st mary's church

lurch

Shoeburyness, United Kingdom

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shot with a sony a300 and kit lens
this is a 3 shot hdr image tonemapped in photomatix and finished in photoshop

A History of the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin

For more than a thousand years there has been a church on the site of Saint Mary’s, Prittlewell. When the Saxons settled here, soon after the Roman Legions left Britain, they found a fine dry site overlooking the river Thames with a fresh water stream – the Prittle brook – and good grazing land nearby.
There is archaeological evidence that a small chapel was erected on the site of the present church in the 7th century. A portion of the Saxon doorway of that tiny chapel remains today as part of the north wall of the chancel.
For four hundred years or so the small Saxon chapel served the developing village of Prittlewell. In the 11th century the Norman nave was built which greatly enlarged the building and the chancel of the new church was built over the foundations of the old Saxon chapel. The church at Prittlewell is mentioned in the Doomsday Survey of 1086.
Towards the end of the 12th century a processional aisle was added to the south side of the nave. The south aisle was enlarged and completed in the late 15th century, almost doubling the size of the church.
In the 15th century the magnificent tower was built together with a porch and an eastern wall that now forms part of the Jesus Chapel. Since then the structure of the church remains unaltered save for the addition of the vestries in modern times. When the town of Southend-on-Sea was established at the ‘Southe Ende’ of Prittlewell village, the church of Saint Mary the Virgin became the mother church of Southend.
Over the centuries the church at Prittlewell has seen joyous times and has fallen on hard times. Shortly after Henry VIII’s reign, at the time of the Reformation, so much of the church’s income and assets were seized that the churchwardens sold the church plate ‘to pay for maintenance of the church’. In the second world war Saint Mary’s suffered blast damage from bombs falling nearby, but daily services continued at the normal times throughout those difficult years. It is said that the Vicar at that time – Canon Ellis Gowing – had the valuable 16th century stained glass removed from the Jesus Chapel and buried in the vicarage basement for safe-keeping! A notable joyous occasion at Saint Mary’s was in 1945 when the second world war ended.
I found the history of st Marys at this website and would like to thank them for this info
http://www.saintmaryschurchprittlewell.org/hist...

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