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St. Nicholas Church
Church Hill, Laindon
St. Nicholas Church - Laindon
Location: St. Nicholas Church
Photographer: Bix
Year of photo: 17/10/2002
Copyright: Basildon History Online
Comments: Front view from Church Hill.
St. Nicholas Church - Laindon
Location: St. Nicholas Church
Photographer: Bix
Year of photo: 17/10/2002
Copyright: Basildon History Online
Comments: View showing the timber annexe that once housed Puckle's school where James Hornsby was the last Headmaster.
St. Nicholas Church - Laindon
Location: St. Nicholas Church
Photographer: Bix
Year of photo: 17/10/2002
Copyright: Basildon History Online
Comments: View from the East.
St. Nicholas Church - Laindon
Location: St. Nicholas Church
Photographer: Unknown
Year of photo: c.1920s
Copyright: N/A
Comments: Interior View.
   
St. Nicholas Church
St. Nicholas Church was built in the 13th century. The chancel and south aisle were added in the 14th century. The timber roof is more than 500 years old, while the oldest part is the nave, dating back over 800 years.

At the west end a timber annexe was added, possibly in the 17th century or earlier. This became a Priest's House and also home to the first school in the area. Puckle's School, as it was known, opened around 1837. The last schoolmaster, James Hornsby, taught there for 48 years. Married three times, the Hornsby's also lived in the Priest's House. Born in 1804 he died in May 1887 in his 83rd year. His grave and those of his three wives are in the churchyard nearby.

In the early 1970s the church held various fund raising events to counter the cost of retiling the church roof. Following completion, a special thanksgiving service was held on Sunday, September 30th 1973, where the then Rev. Michael Lewis invited married couples, young and old, who had been wed there, to attend.
Church records relating to weddings go back over 400 years to the late 1500s.

The importance of the church and its continuing presence was recognised when it was awarded Grade 1 listed building status.

The Church serves the Parish of Laindon with Dunton.

View looking down Church Hill This early view shows Church Hill looking towards Markhams Chase at its original junction with St. Nicholas Lane. The road can be seen curving towards the right before straightening beyond the junction where it becomes Markhams Chase. Years later during development of Lee Chapel North the junction was closed off and the road became a cul-de-sac and renamed Weymarks. The fields in the distance to the right of Markhams Chase would later form part of the playing fields for Nicholas School, and now used by the James Hornsby High School.

Text researched and written 2006 with revisions 2006-2007.
Copyright 2006-2007, B. Cox - Basildon History Online. All rights reserved.


Related external Weblink:
St. Nicholas Church Website

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