Southend-on-Sea Unitary Authority
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Eastwood is a suburb of Southend-on-Sea in Essex-it is some four miles to the north-west and north of the A127, the London-Southend arterial road.Eastwood is so called because of its situation to the East of the woods of Rayleigh and Thundersley which were part of the Greater Forest of Essex,it appears in the Doomsday Book (1086) as Estwda, held by Suen of Essex whose son, Robert de Essex, founded Prittlewell Priory. The first definite record of Eastwood Church is in 1100 AD when it became a chapel to the Priory whence monks were sent to serve it but there is evidence of a church at Eastwood before then. Since the Reformation the patronage of the parish has been held by the Crown. The church stands on the main road leading to Rayleigh and next to the airport. At one time it was feared that part of the graveyard would be lost as a result of plans to extend the airport. Fortunately, this never came to fruition.Not a place of peace and quiet as it would have been when it was built in the 12th century. It has a timber weatherboarded tower and a thin spire, which stands on a stone tower attached at the west end of the south aisle. The roof has a high pitch reaching up beside the tower, and covers both the nave and aisle in its downward sweep.
The building is of Ragstone rubble with some puddingstone flints and Roman and Tudor brickwork. The Nave is Norman with remains of three windows high in the North Wall.
The window nearest door in the South Wall shows St Laurence with gridiron (modern glass - 1964). It was St Laurence himself who, when ordered to bring out the treasures of the church, brought out the people and some see in the form of this church a reference to the grid iron on which he was later martyred in 259 AD. (text by Geoffrey Gillon)