Postal Code: SS11 7HS
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Runwell, a scattered village and parish, lies on the north side of the vale of the Crouch, just north of Wickford, 4½ miles North West of Rayleigh, and 10 miles South East by South of Chelmsford on the A132 Runwell Road.There is an extension churchyard across the road from the church.St Mary's Church is medieval and a venerable fabric in the perpendicular style, consisting of a brick nave, chancel, and north aisle, and stone tower, containing four bells, and crowned by z shingled spire.
It is part of the Church of England (Anglican) but offers inspirational worship in the modern catholic tradition.It boasts a well-documented history and is the oldest building in the Wickford and Runwell area. The oldest reference to Runwell comes from the Cartularium saxonicum, an Anglo-Saxon document which dates to AD 939. It has often been suggested that the place-name 'Runewell' derives from two components - 'rune' and 'welle'. The latter is the Old English word for a spring or stream, while the first element, run, refers to a 'secret', 'mystery' or place of 'secret council'.The prefix could allude to 'a spring or stream at which a meeting-place was, or rather to a wishing well.In other words, there is evidence in the parish as early as AD 939 of a notable water source that gave its name to the Saxon settlement of Runwell. By c. 1181, the date of the first rector, a church existed somewhere in the parish; even though there is no evidence of a building on the present site until at least the thirteenth century.(text by Geoffrey Gillon)