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St Margaret of Antioch, Barking, Essex

(51°32′8″N, 0°4′34″E)
TQ 441 839
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Essex
now Greater London
medieval London
now Chelmsford
  • Isabel Tomlins
  • Ron Baxter
18 January 2005, 20 July 2016

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=13627.

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Feature Sets

Barking lies in the angle between the N bank of the Thames and the E bank of the River Roding, and was centred on its abbey in the middle ages. St Margaret’s is the parish church and stands within the former abbey precincts, SE of the demolished abbey church. Construction is largely of rag and flint except for the tower, of Reigate stone. It consists of a chancel with 2-bay aisles, the N aisle housing the organ. The nave has 4-bay aisles and a clerestory, with a W tower in a 5th bay at the W end. On the N side is a 2nd aisle running alongside the tower and extending to the N of the N chancel aisle. This end of the aisle was built in the 16thc using debris from the abbey, and its 2-bay arcade piers and capitals are abbey spolia. The remainder of the building is largely 13thc and 15thc. On the S side is the Church Centre, with a café linked to the church itself. This was added by K. C. White and Partners in 1991.


The manor, assessed at 30 hides, was held by the nuns of St Mary’s, Barking before and after the Conquest (see Barking Abbey). It remained in their possession until the Dissolution. The church is said (VCH) to have been founded as a chapel, and to have been made a parish church c.1300 by Abbess Anne de Vere.


Interior Features



The capitals are too small for a main arcade in the abbey church. Their simple design suggests a less important structure. They are now whitewashed, but RCHME(1921) describes them as “mostly restored in cement”.


B. Cherry, C. O’Brien and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England, London 5 East, New Haven and London 2005, 120-24.

J. Cooper, The Church Dedications and Saints’ Cults of Medieval Essex, Lancaster 2011, 110.

Historic England Listed Building 198237

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, Harmondsworth 1954, 63-64.

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 2: Central and South West (1921), 4-11.

Victoria County History: Essex V (1966), 222-31.