People and places of historical interest in Thurrock

St Nicholas of Myra, South Ockendon

The unusual dedication of the church at South Ockendon is to St Nicholas of Myra, a fourth century Greek bishop who is better known as Santa Claus. The church has a round tower. Round towered churches are not very common in Essex and this is the only one remaining in Thurrock. The tower dates from the 13th century and there is also a 12th century doorway on the north. Almost all of the church was rebuilt late in the 15th century when the north aisle and chapel were added. At the same time, the 12th-century doorway was reset in the north wall of the aisle. In 1744 the western part of the tower collapsed and was rebuilt. The chancel and north chapel, were extensively restored in 1866.

The church contains several early memorial brasses including Sir Ingelram Bruyn whose family owned South Ockendon Hall.