The former parish church of St Nicholas was first mentioned in records dating to 1384. It stood beside the ancient manor of Loughton. The destruction of Loughton hall, a later house built on the site of the manor, in 1836 left the church even more isolated from its parishioners than it had been before, so in 1846 a new more accessible church of St John was built on Church Lane, then called Blind Lane. Most of St Nicholas’ was demolished except for its chancel which served as a mortuary chapel until 1877. The present St Nicholas’ was built after 1877 slightly to the west of the original. This street was laid out in the early 20thCentury on farmland formerly part of Border’s Farm. St Nicholas of Myra (traditionally March 15, AD270 – December 6, AD343) was an early Christian bishop and the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, repentant thieves, prostitutes, children, brewers, pawnbrokers, and students. Though he is perhaps better known for his legendary gift-giving habit which gave rise to the traditional figure of Father Christmas.
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