Berners Roding Church

Greater Essex

Property Description

Berners Roding is a tiny village in the mid-Essex countryside. In fact, it is barely a village at all. Compared to a 1777 map, the village appears to have hardly changed, perhaps even shrunk. Consisting of a few farm buildings and a row of houses, it may not even be established enough to be classed as a village if it was not for its now-abandoned All Saints church. This mysterious church today lies just off of a public footpath which runs through its graveyard, overseen by Epping Forest Countrycare. The actual church building was deconsecrated in 1985 and unfortunately it has been gradually falling apart ever since. The church is owned by the farm its property backs onto. Whilst seemingly in reasonable condition at first glance, a peek inside reveals that its western wall is cracked down either side and could give way at any moment! The pulpit still remains as do several other features and memorials, although for the most part it has been completely stripped. The wooden flooring where the pews once stood has broken in on itself revealing the decaying stone underneath of this shell of a building. Despite being Grade II listed, its future seems uncertain, although any chance of rescue seems to have flown long ago.

The exact origins of this secluded church remain uncertain, although some sections of the structure date as far back as the 14th century. Early in the 16th century its east and west walls were reconstructed from the window-sill upwards. The porch was most-likely added at this time, as was the roof of the chancel. A single-bell tower was present on the church from 1594 and was recorded as recently as 1953/4 in Nikolaus Pevsner survey of historic Essex buildings which recorded the tower as featuring a weather-boarded belfry and pyramid roof. Strangely enough, the interior features a blue door on its western wall although this has no exit on the exterior.


With thanks to Tom Outdoors for bringing this place to our attention.



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