Little Easton - St Mary the Virgin
The parish church of Little Easton stands to the east of Easton Lodge. The walls are of flint rubble, with a few pieces of brick, possibly Roman, and stone dressings; the roofs are tiled. The nave was built early in the 12th century. The chancel was rebuilt and lengthened, and a south chapel added c. 1230. In the late 15th century the south chapel was rebuilt, and the west tower added. In the 19th century the church was restored, and the North Vestry and Organ-chamber were added. On the north wall inside the church is a painting of a seated figure with a halo around his head, dated from circa 1130. This is thought to depict an apostle: possibly even Christ. On the south wall another painting shows scenes from the Lord's Passion. The architectural canopies, costume and especially the armour depicted indicate 14th century work. The alabaster tomb of Sir Henry Maynard, his wife and their 10 children is magnificent. Six of the sons are depicted holding a skull in their hands, indicating they died before their parents. The western section of the north aisle comprises the American Chapel, a memorial to honour all the member of the United States Army Airforce's 386th Bombardment Group (M), known as 'The Crusaders' (1942-1945). For more than a year, from September 1943, their base was Great Dunmow Airfield, in the grounds of Easton Lodge.