British Listed Buildings

History in Structure

If you log in, you can comment on buildings, submit new photos or update photos that you've already submitted.

We need to upgrade the server that this website runs on. Can you spare a quid to help?.

Church of St John the Baptist, Beckford

Description: Church of St John the Baptist

Grade: I
Date Listed: 30 July 1959
English Heritage Building ID: 148501

OS Grid Reference: SO9761235841
OS Grid Coordinates: 397612, 235841
Latitude/Longitude: 52.0210, -2.0362

Location: Main Street, Tewkesbury GL20 7AD

Locality: Beckford
Local Authority: Wychavon District Council
County: Worcestershire
Country: England
Postcode: GL20 7AD

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

Explore more of the area around Beckford, Worcestershire at Explore Britain.

Listing Text

SO 9635 - 9735
13/49 12/1 Church of St John
the Baptist

Parish church. Circa 1130 on earlier site, altered and extended early C14,
early C15 and early and late C17; restored mid-C19. Partly coursed limestone
rubble and limestone ashlar with ashlar dressings. Stone-tiled roofs laid in
diminishing courses with gable-end parapets and cross finials. Three-bay nave
with opposing doorways and south porch, central tower and three-bay chancel
with north vestry. Nave: c1130. West end has an intermediate and an eaves
level band which is interrupted by a large C15 window of five lights with a
hoodmould and decoratively carved stops. Each side of the window are the
surviving jambs of the two original round-headed west windows. The north
elevation has an easternmost 2-light C14 window with plate tracery and an
original round-headed deeply splayed light at the western end. The north
doorway is blocked and altered but a tympanum representing the Harrowing of
Hell survives above a lintel enriched with a foliated frieze. The archway
has a cable moulding and shafts with carved heads on the capitals which
serve as corbels to the lintel. The south elevation has similar window
openings and also a C15 window of three lights. The south porch is C15.
It is gabled with an end parapet at the apex of which is a cube-shaped sun-
dial with a ball finial. There are small diagonal corner buttresses, a
basket archway of two chamfered orders with a square head and hoodmould,
two rectangular openings (one above the other) in each side elevation and
stone benches within. The south doorway is of four orders enriched mainly
with cable and chevron mouldings; the two middle orders are shafted with
decorated scalloped capitals. There is a holy water stoup projecting between
the two central shafts on the east side. The sculptured tympanum is believed
to be an illustration of animal creation adoring the Trinity. The tympanum
stands on a richly carved lintel supported on head corbels. Central tower:
four stages with strings; the lower stage is offset and was formerly part
of the C12 chancel. In the early C14 a three-stage tower was built with a
spire and relieving arches were inserted in the north and south walls. This
spire was replaced by the belfry stage in 1622. There are C19 buttresses
with offsets beneath the belfry stage. The north-west buttress is replaced
by a shallow stair turret. The lower stage has a small C12 window each side
and there is a doorway with a 4-centred head in the south elevation. There
is a C14 lancet to the north and south of the second stage and at the south-
east corner is carved a pair of heads. There are two large lancets to the
north, south and east of the third stage. The belfry stage has 3-light
louvred bell-chamber openings with a continuous sill string and hoodmoulds;
beneath the south opening is a clock face. Above is an embattled parapet
with gargoyles at the base of each corner and crocketted corner pinnacles.
Chancel: early C14; east window has plate tracery with three lancets and
two roundels in the spandrels. Side elevations originally had two 2-light
windows and a single-light window; the south-west window was lengthened
and bricked in in the Cl7 and the north-east window was blocked in 1413 when
chapel was added for Sir John Cheyne. The chapel was extended c1686-7 to
form a vestry. This is gabled with end parapets, has a 2-light mullioned
Cast window, an east doorway and a single-light west window. It has a lean-
to north addition with a catslide roof and 2-light mullioned windows at both
east and west ends.
Interior: C12 west tower arch (former chancel arch) is of three enriched and
shafted orders; carved into the central north shaft is a centaur, two human
heads set horizontally and a human head on a spur at the base. The south
shafts were mutilated when a three-decker pulpit was installed. Two blocked
doorways to the north of the arch gave access to the rood loft. The remain-
ing tower arches are chamfered and pointed. Embedded in the south nave wall
is an attached C12 shaft probably from a former window. The nave has a C15
wagon roof with four moulded and arch-braced tie-beams. The chancel has two
intermediate queen-post roof trusses. There is a pointed arched piscina, a
C17 altar table and the chancel screen of 1915 and part of the C17 screen.
The octagonal font is C15 and has a panelled bowl and stem, the former with
quatrefoil tracery. Also in the nave are C15 corbels and a wall painting
fragment. C19 pulpit and pews, the latter incorporates earlier woodwork.
Memorials: in the chancel is a memorial to Richard Wakeman of 1662 with an
open pediment, coat of arms and unusually shaped pilasters, and also a mid-C19
sarcophagus relief. In the tower are several mid-C19 memorials to Archdeacon
John Timbrill and his family and there are five early and mid-C19 ledger slabs
in the nave. Glass: there is a panel of Flemish glass in the C12 north nave
window. A relatively large medieval parish church with a fine C15 nave roof
and with impressive and unusual C12 detailing to its west tower arch and north
and south doorways. [VCH 8, p 260-1 (Glos); BoE, p 76-7].

Listing NGR: SO9761235843

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.