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Greensted is a hamlet in Essex, England, strung out along the Greensted Road approximately one mile to the west of Chipping Ongar.

Contents

[edit] Naming

Greensted's full name is Greensted juxta-Ongar (Greensted adjoining Ongar) but this title is considered archaic now, and the settlement is known locally by its primary title. Greensted literally means green place, 'sted' being, in the Saxon tongue, the old word for place (and is still used in modern English words e.g. 'instead'). Greensted is also both a current English and Danish surname, but is spelled Grønstad in Denmark. The area of England where Greensted is located is at the edge of the area once known as Danelaw, which was ruled by the King of Denmark.

The name is not a mere pretty title however; Greensted is situated in a large natural clearing, and would have been a logical place to build a settlement in the dense surrounding Epping Forest especially as it was near an existing route. This is the Ongar road, later part of the Canterbury pilgrimage mentioned in The Canterbury Tales. See Pilgrims Hatch for more local sites to do with the famous pilgrims' route.

[edit] Features

Greensted Church is believed by many to be the oldest wooden church in the world. The east end, of brick construction, dates from the sixteenth century, while the brick footings, visible below the timber walls, are a feature of extensive restoration undertaken in the nineteenth century.
Greensted Church is believed by many to be the oldest wooden church in the world. The east end, of brick construction, dates from the sixteenth century, while the brick footings, visible below the timber walls, are a feature of extensive restoration undertaken in the nineteenth century.

While very small, Greensted does have one particular feature of note, being St Andrew's Church, commonly known as Greensted Church, the oldest wooden church in the world. It was featured on a British postage stamp in 1973.

Historically Greensted is important because of its longevity: the parish has existed since Saxon times, and little has changed. It is also a place that has strong ties with St Edmund, once King of East Anglia.

[edit] Two Greenste(a)ds in Essex

Greensted, near Ongar, is frequently confused with Greenstead, near Colchester. Both places are located in the county of Essex, but they are nonetheless approximately one hour apart by car. Use, where appropriate, of English post-codes can miminise the risk of confusion. Post codes for addresses in Greensted near Ongar commence with the letters ' CM'. Post codes for Greenstead near Colchester commence with ' CO'.

[edit] External links

Coordinates: 51°42'13?N, 0°13'38?E


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