Great Totham – the Barn Church

We stopped briefly at this church on 14th January 2019: we were actually on our way to Tiptree for a cream tea but the dog needed somewhere for a little walk first 🙂

The Barn Church, Great Totham

It’s just as the name describes, it’s a weatherboarded barn with a thatched roof. Closed of course, so we just walked round the outside and I took a photo of the interior through the window.

The cream tea was delicious too 🙂

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Hutton – All Saints

I visited All Saints in Hutton on 8th December 2018, for the Southern District of the EACR Carol service. It’s a small and well kept church down a long and narrow country lane, very pretty building and setting.

There are 5 bells and it’s a ground floor ring. The local ringers put on a lovely after-service tea with home-made cakes, sausage rolls and mulled wine.

All Saints, Hutton



Eastwood – St Laurence and All Saints – call changes competition

The annual district striking competition took place at Eastwood on 17th November 2018. It was a lovely sunny autumn day when we arrived and the church looked lovely in the sunshine.

St Laurence and All Saints, Eastwood

There were 5 teams entered into the competition, so between ringing and listening I had a chance to walk around the church, both inside and outside. It is situated right beside one of the runways at Southend Airport so services (and competitions) are often interrupted by planes taking off and landing!





I rang the #4 bell, which was founded in 1693!


Thorpe Bay – St Augustine’s Open Tower

On 23rd September 2018 St Augustine’s had an open tower after morning service, so we took our granddaughter Poppy along to have a look at the bells.

First of all we climbed up to look at the view from the roof, but it was very wet and blustery so we came down again!

I only had my phone with me unfortunately, and so the pictures are pretty bad. I should have been better prepared . . . anyway, here are some photos of the bells.

We came back down to the ringing room. The event was well supported and several people had a go at pulling the sally. Jane and Lisa were also there. After everyone had seen the bells and had a go, 8 of us rang Queens just to demonstrate what they sounded like. We were: Steve H, Judy and Phil H, Phil B, John Woollard, Anne, John Crooks and me.

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Afterwards we went down and had a quick look at the interior of the church. Poppy was delighted to find a children’s play area at the back, but I got a panicky text from Grace saying that Hunny was sitting on our bed and wouldn’t stop barking, so we left sharpish to go and rescue her and baby Ava from Hunny 🙂

It didn’t mean much to Poppy at just 3 years old but she loved climbing all the stairs: concrete spiral staircase up to the ringing room, metal spiral staircase up to the bells, and wooden staircase up to the roof.

Brightlingsea – All Saints with St James

We visited this church on 7th September 2018. It was closed. It is situated on a hill outside the town, with fields all around and there is a wooden turnstile beside the lynch gate.  It has got a huge churchyard. The tower is tall and very fine, with niches on two sides, empty but presumably originally had figures in them. There was a patch of mint in the churchyard, it smelled lovely as we walked over it. Out the back, looking down the hill, we could see a creek.

All Saints with St James at Brightlingsea

St Osyth – Ss Peter & Paul

We visited St Osyth on 7th September 2018. We were hoping to go into the Priory but it was covered in scaffolding and appeared to be closed. Another day perhaps. Instead we consoled ourselves by viewing the church of Ss Peter and Paul, which is practically opposite the Priory, right in the centre of this little town. It was open, which was nice. A large portion of the churchyard at the back was fenced off and it looked as if possibly animals were kept in there. There were pots of glorious red begonias outside.

Ss Peter and Paul in St Osyth

(Google wouldn’t let me embed a map here)





Thorrington – St Mary Magdalen

We visited this church on 7th September 2018, on a bright and breezy morning. The church is situated in the country beside an old pink-painted house, and there is a farm further along the track. Nothing much else around it, so lots of lovely open countryside. There was just a touch of autumn colour in some of the trees, and the copper beeches looked glorious in the sunshine. The church was closed.

St Mary Magdalen at Thorrington




Southend-on-Sea – Sutton Cemetery

Sutton Cemetery is a large burial ground opposite the crematorium. I have paid many visits to it over the years, and these photos range in date from 7th May 2007 to 22nd June 2013. It is full of rabbits and you have to be careful walking between the gravestones as you can easily turn an ankle.

In recent years, it has been overtaken by Bird-cherry Ermine Moth (Yponomeuta evonymella) larvae in springtime.

Everything is covered in this white silky web underneath which are thousands of ermine moth caterpillars, the trees look ghostly covered in white and as you get closer the whole tree appears to be moving. The caterpillars are underneath and covering the whole tree, right down to the tips of the branches and hanging off in long strings.

They look like something out of Lord of the Rings.



Bird-cherry Ermine Moth:

Leigh Cemetery

Leigh Cemetery is a burial ground on the London Road in Leigh-on-Sea, next to West Leigh Junior School. I have lived in this town for 65 years but only paid my first visit on 4th August 2018. It’s not particularly interesting . . . but my husband went to West Leigh school as a child and he remembers climbing over the wall separating the two plots, so that is interesting to me 🙂