If you have visited the vaccination centre in the council offices, you may have seen a series of posters which feature areas of the district with something of interest in relation to our heritage.

One of these posters shows St Mary’s Church in Mundon which is closed now, made redundant in the 1970s.

One day when I was on my way to Burnham and approaching Vicarage Lane, Mundon, I decided to make a minor detour to have a look at it.

It is a 14th-century former parish church, now vested in the Redundant Churches Fund.

It has a nave of plastered rubble, a chancel of red brick, partly plastered, it has a timber-framed, plastered belfry with some exposed framing, partly weather boarded and the roof is made of handmade red clay tiles.

It’s a very odd sight to see a church standing alone, closed and abandoned, almost in the middle of nowhere and to walk inside it is a very strange experience, but it’s well worth a visit, after all it’s been waiting for you for over 600 years!

It’s now in the care of the Friends of Friendless Churches and listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 for its special architectural or historic interest.

It has been with the Friends since 1975, a charity which rescues redundant churches of historic and architectural importance for the benefit of present and future generations and extensive work has been carried out on it between 2004 and 2009.

Six services are still held there every year and it is still open to visitors seven days a week.

While visiting the church, take a walk behind it to take advantage of a footpath round the field to visit another of our heritage wonders nearby.

The Petrified Oaks are another eerie sight which are said to have been planted for Henry VIII to build warships but which became petrified by the cold winds blowing up the nearby River Blackwater estuary.

There’s a great deal more to tell about this church and the area but that’s a story for another time, but we should celebrate what the district has to offer visitors.

Take care.

Mark Heard

Maldon District Council chairman