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Greensted Church, Ongar

Categories: Churches, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.8/5 based on 30+ reviews on the web
Greensted Church, in the small village of Greensted-juxta-Ongar, near Chipping Ongar in Essex, England, is the oldest wooden church in the world, and probably the oldest wooden building in Europe still standing, albeit only in part, since few sections of its original wooden structure remain. The oak walls are often classified as remnants of a palisade church or a kind of early stave church, dated either to the mid-9th or mid-11th century.The church lies about a mile west of Chipping Ongar town centre. Its full title is The Church of St Andrew, Greensted-juxta-Ongar. It is, however, commonly known simply as Greensted Church. Greensted is still a functioning church and holds services every week. The volume of tourist visits is light, but steady. The church was featured on a British postage stamp issued in 1972.HistoryGreensted Church has stood for nearly 1,200 years. Archaeological evidence suggests that, before there was a permanent structure, there may well have been another church, or a holy place, on the site for much longer, possibly dating back to around the 4th century.Construction of the first permanent church on this site is thought to have begun shortly after St Cedd began his conversion of the East Saxon people around 654. The archaeological remnants of two simple wooden buildings were discovered under the present chancel floor, and these are thought to have been built in the late sixth or early 7th century.
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  • well worth a visit, a stunning piece of our country's history. It's beautiful, very peaceful and I love it! 
  • Whilst looking at local churches for our up coming wedding, we were recommended to visit Greensted Church. With timber working dating back to 1060, this is an incredibly well kept church, steeped in h...  read more »
  • The Greensted Church is tucked away so not easy to find, but once there well worth the visit. Being the oldest wooden Church it has a lot to offer. Lovely building, well kept gardens with good informa...  read more »
  • I came across this church in 1979 whilst on a ramble around Epping area. It was magical then and it is magical now. A tiny wooden stricture, you step inside and you just feel the history that clings to every beam. It's always peaceful and is a true gem of a place. The only problem is that you need to drive to it as reaching it by public transport is something of a hassle. But if you make the effort you will, like me, want to come back time and time again.
  • I saw this church in 1989. To stand there and try to imagine all the history that took place here is an awesome moment.
  • Unusual village church. Worth a stop if you find yourself nearby. Architecturally interesting.
  • Actually listed as oldest wooden church in the WORLD..well parts of it at least. It's got a Leper's hole and everything...even a Crusader buried by the front door...what more could you want from a church. Smashing!
  • Enchanting 9th century Viking Church open most afternoons & Sunday. Attention to detail by builder is amazing & is reputabley oldest wooden church in Europe. Don't miss nearby Epping & Ongar Railway with its fantastic heritage steam & diesel service Saturdays & Sundays ,Summer Fridays & BankHolidays. Great place to use as destination from London for cycle users.
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