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Greensted Church, Ongar

4.8
#16 of 32 in Historic Sites in Essex
Church Tourist Spot
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
39 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • I visited as a pit stop on my Sunday afternoon cycle ride. Nice little church. Not really much to see or do, I walked around the churchyard and took some photos and rested for a while on one of the be...  more »
  • This small church was built over 1,200 years ago and it is the oldest wooden church in the world. We planned to go for a walk in the countryside and this was a lovely discovery. When you enter, a beau...  more »
  • its such a shame that modern life doesnt replicate how simple things needed to be .when greenstead church was erected Visit your past  more »
Google
  • A truly wonderful old church, Much of it dates back to Anglo - Saxon times. Has its own unique atmosphere. Well worth a visit even though it is off the beaten track.
  • A lovely old church filled with atmosphere in stunning scenery. .
  • What a wonderful Small little peace of history.u can buy local essex honey inside as well.if u have time there is walkway for country walk as well
  • 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!
  • I saw this church in 1989. To stand there and try to imagine all the history that took place here is an awesome moment.

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