St Nicholas Church
The Church of St Nicholas was built in about 1120, probably by Richard de Beaumes, Bishop of London. The orientation of the building is such that there is a perceptible inclination to the south-east, towards the point on the horizon where the sun rises on St. Nicholas Day (6th December).
Postcard of St Nicholas Church circa 1900
St Nicholas Church circa 1970 (note the Cypress tree that blew down in the 1987 hurricane)
St Nicholas Church circa 1970
The archives show this extract from the 'Essex Standard' 11/10/1884
' Little Braxted.... Sunday was a red letter day in the annals of this village, the occasion being the Harvest Festival and the opening of the new aisle of the parish church. Since the present Rector, the Rev. Ernest Geldart, has held the living, he has taken no small pains to improve the edifice, which to the passer by appears to be of the humblest description.
Inside, however, quite a change has taken place. The addition of the aisle will afford accommodation to the children and to this new part of the edificethe organ and font have also been removed. In the transcept the walls have been relieved by stencil work, and it is now proposed to add stained glass to the windows now without it, and to paint the walls of the nave. The Chancel has undergone a complete change, choir stalls have been placed in front of the pulpit, and this portion is now parted from the rest by an oak screen. a new Lectern has been added. The screen which was commenced a few years ago dividing the chancel has now been completed, and on its frieze was an inscription in Latin, the whole being sumounted by a large crucifix. The walls of the chancel are for the most part hand-painted. The Altar and Reredos are elaborately draped, and on Sunday last, lighted candles were used. Every available space was on Sunday decorated with cereals, fruit, vegetables and flowers. There was Holy Communion at 8am and at 11am the dedication festival was held. The small choir was augmented for the occasion by four adults and six boys from St Andrews, Plaistow. The Preacher defended the advanced ritual by contending that God was honoured by outward ceremonial, and referred to the abscence of it in the churches in the neighbourhood. In the afternoon the edifice was crowned, many persons having to content themselves with standing. The work of the new aisle has been done by Mr Gorsell, builder, of Maldon, the Rector being the architect. Inside the church the stencil work and painting are, for the most part, the work of the Rector.'
In 1987 Peggy Church wrote:
'On March 25th, 1987 a programme was shown on BBC 1 about Little Braxted Church. It was on 'Look East'.
It was mainly about the wall paintings done by the Reverend Ernest geldhart in 1884. First a shot of the Church and a little of its history then one of the Rectory where Geldhart lives and then there were shots in side the Church showing the wall paintings that Geldhart did and stressing the point that here is a church painted all over inside as were medieval.'