St John the Baptist

Discover the beautiful church of St John the Baptist, with its medieval origins and beautiful Victorian restoration, including installing some stunning tracery and stained glass.

About this church

Although it has been modified the church retains much of its heritage, including a 15th century flint knapped tower, chancel screen with early 16th century painted panels, 13th century piscina and 17th century south aisle altar.

The very pretty 15th century west tower is built of knapped flints and limestone pieces arranged in a chequer board pattern. John Smyth, left 20 shillings in 1463 ‘to new tower for stipend of mason in first year of work’. In 1787, James Taylor sought immortality by carving his name into a shield on the south face of the tower. You can still see it today.

Inside are other medieval survivals, including the base of the screen in the north aisle. Legend has it that it came from the abandoned church of All Saints when it was found built into the structure of the rectory pigsty. It probably dates from the end of the 15th century and features four panels; St Germanus, patriarch of Constantinople; St WIlliam of York; St Mary of Magdala; and, a pleasingly simple St Agnes. The original screen base was reset across in the south aisle.
There is also a brass to John Carlton from 1579 (with a rare merchant mark) and a lovely Queen Anne Royal Coat of Arms.

The Victorians did a lot of restoration, including installing new windows. All the glass was made by J Powell & Sons, and has been described as ‘works of national consequence. They are also stunningly beautiful.

One window; the one next to the cross specifically remembers George Montgomerie, whose battlefield cross is displayed on the wall to the right of the window.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Social heritage stories
  • National heritage here
  • Famous connections

Visitors information

  • Level access to the main areas
  • On street parking at church
  • Parking within 250m
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike

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