Monday, 17 October 2011

East Hanningfield, Essex

Disappointingly, and for no apparent reason, All Saints is kept locked although a contact number is noted if you wish to arrange a tour - I didn't. Architecturally uninspiring and heavily restored, I took externals and headed onwards. On my way to Woodham Ferrers I noticed Old Church Road and spent awhile trying to spot the old church but to no avail; it was standing in Mee's day but couldn't find it. Unlike at Thundridge a quick Google only shows that the original church burnt down in 1883; I suspect nothing remains.

ALL SAINTS. In ruins and at the time of writing completely neglected, with bushes and weeds growing rank inside the nave and aisle. Brick chancel of the early C16, with two-Light brick-windows in the S wall. Nave with two-bay N arcade. The pier is of brick, octagonal and heavy. In the nave S wall is one four-light window of brick.*

* Wall paintings removed to the Victoria and Albert Museum.

All Saints (3)

EAST HANNINGFIELD. Far from any town it stands, on a ridge with long views every way. Wide grass borders to the highway give a charm to its neat cottages and the modern church has a prosperous look. The vicar’s garden boasts the oldest well in the county, 480 feet deep. Close to the village are two Elizabethan farms with diagonal chimneys, but the church of medieval days is a ruin down the hill. It has given to South Kensington a wall-painting of great value, a treasure 600 years old showing Adam with his spade, Eve with her spindle, and Catherine with her wheel. For many years this painting was exposed to the open sky in the ivied ruins of the nave by the old chancel, now only used for funerals.



  1. It's said a Saxon chief had the old church built in East Hanningfield -
    down the bottom of the lane called Old Church the 7th century!
    Wow, that's a long time ago!
    Is that really true? Has it been proved? The Saxons had only arrived 100 years before, around 550 AD. There must have been a mix of Celts and Saxons there and maybe a few descendants of the
    Does this point to East Hanningfield being a special kind of settlement? Maybe an Iron Age fort.
    I've always thought that the site of the old church is kind of spiritual,
    perhaps an ancient sacred grove of pagan Britons.
    East Hanningfield, particularly Old Church Road, has always had a
    tranquillity about it.

    1. Interesting - where does the Saxon info come from?

    2. see site for All Saints church in East Hanningfield, Saxon chief story seems a bit far-fetched though without evidence