Stondon Massey - St Peter & St Paul
The nave and chancel date from about 1100, the bell turret and the porch were added in the 15th century and in the 19th century the vestry, organ chamber and chapel were added and the porch rebuilt. Some of the windows and the south door still survive from the original building. William Byrd (d.1623) lived at Stondon Place for the last thirty years of his life. He was a well known composer during the reign of Elizabeth I, and he and Thomas Tallis shared the post of organist at the chapel royal. However he was a known Catholic and refused to attend Anglican services (meaning he regularly appeared in the quarterly local assizes and paid heavy fines for recusancy) and in later years his membership of the chapel royal was suspended, his house searched and restrictions were placed on his movements. Despite this, he is buried in the churchyard, in an unmarked grave.