All Saints Church, High Laver

Church History

The oldest part of the church dates from the late 12th century and is contructed of flint rubble and was recently repointed (in 1982). Some Roman bricks and tiles are visible in the Chancel walls and the north wall of the Nave. The tower was added in about 1340. In 1790 partial rebuilding was necessary, hence the brickwork.

Two of the three bells were sold to meet the cost. The remaining bell was restored in 1987. In 1984 the external walls of the tower were restored. It may be hard to believe today, but in the late 1600s, High Laver was considered to be an intellectual centre of Europe.
The village's claim to fame stemmed from the presence of just one of its residents, philosopher John Locke, the "thinking giant" of his day. Locke moved to High Laver in 1691 as a paying guest of of the Masham family at Oates Manor, (a house no longer standing but which was sited at what is now Faggotters Farm). Locke died at High Laver in 1704.

Outside the south side of the Nave is John Locke's tomb. A memorial inscription, written by himself, is on the south side of the Nave, where it was brought in from outside the church in 1932 to protect it from the weather. In 2004 an appeal was launched to replace the roof to coincide with the tri-centenary of Locke's death. The church and local community raised an amazing £130,000 over three years to fund the project.