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St Michael, Leaden Roding, Essex

(51°47′41″N, 0°18′15″E)
Leaden Roding
TL 590 132
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Essex
now Essex
medieval London
now Chelmsford
  • Ron Baxter
05 October 2011

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Feature Sets

Leaden Roding is one of a group of eight villages called Roding in the SW of the county, 10 miles SE of Bishop’s Stortford. The group is spread over a wide area, so that they lie in three separate boroughs (Chelmsford, Uttlesford and Epping Forest). Leaden Roding clusters around the junction of the A1060 and the B184, with the church on the western edge of the village. St Michael’s consists of a 12thc nave and chancel, separately roofed but without a chancel arch. Plain round-headed lancet windows are found in the S wall of the nave and chancel. There is no tower but a weatherboarded bell turret with a broach spire over the W gable of the nave. The only Romanesque feature is the S nave doorway.


The Rodings are treated as a single unit in the Domesday Survey, but some have been identified. Leaden Roding is not one of these, so that isome of the holdings listed below might relate to it. The main tenant in chief was apparently whose largest holding was a manor of 3 hides and 45 acres held in both 1066 and 1086. William de Warenne took away the third hide from the demesne. This holding had a priest woodland for 100 pigs and 20 acres of meadow.

A second manor also claimed by Ely Abbey had been held by Saemar in 1066 and was held in 1086 by Turgis from Eudo the Steward. This was assessed at 1½ hides plus 45 acres and also included woodland for 100 pigs and 19 acres of meadow.

The third manor was held by Thorkil in 1066 and by Roger d’Auberville in 1086. It was assessed at 2 hides, with woodland for 30 pigs and 24 acres of meadow, and there was another priest there.

Geoffrey de Mandeville’s manor of Roding was held from him by William in 1086, and was assessed at 1 hide and 3 virgates, together with woodland for 30 pigs and 16 acres of meadow.

The church of Leaden Roding was given by William de Warenne to his Cluniac Priory of Castle Acre (Norfolk) which he founded between 1087 and 1089.


Exterior Features



RCHME dates the church and the doorway to the late-11thc, which is accepted by the English Heritage list description and by CRSBI. Both Pevsner (1954) and the updated edition by Bettley (2007) simply describe the nave as Norman. Pevsner (1954) describes the imposts (which he calls capitals) of the S doorway as “four thin stone slabs on top of each other”, but in fact they appear to be carved from single blocks.


S. Basset,. "Continuity and fission in the Anglo-Saxon landscape: the origins of the Rodings (Essex)". Landscape History 19 (1997), 25–42.

J. Bettley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, New Haven and London 2007, 531.

English Heritage Listed Building 352768

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, Harmondsworth 1954, 240.

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 2: Central and South West (1921), 149-50.

Victoria County History: Norfolk II (1906), 356-58 (on Castle Acre Priory)