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Church of St Mary, Harlow
St Mary-at-Latton Church.jpg
St Mary-at-Latton Church from 1st Avenue
Denomination Church of England
Churchmanship Liberal Catholic
Website St Mary-at-Latton
Dedication Saint Mary the Virgin
Functional status Parish church
Heritage designation Grade I
Designated 9 July 1950
Architectural type Church
Parish Latton, Mark Hall
Deanery Harlow
Archdeaconry Harlow
Diocese Chelmsford
Province Canterbury
Vicar(s) Rev'd Lynn Hurry

St Mary the Virgin Church (known locally as St Mary-at-Latton Church) is located in Latton, Harlow, Essex, England. It is an Anglican church (Church of England) and is liberal catholic in tradition. The church building is Grade I listed.

Description and history

St Mary the Virgin Church was the place of worship for the ancient parish of Latton. Following the creation of Harlow New Town in 1947 and the subsequent expansion in population the parish was divided in three with the northern portion retaining the name of Latton.

The Norman Church was built in 1087. A Norman window is present in the south wall and the Norman door arch is visible above the now disused south door. The West tower had been built by 1234.

The north chapel for Sir Peter Arderne's chantry was completed in 1466. Some fragments of wall decoration are still visible. The altar tomb of Sir Peter Arderne and his wife is set in an opening between the chapel and chancel and has fine brass effigies.

In 1562 the porch was added by the Altham family owners of the Mark Hall Estate and in the late 16th century the tower and the west end of the nave were rebuilt.

About 1800 the outside north wall of the nave was faced with brick and the doorway and windows were closed off and plastered over.

Many changes were made during the 19th century including the restoration of the interior in 1848 and extensive repairs to the tower in 1873 and to the chancel in 1888.

The church was damaged by a V-1 flying bomb in 1945. This resulted in the loss of stained glass windows on the south side of the church. The church reopened in 1950 after extensive repairs.

In 1964 further damage was caused by a fire resulting in the church being completely restored in 1965. A vestry was built on the north side of the nave in 1971 and the tower was again restored in 1977.


The church contains many monuments erected for members of the families who have owned the nearby Mark Hall Estate including the altar tomb of Sir Peter Arderne and his wife with fine brass effigies (1467), a brass probably of Sir Peter's daughter Elizabeth and her husband Richard Harper (1492) and an alabaster monument showing the kneeling figures of James Altham, his wife, and 11 children (1583).

There are also brasses to Frances wife of Richard Franklin (1604) and Emanuel Wolley (1617).

Sir Edward Altham has a marble monument with pilasters, pediment, urns, and angels dating from 1632 and there is a Wall tablet in memory of the vicar Thomas Denne dating from 1680.

There are also wall tablets to other Althams and to members of the Lushington, Burgoyne, and Arkwright families.

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