Epping - St John the Baptist
St Johns is a Victorian building in Gothic style. The foundation stone was laid in 1889 and the Nave and Chancel were completed in 1891. The north aisle was added in 1908 and finally, the tower was built as virtually a separate building in 1909. Epping is on high ground and the original use of the land was as a site for beacons warning of Viking invaders. In due course a small chapel was built by King William for the beacon warders (who over time became forest keepers). The chapel was a royal foundation, which meant that the priest was paid for directly by King William, and the chapel was deemed a 'Free Chapel', outside the jurisdiction of the diocesan bishop. King Henry II subsequently granted a charter to the Abbot of Waltham, passing responsibility for the chapel to Waltham Abbey, which sent priests to serve there for the next 400 years.