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Little Easton Parish Church, Essex

Church exterior by Barbara Ballard The parish church is of Norman origin and was built on the site of a former Saxon church. It is possible a Roman fort once stood on the site as Roman bricks and tiles are found in the exterior of the church. The church has seen many changes and alterations over the ensuing centuries.

Church tower by Barbara Ballard The west tower dates from the 15th century as does the west doorway which serves as the main church entrance. The traceried west window also dates from this century. There is a ring of two bells. The ground floor of the tower is a vestibule from which the nave is seen.

Church interior by Barbara Ballard The nave is 12th century with larger windows added in the 15th. Two Norman windows have been blocked as has the original south wall doorway to the church. In the 18th century a gallery was added above the west end of the nave but it was removed when the organ chapel was constructed. A fresco painting, dating from c1130, is on the north wall of the nave. Another fresco painting is on the south wall and may date from the 14th century. There are memorial tablets in the nave.

Church tomb by Barbara Ballard Wall paintings by Barbara Ballard The chancel has undergone much change being enlarged in the 13th, 15th, 17th, and 19th centuries. The church does not have a chancel arch. A 14th century chest-tomb is located to the left of the altar in the sanctuary. The chest-tomb has a vaulted canopy and family members are buried there. Above the altar is a stained glass east window dating from 1865. The sanctuary rail is late 19th century. The roof timbers and ceiling were made by estate carpenters in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The vestry is found in the north aisle of the chancel as is the organ. The south aisle of the chancel was constructed in the 15th century for the Bourchiers of the manor of Estaines and is named after the family.

Church tomb by Barbara Ballard Church tomb by Barbara Ballard There is an alabaster tomb and monument of Henry Maynard and his wife in the centre of the south wall. The family still owns the estate, Easton Lodge. The lodge wrought iron railings and gate divide the chapel from the chancel. A bronze memorial to actress Dame Ellen Terry, is found on the chancel side of the railings. Another monument on the west wall is to Maynardís eldest son and wife. In the south wall are six panels of painted glass.

The American chapel is in the western section of the north aisle and honours the US Army Air Force 386th bombardment group. They were stationed from September 1943 for a year in the grounds of Easton Lodge.

Visitor Information

Little Easton is on a minor road just off the B184 and north of the A120.

Photos © by Barbara Ballard

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Some of our Essex Articles
Ingateston Hall
Colchester
Cressing Temple
Marks Hall Estate and Arboretum
Beth Chatto gardens
Easton Lodge Gardens
Little Easton Parish Church
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