Saturday, March 6, 2010

Mundon Church












This was the second place we visited yesterday, the little village of Mundon lies just outside Maldon, and I had espied this church a few months back on my map, isolated and lying low in the landscape it intrigued me. Deserted medieval village was my first thought, and probably near to the mark, as the settlement was deserted due to the plague. This is a Tudor church, built on the foundations of a Norman church, and probably Saxon beginnings given its proximity to water and it being on the St.Peter's Way pilgrimage route to St.Peter's church on the Dengie Marsh.

It will be some while before I gather my thoughts on this church, it is redundant and derelict but has been taken under the wing by Friends of Friendless Churches, yes such an organisation does exist.
The church itself was built in the moat of the old manor there, and because it was set on marshy ground, great cracks started to appear and I think it was roofless by the 18th century. It was due for demolition in the 1970s but then rescued to a point, there is still plenty of work to carried out. It is totally unusual having an apsidal entrance of timber posts and plaster to the west front entrance. The grave yard is very neglected, and the church sits next to a large farmhouse (probably the site of the old manor). The wooden south porch is also rotting to pieces though there is some fine carvings.

My partner was very taken with the place, and yet I had a feeling of unease, you can't go into the church (too dangerous), but perhaps the white skeletons of dead trees in a field towards the estuary helped give me the impression of an unhealthy place, that and of course an imagination that tends to run rife. The fields in which these enormous oak trees stood was grazed by alpacas to add to the unreal effect the place had on me. Actually the trees are relict petrified oaks, and were recorded in the Domesday book, a history on Mundon Hall farm and its enterprises can be found here http://www.springstep-dairy.co.uk/farm.htm .




2 comments:

  1. Fascinating little church, and the petrified trees mentioned in the Domesday Book. American visitors would LOVE that! Shame you found it spooky. I pick up on atmospheres too - there's a farmhouse up the valley with the most dreadful feeling attached to it - I have always picked it up just driving by. One day I stopped and MADE myself explore and then really wished I HADN'T!

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  2. Hi BB, when we moved to Essex years ago, my parents went looking for a house; one that came up was a gaunt large plaster and lathe house in the middle of a field. I went in but there was a dreadful atmosphere in it,so I just walked out again. It had a large central hall with a minstrel gallery around. We later learned that someone had hung himself from the wooden rails of the gallery. Also remember we looked at a cottage with a barrow in the garden - I often wondered if there would have been bronze age ghosts walking around at night ;)

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