The original centre of Loughton was where St. Nicholas’ Church (the original parish church) now stands, more close to what we now think of as Debden.
It became apparent in the mid-19th Century that there was a need for a bigger parish church and one closer to what was becoming the centre of Loughton. Ironically the ‘centre’ of Loughton has moved once more and is down the bottom of the hill now, not around its new parish church!
The new church was built to a design by Sir Sidney Smirk around 1846 but quickly became too small as the population of Loughton doubled between 1851 and 1871. So in 1877 the new church was enlarged.
When the railway arrived (originally over-ground, but converted to London Underground after WWII) in the mid-1800s the centre of Loughton shifted again to the area around the Station leaving the new church stranded once more!
Photo - Andrew J. Müller
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