St John the Baptist

Please visit the historic church of St John the Baptist, located in the Pennine market town of Penistone, situated along the Trans Pennine trail its accessibility attracts a wealth of walkers and riders alike each year.

About this church

The church has been a site of prayer since 900AD, although the structure that dominates the skyline of Penistone today, dates from the 14th century. The Lady Chapel, within the south aisle served as a chantry school from 1392 and became the foundation of today’s Penistone Grammar School. The clerestory windows added in the 14th century give alight welcoming warmth to the church and allow visitors to glance up and view the wonderful 33 bosses, originally carved in 1375, and featuring an interesting variation of faces and creatures pulling faces.

The grounds of the church have recently undergone a transformation with the addition of the St John’s Sensory & Heritage gardens. Inspired by the story of Nicholas Saunderson 1692-1739, a blind man who went on to become a professor of mathematics at Cambridge University. He is said to have taught himself to read using the gravestones in the churchyard at Penistone. The Saunderson Memorial spiral within the Sensory Garden is a tribute to his ingenuity and dedication.

Have a look around the outside of the building at the west door of the church with its carved faces. Observe the numerous gargoyles who adorn the building and try locate the old scratch dial, an early form of sundial which was used to show the times of services.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Social heritage stories
  • National heritage here
  • Famous connections

Visitors information

  • Bus stop within 100m
  • Train station within 250m
  • Level access to the main areas
  • On street parking at church
  • Parking within 250m
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Café within 500m
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

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