St Michael's Church, Fobbing, stands on the
eastern side of the High Road, about a hundred metres (yards) south of
the junction with Lion Hill. Fobbing is now a small village in Thurrock
situated on the eastern flank of Corringham. The oldest part of the church
is Saxon, while windows in the nave, the south aisle, and the south chapel
are from the fourteenth century. The west tower with eight bells and
circular turret containing a staircase was built in the fifteenth century.
Fobbing was one of the flashpoints at the start of the
Peasants Revolt of 1381 which saw a full-scale revolt in Essex and Kent.
The church is also renowned for its association with the smuggling trade,
when the nearby Fobbing Harbour allowed smugglers to sail up Fobbing Creek
guided by the distinctive church tower. After the great flood of 1 February
1953, the creek and harbour were sealed up by a dyke and drained. Smugglers
tunnels survive under the church.
The Parish Church of St Giles & All Saints,
Orsett, is on the northern side of the High Road, close to the Rectory
Road junction. It consists of a mid-twelfth century nave with aisles
which incorporates the original chancel. A three-bay north aisle was added
about 1230 and a north chapel was added to the original chancel at about
this time. The present chancel was added beyond the nave about 1330-1340.
The north chapel was abolished and the north aisle was widened.
The west tower was added in the fifteenth century. About
1500 a new north chapel was added, while the stunted tower was rebuilt in
brick in 1610 and crowned by a wooden spire. The church's walls are of flint
and ragstone-rubble with some Barnack stone and pudding stone. Dressings are
of Reigate stone and limestone. Before the English Reformation the church had
a chantry which had been founded by Thomas Hotoft. It also has a chapel
belonging to Orsett Hall.
All photos on this page kindly contributed by Hannah Fry.