St Mary’s, Little Thurrock

from Little Thurrock, Church and Parish by Jean V. Matthews (1970)

The church of St Mary the Virgin in Dock Road is a Grade II* listed building and one of the pilgrim churches along the River Thames. It is partly Norman and entered through a late 19th century porch and a much-restored 14th century doorway. Just inside to the left is an early 16th century holy water stoup; to the right is the 19th century font.

The nave was built around 1170 and was lengthened westwards in 1884 when the west tower was built. The bell in the west tower is said to be by Richard Phelps, built in 1711 and was originally inside the church. The point at which the original building ended can still be seen on the outside of the south wall.

The chancel, since been restored, was made new 600 years ago, and has simple sedilia with beautiful capitals and a piscina with more elaborate ornament. On the south wall of the cancel is the First World War memorial to the fallen.

The rector, Rev Edward Bowlby, spent £50 adding the south vestry in 1858, complete with new ornaments for the pulpit and reading desk, communion table etc. The organ chamber was built in 1909.

The pulpit dates from 1700, and the modern reredos has tracery of the 15th century. The north-east and south-west windows have been much restored, but show traces of 14th century workmanship. The stained glass in the east window, depicting the Virgin and Child, was the work of Goddard & Gibbs in 1966.