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St. Nicholas: Church Hill, Laindon

St. Nicholas Church - Laindon St. Nicholas Church - 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.
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.
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 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 1805 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.

In 1950 the church became a listed building on the Ministry of Works list of buildings of historic interest. The church has since been designated a Grade I listed building.

In 1951 the Rev. E.C. Telford, then Assistant Curate of Laindon-cum-Basildon, wrote a short book entitled Notes on the parish of Laindon-cum-Basildon. Within the book he lists all known Rectors from the period c.1254 to 1940. The names and corresponding year can be seen below along with all subsequent Rectors dating to the present.

List of Rectors from 1254:-

Richard de Listc.1254John Tunstall1526
William de Braye1315Thomas Barrett1534
Thomas de Isham1316John Hodgekynne (Bp.)1544
Richard de Hotoft1325Nicholas Harpesfylde1554
William de Synkale (or Fincali)1326John Harpesfylde1558
Richard Martyn1329John Hodgekynne (Bp.) (restored)1558
John, or Robert Pipeman1334Nicholas Kervyle1560
William, called Mogg, de Scoryton1337John Pyers1567
John de HaddenhamYear unknownJohn Walker1573
William de Say1345Arthur Denham1608
Andrew Aleyn1360William Heywood1631
William Wade1362James Moore1647
Walter HenyYear unknownWilliam Heywood (restored)1660
William Bondon1364John Pell1663
William CookeYear unknownZacchaeus Isham1686
Thomas Joseph1373Richard Smithson1688
Edmund CaldecottYear unknownSamuel Sturgis1700
John Benynfield1384Stephen Newcomen (Snr)1719
Robert Hunt1395Stephen Newcomen (Jnr)1749
William Halle1407H. Greene1770
Thomas Beteryng1414Robert HodgsonYear unknown
John Wright1414Edward Hodgson1804
William Wytham1445John Flowerden Colls D.D. (Doctor of Divinity)1852
Robert Sawcer1446John Mathias Proctor1878
William CleytonYear unknownBeaumaurice Stracey Clarke1883
John Kekilpeny1461Herbert Carpenter1897
John Artfarten (Bp.)1466Michael Neville Lake1929
James Daren (Bp.)1483Frederick William John Reynolds1940
Richard Hagys1488William Arthur Winfield (Rural Dean)1954
Richard BladwellYear unknownArthur John Dunlop (Rural Dean)1965
Thomas Hade1513Peter Stuart Grimwood (Rural Dean)1972
William Lee1517Lionel Frank Webber (Rural Dean)1976
Parish of St. Martin of Tours with Holy Cross, St. Nicholas, with Nevendon and Dunton
Lionel Frank Webber (Rural Dean)1978David F. Fosbuary1979
Michael J. Lewis1978Naunihal Chand Paul1983
Parish of St. Nicholas, Laindon with Dunton
Naunihal Chand Paul1990Andrei Petrine2015
Diane Ricketts2006  

(1) The church received listed status on 24th March 1950 (Ministry of Works list of buildings of historic interest).

Page added: 2002

Text researched and written by William Cox, 2006-2007.
Copyright © 2006-2007, B. Cox - Basildon History Online. All rights reserved.

Related external Weblink:
Official St. Nicholas Church Website

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