People and places of historical interest in Thurrock


St Mary's Church, Chadwell-St-Mary

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St Mary's, Chadwell

There has been a church in Chadwell since before the Norman conquest. The present church is on the top of Chadwell Hill - possibly on the site of the original Saxon church. The nave is Norman, the chancel is fourteenth century and the tower was built around 1500. There is a difference of a few degrees between the alignment of the chancel and the nave . The south porch was built at the end of the 19th century. On the south wall, there is scratch dial which served as a crude sun dial when a stick was placed in the hole.

High on the northwest corner of the tower a face that looks out across the landscape. According to Glynn Morgan (Forgotten Thameside) a "medieval mason, in an endeavour to scare away the evil that came from the north, carved his ugliest gargoyles on this side". But the face is not especially ugly. In anycase, a similar (though more weathered) face was found in the church yard and can now be seen in Thurrock Museum. This suggests that at one time there were similar figures on all four corners of the tower.

The churchyard contains a memorial stone to Kadzuo Yamazaki (or Kazuo Yamazaki), a 22 year old Japanese naval officer. He died on July 13 1899 in a fire on board the SS Kawachi Maru, while she was in Tilbury docks. The stone has an inscription in both English and Japanese.

The church has a 17th century memorial brass.

For more information about the parish click here

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