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St. Mary the Virgin: Church Road, Dunton

St. Mary the Virgin - Dunton    
Location: Church Road - Dunton
Photographer: Ian Rose
Year of photo: 1999
Copyright: Ian Rose
Comments: St. Mary the Virgin following conversion to a private residence. Photo appears courtesy of the Essex Churches website.

The church of St. Mary the Virgin in Church Road, Dunton closed to services around 1979.

The condition of the church had been causing concern for many years and although it had been included on the Ministry of Works buildings of historic interest list, in 1968 the Lay Commission on Churches advised it be pulled down.

Following an Order-in-Council of 25 July, 1978 the former Dunton parish was now united with Laindon and the church became a chapel of ease (a church building other than the main church) before the Church Commissioners applied to have it declared redundant which was granted with effect from 1st August, 1980 (under an Order-in-Council of 28th July, 1980). See notes (1) and (2).

After closure the building and churchyard was left to the mercy of the elements and vandals. The Church Commissioners recommended it become a private residence, and though the first planning application in June 1984 failed, the building was saved from possible demolition when it was sold on 25th June 1985. Following the sale the church was restored for use as a private residence which it remains to this day.

One of the last resident Rector's, if not the last, was the Rev. I. Frank James, when the church served the parish of Dunton and Bulphan.

St. Nicholas church in Laindon now serves the parish of Laindon with Dunton.

The following is taken from the 1894 edition of Kelly's Directory of Essex.

The church of St. Mary the Virgin, situated on rising ground, is an edifice of brick, in the Decorated style, and was entirely rebuilt in the year 1873, at a cost of about £1,500, raised by subscription. I consists of chancel, nave, south porch and a western belfry, with spire, containing 1 bell. The register dates from the year 1538.

The directory of 1914 is identical to that of 1894 with one addition:

There are 150 sittings.


1) Source: London Gazette issue No. 48268, page 10888, published 01/08/1980.

2) Edition No. 48278 of the London Gazette dated 14/08/1980 issued a notice in substitution to that which appeared on page 10888 of the 1st August edition. This didn't affect the wording of the St. Mary the Virgin entry which remained the same as the earlier edition.

3) The church received listed status on 4th July 1955.

Page added: 2002

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

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