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Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Essex

by Peter Kessler, 25 July 2010

 

 

Chelmsford Part 3: Churches of Chelmsford, Pleshy & East Hanningfield

Springfield Park Baptist Church

Springfield Park Baptist Church is set back from the north-west corner of Springfield Park Road and Chelmer Road. Houses here were built outwards from the town into the nineteenth century, and some houses on nearby Springfield Road have dates built into their walls. The Allied Estate, comprising Springfield Park Road and Parade, was built prior to the Second World War. It was a private development that went bust, with the council taking over the estate entirely.

Holy Trinity Church

Holy Trinity Church, Pleshey, lies on the southern side of Pump Lane, immediately west of the village. The first place of worship here was a chapel, built along with the castle, in its inner precincts, about 1180. It seems to have been large and splendidly furnished. By 1558 it was very decayed, and may have been demolished soon after. The second church at Pleshey, St Mary's Church, was built between 1180-1400, to the north-west of the castle, in the lower bailey.

Holy Trinity Church

Apart from the small Chapel of St Nicholas, this too was demolished, about 1394. At the same time, the third church was built in the college's grounds. Much of the old building was re-used. In 1460, a new north chapel was added, dedicated to the Holy Trinity. In the mid-1500s the chancel was pulled down and the church remained ruinous until a small brick church was built over the nave in 1708. In 1725 the chapel was repaired. In 1868 the church was almost entirely rebuilt.

The Church of All Saints

The Church of All Saints, East Hanningfield, sits behind dense tree cover on the eastern side of The Tye, almost opposite the turning to the school and Post Office. The original All Saints Church was near East Hanningfield Hall in Old Church Road, a little to the west. It was built in the seventh century by the East Saxon chief who lived where the hall stands today, when he was converted to Christianity. The church survived for approximately twelve hundred years.

The Church of All Saints

Sadly this church was burnt down by a fire that is thought to have started in a heating stove, in 1883. The heat of the fire was so great that the bells melted and fell as a shower of molten metal in the west end of the church. The present site was selected for the new church, being more central to the village. It was built in 1884-1885 in Early English style with some chequer work, a timber belfry and a broach spire. Henry Stone was the architect and William Wood the builder.

Bethel Church

Bethel Church sits in a small, house-sized plot on the northern side of Old Church Road, close to the junction with Back Lane, and not especially far from the site of the old East Hanningfield parish church. The church has an Evangelical membership and was probably founded as recently as the 1990s. It has a resident lay pastor who with his wife takes the services and meetings and organises both a youth club and a mother and toddler club.

Two photos on this page contributed by Hannah Fry.

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