Mount Bures Community Web Site



Mount Bures Strict Baptist Chapel


Baptist Chapel today, standing beside the Water Tower


In 1274 the Hundred Court queried Jordan de Sackville`s (Lord of the Manor) right to possess a Gallows in Mount Bures, so we can be sure that such a device existed in the parish.
In 1549 the land was documented as Black Acre and Gallows Croft, which belonged to the Earl of Oxford.
Gallows Croft was likely to have been the early site of the Sackville scaffold and it was usual for gallows be be erected on the parish boundary.
The position of Gallows Croft places it in the field north of the present Water Tower exactly where the Chapel now stands, which can be confirmed on the Tithe Map of 1838.

Courtesy of "Mount Bures, its Lands and People" by Ida McMaster


Mount Bures Baptist Church originated when Charles Cock, a farmers son from Tiptree, preached three times on Sundays in a cottage within the village during the 1830`s. He attracted farm workers and tradesmen from a wide area, and in 1839 a small rectangular chapel was erected by voluntary donations.
After 12 years at the chapel, he was succeeded by John Hazelton from London. During a census on a Sunday in 1851, there were attendance's of 80 in the morning and 110 in the afternoon. The annual anniversary celebration in 1881 with 5 visiting preachers, attracted 140 people from many parts of Essex and Suffolk.
In 1897 for `Life and Spirituality`, Mount Bures was considered one of the best Baptist causes in the whole of Essex.

Further pastors served until Joseph Quinney resigned in 1911, thereafter services were held by visiting preachers.
This was a closed communion and the articles of faith included belief in predestination. The Chapel apparently joined the Essex Association of Strict Baptist Churches in 1880 and was admitted to the Gospel Standard Society of Strict Baptist Churches in 1937. The attached burial ground served the community from 1890 until it closed in 1983.

(courtesy of "The Victoria History of the Counties (Essex) of England" by the University of London)

Records in 1841 indicate that less than a fifth of the population belonged to the Anglican Church.
Approximately 100 were Baptists, far more than the C of E congregation.
To cater for their needs a small Baptist Chapel was built in 1839 called the "Hope Strict Baptist Chapel". It was erected on land known as Black Acre, the site of the ancient Gallows recorded in 1244, although it is highly unlikely the first Baptists were aware of this.

The chapel is still in use (1996) today and stands adjacent to the water tower on the main road to Chapel.

Courtesy of "Mount Bures, its Lands and People" by Ida McMaster

In 2007 the Chapel appears to be flourishing. It`s in the process of extending to include a disabled toilet with mother and baby changing facilities. The car park is full on a Sunday morning which is very encouraging.

In 2008: Demolished the very small entrance porch and erect a new extension to provide disabled toilet, a mother and baby room and larger entrance area.
With the financial support of the "Gospel Standard, Assistance for Chapels"

Unfortunately, I have received no response from the Ministry in order that I can update this page or publice their presence in the village

Photograph by Alan Beales 2002
update 26/06/11
updated with new photographs 01/11/2018