Dedicated to St. Laurence and All Saints
Eastwood takes its name from its situation on the eastern side of the wood and parks of Rayleigh and Thundersley which were part of the Great Forest of Essex.It is mentioned in the Domesday Book 1086 as Estwa, being held by Suen of Essex, his father Robert having held it in Edward the Confessor's reign. Suen's son, Robert de Essex, founded Prittlewell Priory, 1100 A.D. but his descendant, Henry de Essex, forfeited all his estates to the Crown in 1163, because of cowardice in battle. After this date the Manor was generally held by the Crown. In the 13th Century the Kings of England often visited the district for hunting, making Hadleigh Castle their residence. Henry VIII was the last king to hunt here and Eastwood Lodge was the centre of the last reserved portion. At the Reformation the Manor was given by Edward VI to Lord Riche whose descendants became Earls of Warwick, then by marriage it passed to the Earl of Nottingham. The Bristow family acquired it by purchase and held it until 1866 when the estate was sold in lots: "Eastwoodbury", the large house which stood immediately to the east of the Church, was on the site of the original Manor house. It was demolished in 1954. In the course of the centuries this parish of 3,000 acres, with its scattered population, changed from a woodland to an agricultural parish and today to a largely built-up area.
The following are the chief points of interest: