Alphamstone - St Barnabas
St Barnabas is built on the site of a Bronze-age burial earthwork. The nave is possibly pre-Norman (ie Anglo-Saxon): the 880mm thick walls are built of stone and flint, with two sarsen stones incorporated in the west wall. Despite stone being in short supply in Essex, there are other quite large stones in the churchyard which have been left, and this has led to speculation that they may have been part of an earlier megalithic stone circle. Certainly, the building of the church over a pagan site seems to have been an attempt to Christianise an ancient sacred place. Unusually there are two porch entrances. The doorway on the north side is 13th century. The 16th century south porch pictured above (see inset pop-up) is completely devoid of any 90 degree angles, and leads to an early 13th century doorway with two very worn headstops. The chancel is 14th century.
View of interior
The weather boarded belfry was constructed in 1729, after an earlier west tower was destroyed in a storm the previous year.