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Greensted Log Church
Greensted, west of Chipping Ongar, Essex
Greensted Log Church
associated engineer
Anon
date  mid 9th century
era  Anglo-Saxon  |  category  Church/Synagogue  |  reference  TL537030
ICE reference number  HEW 1475
photo  Paul Cliff
This is the only surviving example of a Saxon timber walled church and is reputed to be the oldest timber church in the world. The date was obtained from the vertical half logs that form the nave walls.
Remains of an earlier Celtic building have been found below the church. It was constructed of logs placed upright, set directly into a trench, and was built 200 years before the present building.
The Saxons improved on this technique by fitting the logs of the nave into a slotted timber sill using tenons. This is how they remained until 1847-8, when they were shortened and positioned on a low brick wall, as their bottoms had rotted badly.
The adze marks made by the Saxon carpenters can still be seen on the inner faces of the logs. The church remains in regular use and is a remarkable survival.
reference sources   CEH E&C
Location

Greensted Log Church