Monday, 29 November 2010

Berners Roding, Essex

It took me ages to find All Saints and when I did it was to find it in a sadly dilapidated state and appears to slowly falling down. Not surprisingly it was locked, it's probably too dangerous to go into anyway. The church is de-consecrated, owned by the local farm and the churchyard is a conservation area managed by Epping county council.

The precise origins of the church are unknown, but there are elements of the building that date back to the 14th Century. The Chancel and the Nave of the church are of an unknown date, but the east and west walls are known to be 16th Century in date. The church did at one time have a tower that held a single bell. (Built by John Dyer in 1594).  In the book “The Buildings of England – Essex” by Nikolaus Pevsner, he makes reference to the church and describes it with a weather-boarded belfry with pyramid roof. Pevsner's survey of Essex was evidently carried out before the winter of 1953/54, and the book was first published in 1954. It follows the tower must have been pulled down post 1953.

The church itself is Grade 2 listed, but unfortunately is in a poor state of repair. The north nave wall is structurally unsound and this has led to the buildings inclusion on the Essex buildings at risk register.

The churchyard has a badger sett in and around some south-east graves - rather disturbing for those supposedly resting in peace!

This is one of the rare places that Arthur Mee failed to report on - perhaps it was too small for him to notice.

All Saints


  1. I love this church - I've been there many times over the past 30 years. Such an evocative place - especially its hidden-away setting. No other church quite like it. So sad to see it falling down. Some philanthropic soul should invest it in the Redundant Churches Trust. Arthur Mee was missing out.

    Essex church-crawler

  2. I couldn't agree more particularly about it's setting - it took me about five visits before I finally found it!

  3. It's a magical place. I keep a picture of it on my writing desk. It and the churchyard are important sites in a novel I have just finished. KF

  4. The Tower and that end of the church were knocked down when the large tree fell in a severe storm around 1950.
    A Berners Roding Resident.