Essex – Churches

St Peter`s on-the-wall

Bradwell on sea, Essex, CM0 – 7PX


In 653 St. Cedd sailed down the East coast from Lindisfarne to land at Bradwell on sea, here he found the ruins of an old Roman fort where no doubt he had at first a wooden church built, but later replaced this with stone from the fort to create the chapel we see today, St Cedd modelled the church on the style found in Eygpt and Syria as the Celtic/British church was greatly influenced by the Coptic faith, St. Antony of Eygpt who had set up the first monasteries in the desert and built his church from the ruins of a Roman fort on the banks of a river, which St. Cedd had copied on the banks of the Blackwater, called the Pant then in Essex.
St. Cedd`s mission to the East Saxons was so successful that same year he was recalled to Lindisfarne, where he was ordained as bishop to the East Saxons.
His simple monastery in Bradwell would like those in Iona and Lindisfarne have been a church, a community for both men and women also a hospital, library, school, arts centre, farm, guest house and a mission base, as the client king would have given enough land so they could become self-sufficient, from there he established other centres at Mersea, Tilbury, Prittlewell and Upminster.
so the life of the church was founded in 654 to become the Othona community, the cathedral of St. Peter`s built on the foundation of the fort, in fact the cathedral was built where the gate house stood, so hence the name St. Peter on the wall.
In 664 St. cedd died of the plague up in Lastingham, Northumbria, soon after his passing his churchpassed in to the Diocese of London, then the capital of Essex and so St. Peter`s became a minster for the surrounding countryside.
In 1068 the chapel became the property of the Benedictine monastery of St. Vallery on the Somme.
In 1391 the chapel was sold to William of Wykeham.
In 1750 by now the chapel was in use as a barn for the storage of grain and a shelter for cattle.
Lastly in 1920 becoming full circle the chapel was restored to what it is today, a quiet chapel set on the banks of the Blackwater.(1)


The rectory, East End road, Bradwell on sea, Essex, CM0 – 7PX,
tel 01621 776203


Summer Sunday evening services starting at 6-30pm
there is a different theme each week.
these services start on the first Sunday of July and end on the last Sunday of August.

There are other services during the year, contact the Vicars.

The chapel is open through out the year for a visit and / or Prayer
in this solitary place of God.



There is a car-park near the church which is down a track, there is no access directly locked gate, distance about 1/4 mile.


There is a pilgrimage path leading to the chapel, this will be added soonest when the information is found.


Stephensons buses tel 01206 877620

Tillingham buses
route D4 Southminster to Bradwell on sea
board the bus in Southminster at stop D


The line from London (Liverpool Street) to Southminster.
Mon – Sat Sunday
regular once an hour 15 mins past

Take into the fact that there is approx a 3 mile walk on deboarding
the bus at Bradwell, it is sign posted by the church, down the East end road.

Places to eat

The Green Man
Waterside, Bradwell on sea, out of the village north, on the banks of the Blackwater,

lunch & evening meals

there is a bus stop near here for the D1, this is about half way towards the chapel.

Eastlands meadows country park,
East End road,

this is a cafe` for the caravan park which is nearer to the chapel.

The Kings Head
This pub is at the top end of East End road by the church, there is nothing found at present on this pub.



St. Andrew`s Church, Church lane, Greensted-Juxta-Ongar, Essex, CM5-9LD


Greensted Church is the oldest wooden church in the world and probably the oldest wooden building in Europe, The knave is wooden no doubt the original church which has been built on over the centuries, the wood was felled in the 1060s A.D.(1)


The Rectory, 52, Epping road, Toot hill, Ongar, Essex, CM5-9SQ.
Tel – 01992-524421.


1st Sunday family service – 0930hrs
2nd ” Holy communion – 0930hrs
3rd ” Matins – 0930hrs
4th ” Holy communion – 0930hrs

Special Good Friday service at 1800hrs.
Easter Sunday Holy communion 0930hrs.
all welcome.

Church is open daily

Summer – 1000hrs – 1800hrs approx
Winter – 1000hrs – 1600hrs


There is parking on the side of the road by the church.

Brentwood station on the Liverpool Street station line.
Harlow station on the kings Cross station line.
Both stations are some kms/miles from Greensted.


There is service linking Brentwood and Harlow which passes through Ongar, which is about 1 1/2km / 1mile walk from Ongar


Little Bardfield, Essex. CM7-4TT   O/Smap 148   ref TL 656 307

Tel Vicar 01371 810267 e-mail church web-site

There is car-parking available

Train Services – Braintree

Bus Services – Braintree to Great Bardfield week day

The church is beside a by-road within the heart of the village, in the grounds of Little Bardfield hall, the village is about 3 miles to the east from Thaxted. The church is built wholly of flint rubble and consists of an Anglo-Saxon west tower and aisleless nave, with a modern chancel flanked by a vestry on the north and an organ chamber on the south. The interior of th4e church has been beautifully restored by Howell and Bellion between 2004 and 2006.
The tower is of late-Saxon workmanship almost to the top, and is one of the few examples of square Anglo-Saxon towers, built of flint without dressed stone at the angles or the window openings, the nave from the outside shows its Saxon workmanship.(1)


Birchanger lane, Birchanger, Essex, CM25-5QH   O/S map 148      ref TL 507 228

Tel Vicar 01279 815243 e-mail on church web-site.

Parking seems to be on the road by the church.

Train Services – Bishop’s Stortford or possibly Stanstead Airport.

Bus Services – Bishop Stortford to Birchanger.

Birchanger is situated on high land, about 2 miles north-east of Bishop`s Stortford, being a small church which was drastically altered in the 19th century and now consists of a nave and chancel in a single rectangle, with a north aisle and entrance porch.
Before the work was carried out, the north wall was described tall with a little narrow window in central position, which is an indication of Anglo/Norman work, the only surviving work which looks like coming from the 11th century, pre-conquest, is the south and north doorways which are simple and point to this date.(1)


Church road, Boreham, Essex, CM3-3EQ.   O/S map 162  ref  TL  755-096

Contact. Tel 01245 451087

St. Andrew’s has its own web-site so can be contacted this way.

Parking cannot be seen, but there must parking places near by.

Train Service – Chelmsford, Hatfield Peverel or Witham.

Bus Services – Chelmsford, Hatfield Peverel or Witham.

The village of Boreham, about 3 1/2 miles/5.6km north-east of Chelmsford and is less than 1/2 mile/.8km south of the Roman road to Colchester, its church has developed by a number of complicated changes from a single aisleless nave and chancel in Anglo-Saxon times, of the former seems to have disappeared completely, while the original chancel now forms the lower part of the French-Norman central tower going up 15feet/4.5m or so, representing the height of the walls of the old chancel, there are other features like the western arch which was remodelled in the 15th century from an Anglo-Saxon arch.(1)


o/s map 149  ref  TL  996-252.


Church Path, Hadstock, Essex, CB21-4PH   O/S map 148   ref  TL  558-447

No contact.   Church of England web-site  Botolph`s Hadstock

Parking is available, the church is situated at the top of the Church Path, with its own car-park near the church. To get to Church Path drive to the village green and follow the sign.

Train Service – Cambridge station on the line from King`s Cross, London.

Bus Service – Cambridge/Bus Station Bay 8 too Haverhill/Bus Station Stand 2. Stagecoach route no 13/13a.      Regular service seven days a week

There is a pub. The Kings Head, Linton road.   Tel – 01223 894550

This interesting church has a commanding position to the south of the village, near the top of the ridge of high land which lies between Hadstock and Saffron Walden. Its church tied in the Battle of Assandun between King Edmund Ironside /King of  England and Canute the Danish king and historians are still arguing about the place of this important battle when England succumbed to Danish rule, the church is beyond doubt an important monument of late Anglo-Saxon date, containing an unusually interesting group of features of that period. It now consists of a 15th century west tower; the original nave, almost intact; north and south transepts of the same period, but very largely rebuilt; and a chancel wholly rebuilt in 1884, but recorded by the Royal Commission as being probably on the old foundations.(1)


Church road, Great Hallingbury, Essex,  O/S map 148,  ref TL 511 196

Tel 07590 405096

Has own web-site.

parking near by.

Train Services – Bishop’s Stortford.

Bus Services – Bishop Stortford railway station, Little Hallingbury which is just south of Great Hallingbury.

Although Great Hallingbury is only 2 miles/3.2km from Bishop’s Stortford, to the south-east, the town appears not to have spread out in that direction, the village lies in open countryside, the church was extensively rebuilt in 1873-4 so many original features have gone. Baldwin Brown says that the church has no Anglo-Saxon features; he refers to it being dated late in the eleventh century by the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments; and he says that arches in Roman brick are not necessarily a pre-conquest feature, this is not quarreled with the commissions dating of the church late in the eleventh century, but this could be regarded as having a good claim to being included into Saxo-Norman overlap, the features look Anglo-Saxon not Norman, like the non-radial setting of the tiles in the arch, the use of stepped imposts; and the quoins of tile rather than stone plus other features would be an unusual feature in Norman work so points towards Anglo-Saxon work.(1)


Lower road, Little Hallingbury, Essex,  O/S map 148,  ref TL 503 174

Tel 07590 405096

Has own web-site

Parking is available

Train – Bishop’s Stortford.

Bus Services – Bishop’s Stortford railway station to Little Hallingbury.

The neighbourhood of Bishop’s Stortford is rich in antiquities, with the Roman Stane Street to the north, and the pre-Roman Wallbury Camp about 2 miles/3.2km to the south. The church was a small, aisles church, two-cell building until restoration in the Victorian era, the church was noted in 1087 senses as a wooden church. The indications of Saxo-Norman work are the remains of a blocked, single-splayed , south window, the round-headed south doorway, cut straight through the south wall and other features.(1)


Tiptree road, Inworth, Essex, CO5-9SP.       O/S map 149,  ref TL 879 178

Tel 01621 815260

Has own web-site

parking is available

Train Service – Witham or Kelvedon

Bus Service – from Witham or Kelvedon.

The quiet charm of the flat eastern districts of Essex is well illustrated by the fruit growing area of which has made Inworth’s neighbour Tiptree a well-known household name. Although most of the surrounding country is fairly level, the land at Inworth slopes quite steeply westward towards the valley of the Blackwater, beside which a Roman road ran from Chelmsford to Colchester. The church still contains the greater part of the original eleventh-century fabric, in 1867-8 a massive red-brick tower was built and the east end of the chancel was lengthened in the 14th century. The walls of the original church  are of flint, with some admixture of stone, Roman bricks, and a brownish agglomerate known as puddingstone, which is particularly in evidence at the quoins and window-heads, there are many other features in this very interesting church of Anglo-Saxon work.(1)


O/S map 160  ref TQ 335 807


O/S map 170  ref TQ 300 795


High street, West Mersea, Essex, CO5-8QE.     O/S map 162  ref TM 008 125

Tel – 01206 383222

Has its own web-site.

Parking is available on the road.

Train Services – Colchester.

Bus Services – Near train station to West Mersea.

West Mersea has a picturesque waterfront at the most southerly point of Mersea Island, with an extensive view across the Blackwater Estuary to the flats of St. Peter. The church now consists of an aisles chancel, a nave with a south aisle and a sturdy tower which Baldwin Brown records as falling between the Anglo-Saxon and French-Norman techniques.                                                                                                                                                                 Interestiing evidence of the importance of the church at West Mersea in the ninth century is provided by a group of wills, all of which were made in the second half of the century by members of one family. Ealderman AEfgar granted an estate at Mersea to Stoke-by-Nayland after the death of his daughter AEthelflaed. She granted an estate at Fingringhoe to St. Peter’s church at Mersea, and she also granted the estate at Mersea to Stoke after the death of her sister AElfflaed and her husband Brithnoth (of Battle of Malden fame). AElffaed’s will included the estate at Mersea ‘and the woodland at Totham which my father granted to Mersea’ in a list of estates granted to Stoke by her ancestors after her death; she also confirmed the grant of lands to the church at Mersea by saying: ‘And I grant to Mersea after my death everything which my lord and my sister granted, that is Fingringhoe and the six hides on which the minister stands.’ It should be noted that six hides is a big endowment, suggesting that the church was served by a small community rather than a single priest.(1)


Church Hill, White Notley, Essex, CM8-1RY.  O/S map 162  ref TL 785 182

Tel  –  01376 583930

Car-parking – no car park.

Train Service – While Notley on the branch line between Witham and Braintree.

Bus Service – Bus service between Witham and Braintree.

Pub – There is a pub in the village called ‘The Cross Keys’. Down the hill from the church.

White Notley is a small village pleasantly situated on high ground about 3 miles/4.8km north-west of Witham, on the west bank of the River Brain. The church now consists of an aisleless nave with south porch and bell-cote, and an aisles chancel with modern vestry. Foundations of an apsidal east end were discovered at the end of the 19th century, when the simple, round-headed, monolithic window now built into the east wall of the vestry was also discovered during the demolition of a wall which blocked the arch on the north side of the chancel.

In a will dated 998, Leofwine, son of Wulfstan, granted land near, Kelvedon to Westminster, and gave ‘half a hide of land on the east side of the street, to Notley, to God’s servants, for the good of the soul’ (‘to the east side of the street’ would mean that the land concerned was the east side of the Roman road through Braintree).

The arch is not a type which can be assigned with certainty to before the Conquest/Crusade date even if taken in conjunction with the thin walls of the nave. The impost on the north jamb seems, however, to give some additional date, particularly in the way in which its lower-face has been rebated so as to produce a stepped effect.(1)


Anglo-Saxon Architecture volumes I, II, III. – H.M. Taylor & Joan Taylor.

scroll to (new links 2015-16)

by Michael George Shapland (click here) a large pdf of 50mb for all the volumes of above.

For information on train and bus timetables :-