St Michael's, Aveley

St Michael's, Aveley - page 2


by Susan Yates

St. Michael's had a lofty spire (on a 13th century tower). The spire was blown down in the great storm of November 1703 and subsequently replaced with the one we now see. The tower had five bells:-

1. John Waylett 1712
2. John Waylett 1712
3. WilliamCulverden 15th century or early 16th century inscribed "Pray for us St. Peter"
4. James Bartlett
5. Thomas Bartlett 1618.

The two 1712 bells were sold in 1979.

In 1830 a London Surveyor declared the entire church unsafe and recommended it should be pulled down. The parishioners thought otherwise and over ten years raised and paid £1,000 for its repair, hence the Victorian buttresses. In 1888 further restoration took place and the west gallery was removed. The tower was restored in 1910 and the roof in 1934. Further work on the church was carried out in 1947, and again in 1955 and the tower was further renovated in 1973. In 1995 a new facilities room was built south of the tower and further work is now required on the south chancel wall which, although buttressed in the 19th century, is starting to separate from the rest of the building. The cost of this work is currently estimated at more than £200,000. There are several monuments to the Barrett Lennards in the church as well as the large monument on the right hand side as you enter the churchyard from the High Street.

Sources:-

Account of the Family of Barrett-Lennard by Sir Thomas Barrett-Lennard Essex Record Office
Essex Countryside
The People's History of Essex by D.W. Coller
Forgotten Thameside by Glynn H. Morgan
Essex Dictionary of the County by G. Worley
John Knight, Treasurer of St. Michael's

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