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Gallery: Churches of Essex

by Peter Kessler, 22 May 2020

Basildon Part 11: Churches of Langdon Hills

Church of St Mary the Virgin & All Saints, Langdon Hills, Basildon, Essex

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.

Church of St Mary the Virgin & All Saints, Langdon Hills, Basildon, Essex

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, Langdon Hills, Basildon, Essex

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, Langdon Hills, Basildon, Essex

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 (see links).

Laindon Baptist Church, Langdon Hills, Basildon, Essex

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 Mission Church, Langdon Hills, Basildon, Essex

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.

 

 

     
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