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Church of St John the Evangelist, Wicken

Description: Church of St John the Evangelist

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 17 May 1960
English Heritage Building ID: 235360

OS Grid Reference: SP7451139500
OS Grid Coordinates: 474511, 239500
Latitude/Longitude: 52.0489, -0.9149

Location: Church Lane, Wicken, Northamptonshire MK19 6BN

Locality: Wicken
Local Authority: South Northamptonshire District Council
County: Northamptonshire
Country: England
Postcode: MK19 6BN

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Listing Text

SP7439 (West side)
17/123 Church of St. John the
17/05/60 Evangelist


Church. Medieval origins. Tower rebuilt 1617, body of Church 1753 onwards by
Thomas Prowse of Wicken Park at his own expense, with the assistance of John
Sanderson, and completed in 1767 after his death. Altered and enlarged by Edward
Swinfen Harris 1874-90. Limestone ashlar, lead roofs. Chancel, South chapel,
vestry, aisled nave, south porch and west tower. Chancel has 5-light east window
with 4-centred head and 2-light windows to north and south, all with C19
Perpendicular-style and hood moulds. Large C19 gabled vestry/organ chamber to
north with stone lateral stack to east side with octagonal stone flue, serving
boiler-house at basement level, north door and 3-light window above with hood
mould. C19 south chapel with lancet window to east and 3-light window to south
with Perpendicular tracery. Nave and aisles are under one roof and have 2-light
windows to north and south with C19 Decorated-style tracery. 6-panel double-leaf
south door in porch dated 1839 with Tudor-arched doorway and hood mould;
datestone above door in plain stone-coped parapet. Blocked 1-light window to
west end of aisles with hood moulds. 4-stage tower has chamfered round-arched
west door with hood mould. 4-light window above with C19 Perpendicular style
tracery and hood mould. 1-light windows to intermediate stages with straight
heads,cut spandrels and hood moulds. Coat of arms below lower window to south in
moulded stone surround; arms probably those of Lord Spencer of Wormleighton at
whose expense the tower was rebuilt. Coupled pointed-arched bell-chamber
openings with hood moulds. Off-set diagonal and angle buttresses and plain
stone-coped parapet with gargoyles to angles. Corner pinnacles have been
dismantled. Moulded stone eaves to body of church. Interior: nave in style of
hall church with narrow aisles of same height. 3-bay arcades with clustered
shafts of quatrefoil section on high octagonal bases to clear former box pews.
Piers have two shaft-bands and capitals in later C13 French style with shallow
foliage and square abaci with hollows at angles. Slightly pointed plaster barrel
vault to nave with penetrations and rosettes from which candelabra formerly
hung. Groin-vaulted aisles. Aisle vaults spring from foliage corbels; similar
corbels at either end of arcades. Double-chamfered tower arch. Chancel arch has
responds with clustered shafts, foliage capitals and moulded 4-centred arch.
Marble plaque on north wall opposite south door inscribed This Church was
designed/and built by/THOMAS PROWSE Esq/in the Year 1758/And finished after his
Death. Chancel has fan vault of papier mache with pierced pendant bosses. Font:
square bowl of Purbeck marble with 3 shallow blank round-headed arches to each
side on octagonal stem and octagonal shafts to each corner. Reredos: late C19 by
E. Swinfen Harris, oak with diptych panel paintings of Annunciation and
Nativity. Late C19 and early C20 stain glass to chancel, south chapel, north
aisle and west window, that to chancel north 1921 by Eleanor Brickdale.
Monuments: brass to Thomas House, d.1633. Wall monument to Margaret Shirte,
d,lb34, with Latin inscription on brass plate in moulded stone surround. Wall
monument to John Sharp, d.1726, with two seated putti holding cartouche of arms
against slate obelisk background and inscription to apron flanked by scull and
cross-bones. Similar wall monument to John Hosier Sharp, d.1734, son of John
Sharp, with urn against obelisk background. Pair of marble wall monuments
flanking tower arch of similar size. That to right has pedimented top, cherub
with down-turned torch and bow-fronted inscription panel below to Anna Maria
Sharp, d.1747, widow of John Sharp. That to left to Charles Hosier, d.1750, and
his wife Mary, d,1724, parents of Anna Maria Sharp, by Sir Henry Cheere with
open pediment, obelisk background and garlanded urn. Erected 1758, at rebuilding
of Church, by Thomas Prowse and his wife Elizabeth daughter of Anna Maria Sharp
and grand-daughter of Charles and Mary Hosier. Wall monument to Elizabeth Sharp,
d.1810, signed by J. Bacon Jun. with draped urn against black marble background
weeping willow and bas-relief with Sorrow and Charity. Early C19 wall monuments
to Emily Elizabeth Fitzroy, d.1827, and Lord Charles Fitzroy, d.1829, and
Reverend Henry Quartley signed P. Rouw, sculptor, Portland Road, London.
(Buildings of England: Northamptonshire: 1973, pp461-2; M. Whiffen: Stuart and
Georgian Churches, 1948, pp70 and 74; B.F.L. Clarke: The Building of the C18
Church; 1963, pp71 and 136-7; C.S. Dickin Moore: Wicken Church: 1967 (guide
book); H. Colvin: A Dictionary of British Architects: 1978, pp666-7 and 716)

Listing NGR: SP7451139500

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.