Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

St. Andrews Church (Ashingdon)

St. Andrews Church, known locally as St. Andrews Minster, is the parish church of Ashingdon in Essex. It is situated at the highest point in the village, with good views across to Canewdon.

In 1020, Cnut returned to the scene of his decisive victory over Edmund Ironside at the Battle of Ashingdon in 1016, and consecrated a church on the hill, to give thanks for the victory and honour to the slain of both sides.

He appointed as first priest Stigand, later to become Archbishop of Canterbury.

But this original church was torn down in the 14th century. The church authorities did not approve of the tradition, hardly Christian, whereby pregnant women would crawl up the hill on hands and knees, so that an idol in the church would grant a trouble-free childbirth.

The present church was built soon after. It has a curious pyramid roof, and inside a model of a Viking ship hangs from the ceiling.

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