What to See in England
By Gordon Home

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Public Domain Books

Greenstead Church


=How to get there.=–Train from Liverpool Street or Fenchurch Street. Great Eastern Railway. =Nearest Station.=–Chipping Ongar (1 mile from Greenstead Church). =Distance from London.=–22-3/4 miles. =Average Time.=–Varies between 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

                    1st        2nd      3rd
=Fares.=–Single  3s. 11d.  2s. 10d.  1s. 11-1/2d.
          Return  5s.  9d.  4s.  2d.  3s.  1d.

=Accommodation Obtainable.=–Inn, etc., at Ongar.

Entering Ongar from the railway station one finds on the right a footpath leading into a fine avenue. About ten minutes’ walk down this brings one to Greenstead Hall, a red brick Jacobean house, with the church adjoining it. Set among a profusion of foliage, the simple little building would be quite interesting as an ideally situated little rustic church, but when one realises how unique it is, the spot at once becomes fascinating. The walls of the diminutive nave, as one may see from the illustration given here, consist of the trunks of large oak trees split down the centre and roughly sharpened at each end. They are raised from the ground by a low foundation of brick, and inside the spaces between the trees are covered with fillets of wood. On top the trees are fastened into a frame of rough timber by wooden pins. The interior of the building is exceedingly dark, for there are no windows in the wooden walls, and the chief light comes from the porch and a dormer window. This window in the roof, however, was not in the original design, for the rude structure was only designed as a temporary resting-place for the body of St. Edmund the Martyr. It was in A.D. 1010 that the saint’s body was removed from Bury to London, its protectors fearing an incursion of the Danes at that time. Three years afterwards, however, the body was brought back to Bury, and on its journey rested for a time at Greenstead–a wooden chapel being erected in its honour. The remains of this chapel, built nearly half a century before the Conquest, are still to be seen in the wooden walls just referred to. The length of the original structure was 29 feet 9 inches long by 14 feet wide. The walls, 5 feet 6 inches high, supported the rough timber roof, which possessed no windows. The chancel and tower were added afterwards.

Ongar Castle, a huge artificial mound surrounded by a moat, is close to the main street. The church contains in the chancel, hidden by a carpet, the grave of Oliver Cromwell’s daughter. A house in the High Street is associated with Livingstone.


Built in 1013, is remarkable for its nave, constructed of solid tree trunks.]


Preface  •  Ham House and Petersham  •  Walton-On-Thames (scold’s Bridle)  •  Harrow  •  Holwood House, Keston  •  Chigwell, Essex  •  Waltham Abbey and Cross  •  Downe  •  Epsom: Its Races and Its Salts  •  Epping Forest  •  Hampton Court  •  Rye House, Broxbourne  •  Hatfield House, Herts  •  Runnymead, the Signing of Magna Charta  •  The Oldest Brass in England  •  St. Albans  •  Stoke Poges Church, Bucks  •  Windsor  •  Jordans and William Penn  •  Knole House and Sevenoaks  •  Greenstead Church  •  Chalfont St. Giles  •  Westerham  •  Guildford, Surrey  •  Gad’s Hill  •  Ightham Mote, Kent  •  Penshurst  •  St. Michael’s Mount and Marazion  •  Rochester Cathedral  •  Tunbridge Wells  •  The Quintain Post At Offham and Malling Abbey  •  Eversley  •  Farnham, Surrey  •  Hindhead, Surrey  •  Shottermill  •  Penn’s Chapel At Thakeham, Sussex  •  Chawton the Home of Jane Austen  •  Selborne  •  Elstow  •  Lewes, Sussex  •  Bodiam Castle, Sussex  •  Colchester, Essex  •  Layer Marney  •  Battle Abbey  •  Cambridge  •  Arundel Castle  •  Olney, Bucks  •  Wantage and the Country of Alfred the Great  •  Canterbury and Its Cathedral  •  Reculvers  •  Oxford  •  Midhurst  •  Pevensey Castle  •  Savernake Forest  •  Ely Cathedral  •  St. Ives, Huntingdonshire  •  Winchelsea and Rye  •  Blenheim Palace  •  Peterborough Cathedral and Crowland  •  Peterborough  •  Southampton  •  Helmingham Hall  •  Stonehenge, Wiltshire  •  Netley Abbey  •  Salisbury and Its Cathedral  •  Sandwich, Kent  •  New Forest, Hampshire  •  Osborne House  •  Carisbrooke Castle  •  Lutterworth  •  Compton Wynyates  •  Kenilworth Castle  •  Belvoir Castle  •  Bath  •  Boston and the Pilgrim Fathers  •  Warwick  •  Gloucester and Its Cathedral  •  Norfolk Broads  •  Norwich Cathedral  •  Lichfield  •  Sherborne and Its Abbey Church  •  Newark  •  Wells and Its Cathedral  •  Stratford-On-Avon  •  Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk  •  Lulworth Cove, Dorsetshire  •  Corfe Castle  •  Lincoln and Its Cathedral  •  Somerset, the Birthplace of Tennyson  •  Glastonbury Abbey  •  Walsingham, Norfolk  •  Cheddar Caves, Cheddar, Somerset  •  Newstead Abbey  •  The Wessex of Thomas Hardy’s Romances  •  Tintern Abbey  •  Chesterfield, Derbyshire  •  Dukeries  •  Haddon Hall, Derbyshire  •  The Isle of Athelney, and Sedgemoor  •  Raglan Castle  •  Dovedale  •  Wellington and the Wrekin, Shropshire  •  Wroxeter and the Roman City of Uriconium, Salop  •  Buildwas Abbey, Shropshire  •  Ludlow and Its Castle  •  Shrewsbury  •  Buxton and the Peak District  •  Tewkesbury  •  Exeter and Its Cathedral  •  Market Drayton, Salop  •  Chester  •  Exmoor  •  Knutsford  •  Torr Steps On the Barle, Somerset  •  Cleeve Abbey, Somerset  •  Hawarden  •  York Minster  •  Coxwold, Yorkshire  •  Llangollen and Valle Crucis Abbey  •  Knaresborough, Dripping Well  •  Fountains Abbey  •  Ripon Cathedral  •  Dartmoor  •  Haworth  •  Rievaulx Abbey  •  Brixham, Devon  •  Conway Castle  •  The Doone Valley, Exmoor  •  Llandovery, South Wales  •  Dartmouth, Devon  •  Richmond, Yorkshire  •  Tintagel  •  Whitby  •  Carnarvon Castle  •  Plymouth  •  Durham and Its Cathedral  •  Raby Castle, Durham  •  Snowdon  •  Harlech Castle  •  Grasmere and Rydal Mount  •  The Lake District  •  St. Davids Cathedral  •  Furness Abbey, Lancashire  •  Monkwearmouth, Near Jarrow  •  The Isle of Man  •  Brantwood  •  Fowey  •  Hexham and Hadrian’s Wall  •  The Lake District  •  Keswick  •  Alnwick Castle  •  Lanercost Priory, Cumberland  •  Lanercost Priory and Stepping-Stones.]  •  St. Ives, Cornwall  •  Bamborough Castle, Northumberland

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What to see in England;: A guide to places of historic interest, natural beauty or literary association,
By Gordon Home
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