Greensted Church, near Ongar.

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About

Welcome to St. Andrews Church, Greensted, The oldest wooden Church in the World, and the oldest ‘Stave Built’ timber building in Europe.

The church represents some 1300 years of English history and Christian worship.

The 51 timber planks you see here today date from about 1060, although excavations undertaken in the chancel in 1960 revealed the existence of two earlier timber structures dating from the 6th and 7th centuries, around the time that St. Cedd began his work of converting the Saxons to Christianity. The church bears witness to the work of Saxon, Norman, Tudor and Victorian builders who variously extended, repaired and restored the building over the ages. In 1848/9 the church underwent severe restoration works, and in 1990 works were undertaken to stabilise the church as it stands today, whilst in 2005 the spire was completely re-shingled in Oak.

The body of Saint Edmund, King of East Anglia, and England’s first patron saint martyred in 869AD (the Normans replaced him later with St. George) rested in the church in 1013 on its way to Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk.

In 1837 as a result of a public outcry against their harsh sentence of transportation to Australia, the famous Dorset farmers known as the ‘Tolpuddle Martyrs’ were returned to England where they were given tenancies in Greensted and High Laver.

In 1839 one of them James Brine married Elizabeth Standfield, the daughter of another of the martyrs at Greensted Church. The entry in the marriage register is still available for view in the church.

The oldest grave, lying adjacent to the entrance to the church is that of a 12th century Crusader, thought to be a bowman.

The Church is open daily, Winter 10am-4pm, Summer 10am-6pm approx, and we invite those of all faiths and religions to visit this ancient building, whether it be purely as a place of historical interest, a place for reflection and prayer, to attend our regular Sunday services where you will be assured of a warm welcome, or simply to sit and absorb the atmosphere of the church and its surroundings in the peace and quiet of the countryside.

Guided tours can be arranged for groups at most times during the year depending on the availability of a trained guide. No charge is made for this service; however a donation towards the cost of the upkeep of this ancient church would be most welcome.

During the year we receive a number of requests from school, college and university students who are undertaking various projects to do with the church in one form or another. Visits can be arranged to accommodate the student’s requirements.

There are guidebooks, pictures, postcards and souvenirs, and a selection of fine jams, marmalades and pickles on sale in the church.

Parking for cars and coaches is available in Church Lane; please observe the parking requirements as indicated.

Please note that there are no toilet facilities on site. The nearest available toilets are in the centre of the town or at nearby public houses, which also serve a selection of food and refreshments.

Although there is a defined disabled parking bay adjacent to the church gate, there are at present no facilities for wheelchair access.

Facilities

Accessibility

  • Disabled Parking - Although there is a defined disabled parking bay adjacent to the church gate, there are at present no facilities for wheelchair access.
  • Parking Areas for Disabled Visitors - Although there is a defined disabled parking bay adjacent to the church gate, there are at present no facilities for wheelchair access.

Establishment Features

  • All weather attraction
  • Gift shop - There are guidebooks, pictures, postcards and souvenirs, and a selection of fine jams, marmalades and pickles on sale in the church.
  • Guided tours by arrangement - Guided tours can be arranged for groups at most times during the year depending on the availability of a trained guide. No charge is made for this service; however a donation towards the cost of the upkeep of this ancient church would be most welcome.
  • Licensed for weddings & ceremonies
  • Open all year round
  • Open Christmas
  • Open New Year
  • Open on bank holidays

Parking & Transport

  • Coach parking - Parking for cars and coaches is available in Church Lane; please observe the parking requirements as indicated.
  • Free parking - Parking for cars and coaches is available in Church Lane; please observe the parking requirements as indicated.
  • On Site Car Parking - Parking for cars and coaches is available in Church Lane; please observe the parking requirements as indicated.
  • Parking (free) - Parking for cars and coaches is available in Church Lane; please observe the parking requirements as indicated.

Provider Preferences

  • Countryside Setting
  • In countryside

Tours and Demonstrations

  • Educational Visits Accepted - During the year we receive a number of requests from school ,college and university students who are undertaking various projects to do with the church in one form or another. Visits can be arranged to accommodate the student’s requirements
  • Guided Tours Available for Groups - Guided tours can be arranged for groups at most times during the year depending on the availability of a trained guide. No charge is made for this service; however a donation towards the cost of the upkeep of this ancient church would be most welcome.
  • Guided Tours Available for Individuals - Guided tours can be arranged for groups at most times during the year depending on the availability of a trained guide. No charge is made for this service; however a donation towards the cost of the upkeep of this ancient church would be most welcome.

Map & Directions

Road Directions

Both the M11 (junction 7) and M25 (junction 28) are approximately 7 miles distance and Stansted Airport is linked to the M11 (a journey of approximately 30 minutes).

Public Transport Directions

The route to the church is clearly signposted from the A414 and High Street, Ongar.

Ongar lies within easy reach of the county town of Chelmsford and Harlow (both approximately 10 miles) and Brentwood (7 miles), all of which have main line railway stations. Epping (8 miles) is on the Central Line of the London Underground network (approximately 45 minutes journey time to Central London). There is also a high speed main line rail service to Central London from Harlow. The towns are all linked to Ongar by bus services.

Both the M11 (junction 7) and M25 (junction 28) are approximately 7 miles distance and Stansted Airport is linked to the M11 (a journey of approximately 30 minutes).  The airport is now linked to Ongar by the Stansted Express Bus Service. Gatwick, Heathrow and Luton Airports are within an hours’ drive.

Greensted Church

Type:Church / Chapel

Church Lane, Greensted- juxta- Ongar, Essex, CM5 9LD

Tel: 01277 363268

Opening Times

Open Christmas
Open New Year

* The church is open at all times. Services are held at the church - see church website for details.

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