The small woodland of Mundon Furze is the last surviving area of ancient woodland on the vast and desolate Dengie Peninsula. Nearby is a copse of ‘petrified’ trees appearing out of the marshland mist like a landscape from a horror film. Their past is completely mysterious. The dead oak trees are not actually petrified or turned to stone, but instead appear to have survived in what is now a field after being long-dead. Whether they are as old as the nearby Furze woodland is unclear, although the wood does consist predominantly of oak and ash trees and therefore it is not unlikely that the dead trees are hundreds of years old. Both the Furze and these dead oaks probably formed part of a large forest covering the area allegedly once used to built the Royal fleet. This cluster dead trees has been incorrectly labelled as ‘Mundon Furze’ online, probably due to a picture of them being placed next to an unrelated section about the actual Mundon Furze wood on Wikipedia. They stand in a private field amongst farmland although can be seen close from a public footpath. Next to the dead forest is the medieval St. Mary’s Church, which you can read about here.
St. Mary’s Church in the tiny village of Mundon is a strikingly unusual building. It’s timber-framed construction sets it apart as a building of bygone origin and design. It was built in the fourteenth-century within the moated site of Mundon Hall. Possibly built on the site of an Anglo-Saxon church, it also contained a font dating as far back as the twelfth but this has since been removed. The northern porch was added in 1600 and was partly rebuilt in brick in the eighteenth century after falling into disrepair. After more recent deterioration and bomb-damage in the Second World War, church services were relocated although the church remains open today in safe hands as a heritage site for visitors.