Greenstead, or Greenstead-Ongar (St. Andrew)
GREENSTEAD, or Greenstead-Ongar (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union and hundred of Ongar, S. division of Essex, 1¼ mile (W. by S.) from Ongar; containing 159 inhabitants. The parish comprises by admeasurement 674 acres, of which 291 are arable, 325 pasture, and 32 woodland; the scenery is pleasing, and to the east of the church is the spacious and handsome mansion of Greenstead Hall. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £6. 13. 4.; patron, in trust, the Bishop of London: the tithes have been commuted for £292, and there are 3 acres of glebe. The body of the church, which is extremely curious, is composed of the half trunks of chesnut-trees, about a foot and a half in diameter, split through the centre and roughly hewn at each end, to let them into a sill at the bottom and into a plank at the top, where they are fastened by wooden pegs. It is 29 feet 9 inches long, by 14 feet wide, and 5½ feet high at the sides, which supported the primitive roof; and is supposed to have been erected about 1013, as a shrine for the reception of the corpse of St. Edmund, on being conveyed back from London to Beodrics worthe, or Bury, whence it had been carried away, in 1010, by Bishop Ailwin, in consequence of the invasion of the Danes under Turketil. The chancel is of brick, and the belfry of wood, both comparatively of recent date.