We use cookies to improve your experience, some are essential for the operation of this site.

St Mary, Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex

(51°38′20″N, 0°48′54″E)
TQ 949 971
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Essex
now Essex
medieval London
now Chelmsford
  • Ron Baxter
11 August 2015

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=7327.

Find out how to cite the CRSBI website here.

Feature Sets

Burnham-on-Crouch is a small town on the N bank of the River Crouch estuary, 9 miles SE of Maldon. It is the largest settlement on the Dengie peninsula, which forms approximately half the area of the Maldon district of Essex. The church is on the N edge of the town, almost a mile from the commercial and tourist centres of the High Street and the Quay, both of which run close to the riverfront.

St Mary’s is essentially a Perpendicular hall church built of knapped flint, with nave and chancel in one and nine-bay arcades between nave and aisles. The two arcades are of different designs: the N is 14thc except for the three E bays which date from c.1500, while the S is of c.1500 except for its three E bays which are of the early 16thc. There is a continuous barrel vault over nave and chancel installed after a fire in 1774. The rubble W tower is 14thc in its lower parts and 15thc above. There are porches over the N and S doorways, both 15thc in date. The only Romanesque feature is the Purbeck marble font.


The manor of Burnham was held by Aelward, a free man, in 1066, and by Ralph Baynard in demesne in 1086. It was assessed at 4 hides and 12 acres in 1066, but a further 8 hides and 28 acres, held by 10 free men in 1066, also belonged to Ralph’s demesne by 1086, giving him a demesne holding of 12⅓ hides. Ralph Baynard was succeeded by Robert, son of Richard fitzGilbert in the possession of this manor, and by 1285 it belonged to Robert fitzWalter. It remained in the fitzWalter family until the 15thc.





The list description offers a late-12thc date for the font, while Pevsner prefers c.1200.


J. Bettley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, New Haven and London 2007, 188-89.

J. Cooper, The Church Dedications and Saints’ Cults of Medieval Essex, Lancaster 2011, 118.

Historic England Listed Building 116616.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, Harmondsworth 1954, 94-95.

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 4, South east. (1923), 17-19.

T. Wright, The History and Topography of the County of Essex, 1836, II, 683-84.