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St Margaret of Antioch, Margaret Roding, Essex

(51°47′1″N, 0°19′0″E)
Margaret Roding
TL 599 120
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Essex
now Essex
medieval London
now Chelmsford
  • Ron Baxter
16 May 2018

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Feature Sets

Margaret Roding is a village in the Uttlesford district of central W Essex; one of 8 settlements sharing the suffix, believed to have its origin in an Anglo-Saxon community led by one Hroda, which settled the area in the 6thc. The River Roding, a tributary of the Thames, runs through the area, and a Roman road linking London and Great Dunmow runs 2 miles to the W of Margaret Roding. The village is 7 miles NW of Chelmsford, the county town, and consists of a few dwellings and the church on the A1060 Chelmsford to Bishop's Stortford road, with the church off the road in the village centre.

St Margaret's consists of a chancel and a nave with a N vestry accessed from the interior by the N doorway. Construction is of flint with freestone dressings. The nave is 12thc, as indicated by the round-headed lancets in the N (3 windows), S (2) and W (1) walls; the S doorway and the chip-carved quoins at the SE and SW angles of the nave. There is a bellcote over the W gable, and this and the vestry date from 1855. The chancel dates from the 14thc, and is unusual in having no windows on the N side. Romanesque features described here are the S nave doorway, S windows and chip-carved quoins.


Margaret Roding is not separately assessed in the Domesday Survey. Instead the Rodings are treated as a single place with several manors, and there are eleven entries in all and six different tenants-in-chief. By the 14thc (following the account of Wright (1831), there were 2 manors here. The Margaret Roding manor (now Garnish Hall) was held by Henry Garnett under the de Vers Earls of Oxford between 1329 and 1332. The 2nd manor, Marks Hall, was a separate chapelry.


Exterior Features



Exterior Decoration


A 12thc date for the S nave wall, including the doorway, windows and quoins, is accepted by RCHME and the List Description (Pevsner followed by Bettley merely has Norman). The lavish use of chip-carving and billet and the simplicity of the scallop capitals would suggest an early date, but the chevron-carved nook-shafts point to a mid-century date. The use of chip-carving in the quoins and alongside the doorway is at least unusual and possibly unique. The presence of the bench mark suggests that it was there in the 19thc, but since the church was restored in 1855 they could well be part of the restoration.


J. Bettley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, New Haven and London 2007, 590.

J. Cooper, The Church Dedications and Saints’ Cults of Medieval Essex, Lancaster 2011, 157.

Historic England Listed Building, English Heritage Legacy ID 352785

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, Harmondsworth 1954, 268.

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 2: Central and South West (1921), 182-83.

T. Wright, The History and Topography of the County of Essex, II, 1831, 277-78.