet was added after the town was bequeathed to a Norman nobleman for his loyalty and skill in combat.
Stansted is a prime location for children of all shapes and ages thanks to the House on the Hill Toy Museum which is contained within it. The owner of the museum proudly boasts that it is the largest toy museum to be found in the whole of Europe and whilst it is not possible to determine whether this is just wishful thinking or actual truth, one thing is certain: it sure is fun. With over 80,000 toys contained within its walls from all eras, the museum provides a fascinating snapshot into the development of toys within Britain over the decades.
Children will love the toy museum because it contains so many wonderful treasures for them to admire and parents too can get a real feel good factor out of the place as they can take a walk down memory lane and be taken back to their childhood.
The village also contains a windmill which is only ever accessible to the public once per month, and can be an ideal way to break up a day, or kill an afternoon. Stansted Hall is worth a visit, at least, if you have an interest in psychic abilities.
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