London Stansted Airport is particularly subject to the whims of the weather, with snow being a particular enemy to the smooth running of the airport. In recent years this has been an annual event, but in 1963 the weather was so cold on 23rd January that the temperature at Stansted Abbotts was measured at an incredible -21C, the lowest recorded since 1740. The effect of snowy weather was felt earlier than ever before when it was recorded on 7th October 1974, the earliest time of year on record. The weather was so hot in August 1990 that a waxwork Norman Knight at Stansted Mountfitchet Castle melted, leaving only a pool of wax and two glass eyes.
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The settlement of Stansted predates the invasion of the Normans and the name of the village comes from the Saxon for 'stony place'. The original castle in the village was begun in 1066 and later became the site of Mountfitchet castle and Norman Village of 1066, a popular tourist attraction. St Mary the Virgin’s Church, now redundant, dates from as early as 1120 and is under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. Without doubt, the main influence on the geography and economy of the area today is London Stansted Airport, the fourth busiest airport in the UK. Based around the former Stansted Mountfitchet Airfield that was opened in 1943 as a bomber airfield and maintenance station for USAF and RAF operations, the current airport has one architecturally striking terminal. London Stansted has developed since it was taken over by BAA in the 1960's and it now handles up to 20 million passengers and a quarter of a million tonnes of freight every year. Further, London Stansted acts as home for a number of airlines in the UK and has led to a blossoming of related industries in the surrounding villages and towns.
London Stansted has been a location for a number of films and television programmes. Films such as The Dark Knight Rises and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel have featured scenes filmed at the airport and the popular mockumentary, Come fly with me, was filmed at various locations in the airport.