The dedication of the parish church of All Saints, Great Horkesley in Essex was first recorded in 1512. The lovely medieval church, lying isolated some distance from the rest of the village, is built of rubble with ashlar and brick dressings.
The nave pre-dates the dedication, being 12th century, and the unbuttressed tower was added early in the 14th century.
The church became larger and grander during the 15th century, when the aisle and porch were added, the tower was raised by one stage, all the windows of the nave and chancel were renewed, and the church was re-roofed. Today, much medieval fabric is overlain by a 19th century restoration.
There is a sundial with Roman numerals cut on a buttress on the south side of the church. The font is 19th-century, with the remains of a 15th- century font cover incorporated in the present one. Furniture includes a 16th-century church chest, an early 17th-century pulpit obtained from St. Margaret's, Ipswich.
Great Horkesley is very near the major Roman centre of Colchester and the church battlements are built of re-used Roman brick.
Great Horkesley has a rich and thriving bat population, which necessitates much cleaning by the parishioners.
The species and types of roost include Pipistrelle, Brown Long-Eared Bat, Serotine and Natterer’s Bat, and possibly Leisler’s bat – the latter quite a rarity in churches.
In 2021, the project commissioned Andrew Palmer to undertake a full bat survey and produce a management plan, working with the PCC and Chris Betts, the church architect. Given the large number of roosts in the nave, the recommendation was install heated bat boxes in the north aisle, thus containing the mess in a little used part of the church. This was carried out in 2023.