St Mary the Virgin, Strethall, Essex

There has been a church on this site since before the Domesday book was written.  St Mary the Virgin, dates back to the early 11th century. The entry in Pevsner praises the Anglo-Saxon architecture of the chancel arch and there are pews that date back to 1475.
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The church is heavily whitewashed, but the appearance of graffiti by the window in the south of the nave holds out the hope that more is hidden under it.
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The main source of graffiti is the tomb in the north wall of the chancel.  This is dedicated to  John Gardyner and dates to 1508. There are a lot of initials and names, dating back to the early 17th century. There are also a couple of Marian marks  and some faint script.
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Check the door on the way out. There are initials on it.
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Report by Anthea Hawdon

Off Royston Lane
Saffron Walden
The church is usually open during daylight hours. Make sure you select the church on the satnav as the postcode can take you down a dead-end several fields away. Park considerately as you will be in a working farmyard.

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