The Church of St Mary the Virgin & All
Saints, Langdon Hills, is on the western side of the High
Road, just south of the main village and north of the junction
with Old Church Hill. Despite its apparent age it was built in
1876 to replace the old St Mary's Church on Old Church Hill (see
links). The location was (and is) far more accessible, and the
church remains a prominent feature in the local landscape. It was
paid for by the rector of the day, the Revd Digby Cleaver.
The church is built on a man-made mound at the
highest point of Hall Wood, reputedly the highest church above sea
level in Essex. The ground falls away steeply behind it, and the
solid foundations have prevented significant movement in the
building. The construction is of brick, with a facing of Kentish
ragstone. It consists of chancel, nave, north aisle, west tower,
and porch. The peal of six bells was installed in 1877-1883,
although considerable repair was needed in 1998.
Laindon Mission Hall sits on the western
side of the High Road (eastern branch), around a hundred metres
south of the Alexander Road junction. It was built around 1910 to
serve as a mission for St Mary the Virgin & All Saints (see above).
That work ceased following the First World War and the hall served a
number of other purposes, although it has been used by St Mary's
congregation when bad weather prevented them from getting up the
hill. Today it is the church hall.
St Therese of Lisieux Catholic (Old) Church
lay on the western side of High Road, midway between St David's Road
and Alexander Road in what is now the front garden on the northern
side of the house at Alexander Road's corner. This postcard shot was
taken about 1930, but the church was established in 1926, a wooden
constructed that was painted white. The church later moved to a new
site to the north of the High Road, to a building completed in 1992
Laindon Baptist Church and its hall occupy
the corner plot at the north-west side of the High Road and St
David's Road junction. The congregation originally met on the
opposite side of the road, in Nightingale Hall (see below), from its
formation in 1909, but in 1931 it erected the present church a little
way south of the hall. Prior to its recent renovation the seats were
old cinema seats that tipped up when not in use. The toilets were
huts at the back, often icily cold.
Nightingale Hall stood on the eastern side of
the High Road, at the corner with Valence Way (originally Milton
Avenue). The Old Nightingale Hall had existed opposite from 1902,
used by Nightingale Mission Church until they moved to this
hall in 1907. Laindon Baptists also moved here from 1909 (the white
sign at the front is theirs), until 1931 when they built their own
church (above). The hall was later demolished and by 1971 a housing
estate had been built here.
Four photos on this page by P L Kessler (from
2011), and two from the History Files Collection.