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All Saints, Nazeing

Nazeing is a parish of 3,952 lying about four miles north of Waltham Abbey and one mile south west of Harlow in Essex, England and bounded on the west by the River Lea. Most of it is still rural, but during the past 40 years there has been a considerable development of market gardening, light industry, holiday fishing, and boating. The older village of Nazeing is separated by open farmland from the larger Lower Nazeing to the west.

The Prime Meridian passes to the west of Lower Nazeing.


Nazeingbury Parade, Lower Nazeing

The land gradually rises from the river to a small hill and bowl-shaped plateau, about 270 ft. above sea level, in the east. Apart from the alluvium by the river, and a strip of gravel a little to the east of it, the soil is London clay. Nazeingwood Common, which covers much of the eastern plateau, was originally part of Waltham Forest, but in the 13th century was disafforested for pasture. It was ploughed up during the Second World War. From the common a small brook runs west through the middle of the parish.


The Crooked Billet, Lower Nazeing

Nazeing is home to a golf course,[1] a Gym [2] and many pubs: King Harolds Head,[3] Sun Inn,[4] Black Swan [5] and the Crooked Billet. It forms a civil parish of the Epping Forest district. Many[who?] consider 1971 and 1972 to be Nazeing's finest years as it won the 'England's Greatest Village' competition for two consecutive years. It is the only village to have won the award twice in a row[citation needed].

The village has two Anglican places of worship: The modern Saint Giles Parish found in Lower Nazeing and All Saints' Church,[6] by far the older of the two. It also has a Congregational Church [7] founded in 1795 and located on Middle Street. Heavy rainfall has known to flood the village to the point that even All Saints Church, at the top of the hill, has been affected. After Total Petrol station was bought by Nazeing Parish Council, there have been plans for it to be made into a community hall.

Place of interest[edit]

One of World War II's carefully kept secrets was the building of dummy or decoy airfields.[8]

Nazeing Common was one of many sites, designed to be a decoy for nearby North Weald airfield.

The land on the site is as it appears today, very hilly, not what one expects from an airfield. The lighting was mounted on wooden poles of varying lengths, so as to keep the proportion and angles right in its appearance from the air.

The command and control bunkers are still in good condition and were built away from the layout of the airfield so as to give the RAF crews that manned this site some protection. These buildings housed generators for powering the lighting and had an ops room where the lights were operated from, and where contact could be maintained by telephone to the controlling station i.e.: North Weald itself. The other bunker 100 ft further down the hill was used for shelter and a general area for sleeping and cooking.

This site was in operation from June 1940, but it is thought the Germans had detected Nazeing as a decoy site by the end of December.

The site probably closed by the end of July 1941 as land was needed for increased agriculture and this was put to the plough in August 1941.

These bunkers can be located north of the Nazeing Brook on the Lodge Farm side.

People from Nazeing[edit]

  • John Eliot (1604–90), the 'Indian Apostle' in Massachusetts, lived at Nazeing as a boy.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°44′N 0°3′E / 51.733°N 0.050°E / 51.733; 0.050