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Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of Essex

by Peter Kessler, 29 May 2020

Rochford Part 1: Churches of Rochford, Foulness & Great Wakering

Church of St Andrew, Rochford, Essex

The Church of St Andrew, Rochford, lies midway between the southern side of Hall Road and the River Roach, around 260m due west of the railway line. It is a typical example of church building of the thirteenth century, largely rebuilt in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in Kentish ragstone. The imposing brick tower was added in the sixteenth century. The thickness of the east wall of the nave and the north wall of the west arcade suggest an earlier origin here.

Church of St Mary the Virgin, Foulness Island, Essex

The Church of St Mary the Virgin, Foulness Island, is at the north-west corner of Old Hall Farm, under two hundred metres east of the River Roach. The site was originally occupied by a medieval chapel that was re-established by Lady Joan de Bohun in 1386. That was replaced by a timber-framed church which itself was replaced by this building, constructed around 1853 by William Hambley. It is of Kentish ragstone with stone dressings and a somewhat unusual south tower.

Church of St Mary the Virgin, Foulness Island, Essex

Foulness Island is owned by the Ministry of Defence, and a permit is required for visitors. There are some farms, a few houses, the empty church, and a closed pub. Open days are held a few times each year. The church was closed before 2010. Soon after that the structure was declared unsafe and scaffolding was erected around it. In 2016 part of it was put up for sale with planning permission to create a luxury apartment within the structure.

Church of St Nicholas, Great Wakering, Essex

The Church of St Nicholas, Great Wakering, is on the east side of the junction between New Road and Common Road. A Norman building, it was constructed around 1100. According to medieval tradition, Wakering (probably Great Wakering) was the site of a Wakering Priory during the AD 600s, clearly predating the present building. The nave and chancel formed the initial building, with the lower stage of the tower being added later in the same century.

Church of St Nicholas, Great Wakering, Essex

The buttress between the west porch and the tower was added between 1130 and 1140. The upper part of the tower was built towards the end of the twelfth century. There is fifteenth century window in its west wall, and another above the clock on the south wall. The lower stage of the Norman tower is used as the vestry. The upper part of the sixteenth century south porch, originally the priest's chamber, is reached by a narrow staircase. A lady chapel was built in 1843.

Four photos on this page kindly contributed by Douglas Law and one by Howard Somerville, all via the 'History Files: Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group.



Images and text copyright © all contributors mentioned on this page. An original feature for the History Files.