St John the Baptist, Little Maplestead


Photograph by Ian Rose, 1999

This church is unique in Essex and is one of only five round churches in England. It was built by the Knights Hospitallers around 1335, although it was drastically restored in the 1850s so that its external appearance and windows and furnishings (except the Font) are Victorian or later. It is said to be modelled on the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

When the Order was dissolved in 1540, the building was left as the Parish Church.

The chancel seats seat two people each and the rotunda is topped by a wooden belfry with one bell.