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Parish Church of St John the Baptist (Church of England), Widford

Description: Parish Church of St John the Baptist (Church of England)

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 24 January 1967
English Heritage Building ID: 160045

OS Grid Reference: TL4132615795
OS Grid Coordinates: 541326, 215795
Latitude/Longitude: 51.8229, 0.0492

Location: B1004, Widford, Hertfordshire SG12 8RL

Locality: Widford
Local Authority: East Hertfordshire District Council
County: Hertfordshire
Country: England
Postcode: SG12 8RL

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Listing Text

(north side)

5/3 Parish Church of
St John the Baptist
24.1.67 (C of E)


Parish church. A largely. C14 church incorporating fabric and
arch fragments of early C12, C15 tower arch and windows in
church: restored 1887-8 probably by G E Pritchett (framed plan
in vestry) when S porch and vestry off church were added and roof
rebuilt, chancel roof painted in 1881-3 by Miss F C Hadsley
Gosselin, spire rebuilt and vestry heightened as an organ chamber
1890 by J (or G) Slater BA of London, new vestry off navel897-8
by J T Micklewaite. Flint rubble with clunch dressings (Barnack
stone to tower), knapped flint to Cl9 vestry and organ chamber,
on N, timberframed open gabled S porch. Slender octagonal copper
sheathed spire. An unaisled nave and narrower rectangular
chancel now under a continuous Cl9 steep roof with overhanging
eaves. 3-stage unbuttressed W tower with battlements and
rectangular stair projection on S rising to middle stage.
Projection on N wall of nave for rood-stair concealed inside. In
the nave: 2-light SE window c1350, similar recut on NE, copy at
SW of 1871, S doorway and door on N to vestry c1370 with C13
ironwork on present doors, C12 chevron arch stone inset over S
door, 4-bay roof reusing cambered tie beams with hollow chamfers
and soffit mortices for wall-posts and arched braces, 7-sided Cl9
waggon roof with moulded battens and bossed, panelled octagonal
stone font c1420, small C15 plastered piscina with shelf at SE.
The lower part of the tower has a wide C15 arch, C14 W door of
two moulded orders and 2-light traceried window over, small
pointed doorway to stair and a ceiling of heavy chamfered beams
with a central square panel. In the chancel: a C15 2-light
Perpendicular window in each side, C14 sedelia or tomb recess in
S wall, credence table formed from a C12 carved cushion capital
on a turned plain shaft perhaps from an altar (assembled 1879) at
SE, fine wall paintings survive with on N wall Christ ofthe
Apocalypse sitting on a rainbow with a sword c1300, and flanking
the E window C14 saints in the form of a knight and a bishop or
abbot wearing a chausible and mitre. 3-light traceried C19 E
window with stained glass of 1894, attributed Burlison & Grylls
(Pevsner (1977) 406) commemorating John Eliot the 'Apostle to the
Indians' born in the parish in the C17 whose Bible for the
Massachusetts Indians was printed by Samuel Green in 1661. The
church is associated with Charles Lamb whose grandmother Mary
Field was a housekeeper at Blakesware nearby and whose grave is
in the churchyard. The church is described in his poem The
A small medieval church, little altered, with many features of
special interest and of outstanding interest for its medieval
wall paintings and literary associations. It stands on the edge
of the precipitous valley of the River Ash to the N and is an
important landscape feature especially from the park of
Blakesware. From the S it is part of a picturesque group of
buildings in this part of the Conservation Area. (EHAS Trans
(1903) 124-9: RCHM (1911) 240-1: VCH (1912) 405-6: Pevsner
(1977) 406: J Traviss-Lockwood Widford and Widford Church
Hertford 1883).

Listing NGR: TL4132615795

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.