Atlas Obscura - Curious and Wondrous Travel Destinations

St Mary the Virgin, Great Warley

Brentwood, England

An Art Nouveau church decorated in mother-of-pearl and aluminum. 

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St Mary the Virgin is a Grade I listed church built in 1902. It was replaced by a nearby church on Church Lane, which fell into disrepair when the village relocated to higher ground. The lych gate is Grade II listed. The church happens to be only one of three Art Nouveau churches in England and is the best preserved of the trio. Its interior is decorated with Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts styles using mother-of-pearl, walnut, marble, aluminum, and other materials. The designer was Sir William Reynolds-Stevens. Nearby is Warley Place, which was once the home of Victorian gardener Ellen Willmott. The house no longer exists, but the estate (which includes the former garden) is now a nature reserve run by the Essex Wildlife Trust. Warley Place is free to visit.

Know Before You Go

The church is near to the A127, between Brentwood and Romford.

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July 12, 2023

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