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Description: Former Church of St John the Baptist
Date Listed: 26 January 1967
English Heritage Building ID: 155598
OS Grid Reference: SO5167833516
OS Grid Coordinates: 351678, 233516
Latitude/Longitude: 51.9980, -2.7052
HEREFORD & WORCESTER SOUTH HEREFS DC 5147
ACONBURY CP -
SO 53 SW
5/1 Former Church of
St John the Baptist
Church of convent of Austin or Augustinian nuns or canonesses until 1536,
later parish church, now redundant and used as store. Mainly C13 with C14
and C15 alterations. Restored 1863 by Sir G G Scott. Sandstone rubble and
dressings with timber-framed porch. Tiled roofs and shingled bell cot with
broad spire and copper weather cock: Rectangular plan with four uneven bays
and west porch: West elevation has central window of three stepped trefoil-
headed lights with fillet moulded heads and jambs in two orders and steeply
battered cills. Three quatrefoils in plate tracery under large moulded two-
centred arch with moulded label and headstops. To sides of outer lights is
a pair of attached columns with foliated capitals. Continuous moulded label
above lights but below tracery has foliated stops either side of central tre-
foiled head. Above the apex of large outer label is a cowled corbel head.
Beneath the cill is a roll-moulded string connecting tops of clasping weathered
pilaster buttresses to each corner. Central gabled C15 porch has sandstone
plinths and benches: Two structural bays with moulded steeply cambered low
pointed ties supported by moulded arch braces with enriched spandrels. East
and west arch braces rest on moulded shafts with capitals. Central arch braces
rest on a pair of richly carved angels with shields and deeply folded stylised
drapery. West spandrels have recessed quatrefoils and mouchettes; east spandrels
single central rosettes with tapered acanthus leaves extending into angles.
Moulded wall-plates. Single purlins. Alongside each of the C15 ties the trusses
of which are missing, is a later cambered tie with raking struts, all roughly
chamfered and single pegged, possibly late C17 to C18. Cill beams are restored.
Side panels have boarded lower zone and traceried opening upper sections with
six lights to each opposing bays The heads of each light are trefoiled with
blind spandrels. Tracery is in the form of Ds set back-to-back. North elevation
has three windows, the two to the right each have a pair of cinquefoil-headed
lights with quatrefoil tracery. To the left in the liturgical chancel is a
moulded lancet. Above each window is a two-centred relieving arch. Chamfered
string to high plinth. Weathered clasping pilaster-buttress to right extends
roughly half-way up the wall. Left corner has diagonal buttress with off-sets.
Chamfered stone eaves cornice: Verges with gable crosses. East elevation has
window with three pointed stepped lights formed by two central mullions under
a two-centred arch. Moulded label with female head stops. Short thick weathered
buttress to extreme left. South elevation has two chamfered lancets to right and
a small quatrefoil opening beneath, a blocked two-centred arch, probably former
high-level doorway to demolished conventual buildings: Chamfered string extends
from right-hand side beneath the two lancets and ends roughly in centre: Under
the lancets are two chamfered blocked doorways with pointed segmental heads,
formerly leading to demolished cloister. Each lancet and each blocked doorway
has a corbel to its right-hand side: To the left side of the left-hand doorway
is the respond and springer of arch projecting southwards: Clasping buttress
to extreme left. West doorway is chamfered with two-centred head and moulded
label with remains of enriched stops. Spurs to bottoms of jambs: Interior
has C19 panelled pine wagon roof: Walls have contemporary terracotta coloured
ashlar lining with small rosettes: South wall has three chamfered two-centred
blocked doorways, the westernmost approached down steps: C13 piscina to centre
of wall has deeply moulded trefoiled head with fillets and quatrefoil drain.
High up in the wall is a square opening to small room behind the external quatre-
foil: North wall has tomb recess with broad fillet-moulded two-centred head.
Floor slab for Sir Henry Barnard, died 1680, in black marble with achievement
set in roundel. Two coffin lids, perhaps C13 with incised crosses set in
circles and long stems. Moulded base of C19 octagonal pulpit with steps.
At time of re-survey (May 1986) the building contained in storage four fonts,
a lectern, desk and pews, as well as a small altar and pulpit: One font,
perhaps C14, is sandstone with cyclindrical shaft on circular base and carved
underside to octagonal bowls The other fonts are probably all C19. Part of
an octagonal oak C19 pulpit with medieval frieze and several pews and benches
are from Madeley Church, Shropshire; A small C19 altar is from Yarpole Church,
Herefordshire. (BoE, p 62-3; RCHM, Vol I, p 12 - 13).
Listing NGR: SO5167833516
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.