St Botolph, Beauchamp Roding, Essex
The church of St Botolph stands high and alone on a ridge near the village of Beauchamp Roding. The church dates back to the 14th century. There is a marker stone in the churchyard which is counted as part of The Puddingstone Trail, with folklore attached to the stone. Apparently the locals wanted to incorporate the stone in the fabric of the church and dragged it down off the ridge to do so. Overnight, it returned to the top of the hill. This happened twice more until the locals gave up and built the church beside the stone where it is today.
The church is small, but has interesting tiered pews at the back with pull-out steps so that you can reach the higher ones.
There are few pieces of graffiti in the church, including intriguing circular marks on one of the choir stalls but it is not clear how they are made. The rest of the graffiti consists of names and initials around the chancel doorway and the south porch.
Report by Anthea Hawdon
The church is open during daylight hours. Parking is available down a narrow lane, be careful in wet weather.
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