The Parish of East Donyland is located near Colchester. It is bordered on the East by the Roman River, the Mersea road to the South West, by Birch Brook to the North West and by the River Colne. Its main settlement is the village of Rowhedge.
It is a very pretty area with a substantial area of ancient forest known as Donyland Woods. The village’s main claim to fame was its association with the large yachts owned by such people as the then Prince of Wales and Sir Thomas Lipton, that used to race at the beginning of the last century. The majority of the skippers and crews came from the area. A number of their houses in the village were named after the boats that supplied the money to pay for them!
The character and flavour of Rowhedge stems from its location at the eastern end of the second of four ridges which separate Colchester from the North Sea. It is bounded to the South by the Roman River and to the North by Birch Brook. It lies on the West bank of the River Colne which meanders upstream of Wivenhoe to wash the quay faces of Rowhedge. Like many riparian settlements it is at ‘ the end of the line’ and is devoid of thru’ traffic.