Chickney, St Mary's Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The walls are built of flint and pebble, dressed with clunch and limestone. The timber roof is also 14th century, and there is a beautifully carved 15th century font. The wooden cover that protects the font looks medieval, but it was carved in 1858 in medieval style.
To the right of the altar table an early 13th century piscina is set into the wall. Near it is a simple early 17th century communion table. There is a 13th century squint to the north of the chancel arch allowing views of the main altar from the sides of the nave. In the south wall, near the door, is a small Saxon window, its deeply splayed sides giving evidence to its age. Just inside the chancel is a wonderfully carved reading desk, made in 1858; the church guidebook calls this an 'elaborate Gothic Revival tour-de-force' and I'd agree with that!
The pulpit is a comparative newcomer, dating from the Georgian period annd probably brought to Chickney from Terling church around 1850. On the north wall of the nave is a hatchment to a member of the Cranmer family, patrons of Chickney church for many years. The Cranmers of Chickney were descended from Archbishop Cranmer's brother John.
Though the parish of Chickney dates to before the Norman Conquest, by 1901 the population had diminished to only 20 inhabitants. That figure rose to 37 in 1931, but has not varied much in the intervening years. So it comes as no surprise that in 1972 Chickney merged with nearby Broxted and St Mary's was made redundant. It is now, thankfully, in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust and is usually open.
St Mary's is a delightful rural church, in a peaceful countryside setting. Indeed, it isn't the easiest to find; located as it is up a lane off the B1051 between Thaxted and Stansted. The furnishings are simple, with no particularly outstanding features, save perhaps the medieval altar slab, but it fits perfectly into its surroundings. The wonderfully preserved Saxon architecture makes Chickney one of the most interesting churches to visit in Essex.
About Chickney, St Mary's Church
Address: Chickney, Essex, England, CM6 2BY
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: 4 miles south west of Thaxted off the B1051
Website: Chickney, St Mary's Church
Churches Conservation Trust
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Broxted, St Mary's Church - 0.6 miles (Historic Church)
Thaxted Windmill - 3 miles (Historic Building)
Thaxted, St John the Baptist Church - 3.1 miles (Historic Church)
Priors Hall Barn - 3.2 miles (Historic Building)
Tilty Church and Abbey - 3.4 miles (Historic Church)
Stansted Mountfitchet, St Mary's Church - 3.9 miles (Historic Church)
Wendens Ambo, St Mary's Church - 6.4 miles (Historic Church)
Saffron Walden Museum - 7 miles (Museum)
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