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St Nicholas, Great Wakering, Essex

(51°33′12″N, 0°48′40″E)
Great Wakering
TQ 950 876
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Essex
now Essex
medieval London
now Chelmsford
  • Ron Baxter
07 February 2018, 25 July 2018

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=6195.

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Feature Sets

Great Wakering is a village outside the conurbation of Southend-on-Sea to the NE, 4 miles E of the centre of Souithend and a mile W of Foulness Island. The church stands at the E end of the village and has a chancel and nave with a S porch, and a W tower with a gabled two-storey west porch. The chancel has a N chapel of 2 bays, built of brick by T. B. Crowest of Billericay in 1843. The 12thc nave is aisleless; the organ at the W end concealing the plain tower arch and the blocked, round-headed window above it. The tower has a broach spite, perhaps 15thc, and a N chapel was added to the chancel by T. B. Crowest of Billericay in 1843. The S porch is 16thc, originally timber framed on dwarf rubble walls. Apart from this and the N chapel, construction is of roughly coursed ragstone, flint and septaria rubble with limestone dressings. The church was restored by W. J. Wood in 1883-91. The only Romanesque sculpture recorded below is a font from East Horndon, brought here when that church was declared redundant in 1970.


The manor of Great and Little Wakering was held by Swein of Essex in demesne in 1086, when it was assessed at 5½ hides. The manor had passed to Hugh de Neville by April 1200, when King John granted a market and a fair on the feast of the translation of St Nicholas to Hugh and Joanna his wife. This suggests that the church may have already had that dedication in 1200. Hugh de Neville (presumably a descendant) was granted a Monday market at the manor by Henry III in 1265.





The font is described in RCHME (1923), 36-38 in the entry for All Saints', East Horndon, where it is dated to c.1200 and described and illustrated (pl. xlii-iii) much as it is today. It also appears in Pevsner (1954) under its former location. Both Pevsner and Bettley accept the c.1200 dating, as does the present author.


J. Bettley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, New Haven and London 2007, 423-24.

J. Cooper, The Church Dedications and Saints’ Cults of Medieval Essex, Lancaster 2011, 171.

Historic England Listed Building, English Heritage Legacy ID: 123154

R. Parr (ed.). St Nicholas Great Wakering, 2012.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, Harmondsworth 1954, 152-53, 193.

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 4, South east. (1923), 59-61, 36-38.