All Saints church, East Hanningfield
East Hanningfield is a small village and parish in the Chelmsford hundred of Essex. It is situated to the south-east of the city of Chelmsford and to the north-west of South Woodham Ferrers. It is surrounded by the villages of Bicknacre, Woodham Ferrers, West Hanningfield, Howe Green, and Rettendon.
The village contains All Saints' Church (C of E), a primary school, 'The Windmill Tavern' public house (dating from the late 17th Century), 'Vita Bella' Italian restaurant (situated in the former 'The Three Horseshoes' public house), a new village hall and a post office.
RHS Garden, Hyde Hall is situated nearby.
The earliest appearance of the name Hanningfield was in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it was spelt Haningefelda and Haneghefelda and it is thought to date from the Anglo-Saxon colonisation period between the 5th-7th centuries, and to mean the open country (feld), of the people (inga), of Hana or Han.
In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described East Hanningfield as:
HANNINGFIELD (EAST), a parish in Chelmsford district, Essex; 3½ miles N of the river Crouch, and 6 SE of Chelmsford r. station. Post town, Chelmsford. Acres, 2, 446. Real property, £3, 323. Pop., 453. Houses, 94. The property is subdivided. The manor belongs to Lord Petre. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Rochester. Value, £417.* Patron,Nottidge, Esq. The church is later English; and consists of nave, chancel, and north chapel, with a steeple. Charities, £13.
All Saints' Church
The current Church, consecrated by the Bishop of St Albans in June 1885, is not the first to be built in East Hanningfield.
In the 7th century, the local Saxon Chief was converted to Christianity and built a church near where he lived at East Hanningfield Hall. This was the first All Saints' Church and it stood for over 1,000 years until there was a fire in 1883. The fire engine was summoned from Chelmsford by a messenger on horseback, but sadly, by the time it arrived the church had burnt down. The heat of the fire was so great that the bells melted and fell as a shower of molten metal in the west end of the Church. This metal was later salvaged by the local schoolchildren and used to make bells for the new church, recast by Mears and Stainbank of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. The insurance from the fire (£1,000) was not enough to cover the rebuilding costs, and the villagers of East Hanningfield raised the rest of the money, a further £2,500, themselves. The site for the new church in the centre of the village was donated by Elijah Slater, a retired wool merchant.
In 2012 the building was listed at Grade II.
The graveyard of the first All Saints' Church is still able to be visited, situated in a small wood next to East Hanningfield Hall.
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