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Horndon History Hunt

Church of St Peter & St Paul


The earliest part of this church was consecrated in 1230AD, with the church built of Kentish ragstone, flint, rubble and bricks, some of which are from the Roman era. It has a quaint old porch which was added in the 15th century and restored in 1903.

Walk around the outside and, along the South Wall, you will find the memorial stone to members of the Westwood family. Notice also the priest's door. Along the east end of the church you'll find a hole through the wall. This was probably made so that persons with infectious diseases could hear the service without mixing with the congregation. Also along here is a beautiful stained glass window but you'll need to enter the church to appreciate it's fine work. At the north corner of this window arch, you will notice a carved stone corbel known as the 'Horndon beauty'.

Walking around the church does not allow you to see the architecture of the building, nor it's windows or the wooden belfry frame. To see these visit the church at the appropriate time on a Sunday at attend one of the services, or visit during the Feast and Fayre weekend when the church is opened to village visitors. The wooden belfry frame is a wonderful fifteenth century construction with huge, long beams joined with the old fashioned wooden pegs.


There is a belief that Anne Boleyn may have been buried in the churchyard of this church after her execution, but unfortunately there is nothing to confirm whether this is true; and another Horndon parish claims she was buried there. As her parents were connected with Corringham, and the main means of transport then was via the river, it is possible that she was brought down into this part of Essex by boat and then carried in land to her resting place wherever that may be.

Horndon Beauty.jpg

Words adapted from: Tinworth, W.M., Saffron Cider and Honey: A Town Trail of Horndon on the Hill, Horndon on the Hill Society (1985)

Photos provided by residents of Horndon on the Hill. To see full quality photos visit

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