Maldon, All Saints Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Triangular tower and wonderful 15th century arcading
Another feature of the exterior are a series of large statues set into niches in the south wall. There are six statues, each depicting a notable person associated with Maldon. From the west end we se a statue of Bishop Melitus, a companion of St Augustine, who first tried to convert Anglia to Christianity in the early 7th century. His mission id not las long, as he was chased from his diocese by the locals. Next is St Cedd, 7th century Bishop of the East Saxons, whose cathedra was at Othona, (now Bradwell-on-Sea). If Cedd was a peaceful figure, the next local notable certainly wasn't; he is Brightnoth (Brythnoth), warrior hero of the Battle of Maldon in 991AD. Then comes Robert Mantell, who founded Beeleigh Abbey, then Sir Robert D'Arcy, 15th century MP and builder of the D'Arcy Aisle within the church. The final statue represents Dr Thomas Plume, a 17th century benefactor who founded a library and workhouse, and left his fortune to charity.
Also look at the nave pillars, where one capital is carved with a worn depiction of a Green Man, vines flowing from his mouth.
Among a number of interesting grave slabs set into the floor of the church is one to Edward Bright, known as The Fat Man of Maldon. Bright, who died in 1750 at the age of 29, was a tallow chandler (a candle maker) and grocer and according to the parish record of his death, he weighed over 42 stone (almost 600 pounds or 270kg). His coffin had to be moved on rollers and lowered into his vault with pulleys. Local tradition suggests that 42 stone was a low estimate, the truth being closer to 44 stone (about 616 pounds). It was not his weight that killed him though; Bright was said to have died of typhoid fever.
Another notable monument is that of Thomas Cammock (1540-1602) in the north chapel. Cammock is shown clad in Elizabethan robes and a ruff, flanked by his two wives. Cammock was in the retinue of Lord Rich, whose successors became Earls of Warwick. After the death of his first wife Cammock fell in love the Lord Rich's daughter Frances. Lord Rich disapproved of his daughter marrying an untitled man - and his employee, so the couple eloped. Lord Rich sent his son after them with a band of soldiers.
The Washington Window
In 1928 this large stained glass window in the chancel of the D'Arcy Chapel was dedicated to the memory of Laurence Washington, rector of Purleigh and the great-great grandfather of US President George Washington. The window is a gift fro the citizens of Malden, Massachusetts, USA, which was founded by Joseph Hills and other natives of Maldon, Essex. The glass depicts the themes of Patriotism, Freedom, and Colonisation, and shows many American icons such as the Liberty Bell, the Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers, and the Statue of Liberty.
All Saints is a wonderful place ro visit, full of history, with intriguing architecture and tales of fascinating people. The church is usually open to visitors during daylight hours.
About Maldon, All Saints
Address: High Street, Maldon, Essex, England, CM9 4QE
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: At the corner of High Street and Beeleigh Road. Nearest car park is on White Horse Lane, 5 minutes walk. Usually open daylight hours.
Website: Maldon, All Saints
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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