St. Mary and All Saints, Langdon Hills


   
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St. Mary and All Saints stands in Old Church Hill, Langdon Hills and falls within the boundary of the Borough of Thurrock. It is a grade II* listed buiding. The church was formally closed in or around 1973 and was sold in the mid 1970s and is now a private residence, although there is unrestricted access to the graveyard.

Built on the old foundations of the previous Church, it consists of Nave and Chancel structurally undivided, North Transept, and South Porch, with timber tower and broach spire at West end, which was rebuilt in 1841. The total length is 48ft. and the width 14ft. The North Transept was added in 1834. From this it may be learned that the two arches were already then in existence, and since these with the octagonal column and the two responds are built of old 17th century bricks, the date above, 1621, indicates the year when this arcade was erected. There was once a Chapel attached to the North side of the Chancel belonging to the Manor House built by Henry Archer in 1621. On the West wall there is a marble tablet with arms in memory of Miss Susanna Hatton, of Goldsmiths, who was the largest donor to the additions made in 1834.

There are several interesting features in the Nave and Chancel. The East wall was covered with plaster, which was removed, showing the old 16th century brick work; and the two ogee niches, which no doubt originally contained figures of Saints, have been brought to light. The 17th century Altar Rails are a good. They are of oak and are also turned about, instead of running straight across the Chancel. The date 1686 is carved on the gate, and one side has the initials S. S. R., standing for Samuel Stanes, Rector. The roof of the Church is simple, early in character, its construction being that known as king post waggon; there is an inverted umbrella appearance to the king post. There is also the central purlin in the Chancel. During the war a shell fell through the roof. The font came originally from Bulphan Church; it was given by the Rector to Langdon Hills between the wars. Along the North wall is a rail with a number of iron pegs for men's hats, recalling the fact that it was the custom for the men to sit on the North side of the Church, and the women on the South side. The Pulpit new in 1834 is constructed on the old "Three-decker" plan, being a desk for the Parish Clerk, a Prayer Desk for Priest, and Pulpit; some of the panels are 17th century oak. The South Doorway is early 16th century, at the base of the jambs there is part of an earlier doorway to the previous Church; The Porch which was originally half timbered, but now entirely of brick, was added about a century after the Church was built. In 1841 the Gallery was erected to provide for further seating.

Langdon Hills gave its name to the de Langedon family who held the manor from 1163 to 1382.

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