Tuesday, 4 September 2012

North Fambridge

Holy Trinity is a tiny brick building which I took to be Victorian but which is actually C18th. Normally I'd write a church like this off but I really liked it, perhaps because it was open.

HOLY TRINITY. Close to the mud-flats of the estuary of the river Crouch. C18, brick, with arched windows, and a bell-turret. The W side altered with half timbering and pebble-dash in 1890.

East window (1)

East window (2)

East window (3)

Arthur either disregarded it or missed it.

Simon K -

I was heading down from Stow Maries church to the Crouch estuary, and it hadn't occured to me that the road my tiny lane would shoot me out onto was the main road between Burnham-on-Crouch and the rest of the world. I was only on it for a mile or so, but it was a relief to get off into North Fambridge.

Open. A tiny church, all in brick, built in one go in the 1760s, and thus with large Georgian windows and a clean classical feel inside.
Otherwise, entirely in the traditional rural Essex style (QV). The simplicity is a perfect setting for an absolute riot of a window by Marion Grant (1964) depicting a mildly hysterical lamb with a flag - fabulous stuff, full of excitement and confidence.

The church is set among comfortable houses but actually in the grounds of the hall. North Fambridge itself is a surprisingly large village. It ends in the mudflats of the Crouch, an enchanting spot and what Betjeman might have been thinking of when he wrote

Far Essex, – fifty miles away
The level wastes of sucking mud
Where distant barges high with hay
Come sailing in upon the flood.

The name is a puzzle. South Fambridge is on the far side of the river, which is a quarter of a mile wide at this point, so there can never have been a bridge. I stood for a while just listening to the curlews, and then headed back in land. I was in for the hardest test of the day, because this road climbs and climbs towards the ridge that runs up the middle of the peninsula, and I felt it something of an achievement to climb the ridge without stopping to Cold Norton.

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