+ Saint Giles Church, Langford
Tuesday 23rd of May 2017
Picture: A Statue of Saint Giles.

A tour of the Church.

Introduction.

The distinguished Suffolk historian, Norman Scarfe, described St. Giles' in an entry on Langford in his book 'Essex - A Shell Guide of 1968' as "..a great oddity." The reason for this is apparent as you walk down the path to the porch - namely the rounded western apse. Scarfe described this as being "unique in England and rare in Europe", but despite this fact, St. Giles' has remained a well-kept secret and has not received the attention that we feel it should have.

Picture: St.Giles ' Church, Langford.

The Chancel and Nave were built in the late 11th or early 12th Century with apses both at the eastern and the western ends, which was fairly common in village churches of the time. In the 14th or 15th Century the eastern apse was pulled down and a square extension was added to the Chancel. The church was drastically restored in 1881-1882 by Edward Browning, architect of Stamford (1816-1882), and the work was paid for by the Hon. Mary Jane Byron, the patron of the living of Langford (and whose son, the Hon. Rev. Frederick Ernest Charles Byron M.A. was Rector of the Parish from 1890-1914).

Picture: St. Giles' Church from the N.W. showing the 19th cntury alterations.

The renovations almost totally changed the character of the original church, as the Chancel was entirely rebuilt and the north aisle (with crypt beneath), the south porch and the north-east bell turret were added (the original wooden spire was demolished).