Two Essex Village Churches #MondayBlogs

Last week I visited seven of the churches in rural Essex where members of my family were baptised or buried.  These are the first two which we saw.  Sadly only one was unlocked.  Moreton is one of the many villages which are reached by small winding lanes, but the church includes architecture from pre-Norman times with changes and additions over the years.  Originally built of flint and clunch, a soft, chalky limestone, the walls have been strengthened by replacing the clunch with more durable stone.  The tower is built in red brick with a lower shingled spire and there is a typical Essex wooden weather-boarded porch.  The windows date from the 15th, 18th and 19th centuries.

St Mary's Church, Moreton

There was a tradition of Dissenting Ministers in Essex so it was a pleasure to find this memorial to Rev. S. Gaffee.

St Mary the Virgin, Matching is reached by driving along a single track road past a beautiful pond.  The village has changed very little since the 18th century.

St Mary the Virgin, Matching

This was the smartest church we visited, mainly due to the owners of nearby Down Hall who gave £3000 for its improvement in 1875.  Probably a Norman church, on the site of a former Saxon church, it has a 13th century doorway and a 15th century tower.

The signature of William Dearling MA vicar from 1761-1784 is written in the Prayer Book given to my ancestor Bartholomew Glasscock who was churchwarden in Matching.


This window is dedicated to Sir Henry and Lady Selwin-Ibbetson of Down Hall, who supported the church so well.

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