Lexden Things to Do
The medieval church of ST. LEONARD, which was demolished in 1820, stood on the south side of Lexden Street. The chancel walls are of flint with Box stone bands and dressings; those of the nave and tower are cement rendered. The roofs of the nave and chancel are tiled; the spire is covered with copper. In the period 1946-55 four memorial windows to the Papillon family were inserted on the north side, including one depicting Lexden manor house. A marble monument to Richard Hewett (d. 1771) stands against the south wall. The churchyard, enlarged in 1877 and 1926, was closed in 1946. A columbarium for 300 urns was erected in the churchyard in 1950.
The present church of St Leonard, standing in the heart of the old village of Lexden, was built in the Gothic style, and was consecrated in 1821. It replaced a smaller medieval building which stood on the same site. All that is left from the old church is a large memorial by the South door, and a 14 th century bell. There are records of Rectors of Lexden dating back to 1300. During the 19 th century, Lexden was changing from a small village to a fashionable suburb of Colchester: and the new church was part of this development. The squat chancel proved too small for late Victorian tastes in worship
Leonard, rather like St Francis, was of noble birth, and embraced a life of poverty. He lived in the 6 th century, as a hermit in the forest of Limoges. He later gathered around him a small monastic community. He had a particular ministry to those in prison; and is the patron saint of prisoners and captives. His feast day is observed on November 6 th. He is commemorated in the church in a stained glass window and in a modern carving by the chancel step. He is depicted in monk’s habit, and holding chains – to symbolise his patronage of those in prison.
One of own Great Grandparents, Joseph Whybrow from Layer Breton, was married in this church on 1st September 1883Related to:
- Religious Travel
Lexden Off The Beaten Path
An English Heritage site. The banks and ditches once encompassing some 12 square miles, are of a series of late Iron Age defences protecting the western side of Camulodunum - pre-Roman Colchester. There are also many pre-Roman graves hereabouts, including Lexden Tumulus, allegedly the burial place of the British chieftain Cunobelinus who died around AD40 and who was the subject of the Shakespeare play - "Cymbeline".
Location:- a short walk from St Leonards in church lane Lexden and also walk on to Shelly Road and by the entrance of Home Farm School, there is a footpath taking you to another section of the earthworks running along the roman road now called Straight Road
If you are able to travel further south in Essex to a parish just north of Southend on sea, you can spend a very relaxing day roaming the pathways of Hockley Woods which also have ancient earthworks, some of which date back to Saxon times.( see my page on Hockley)Related to:
- Family Travel
- Historical Travel