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Church of St John the Baptist, Ruyton-XI-Towns

Description: Church of St John the Baptist

Grade: II
Date Listed: 8 October 1959
English Heritage Building ID: 256690

OS Grid Reference: SJ3948222155
OS Grid Coordinates: 339482, 322155
Latitude/Longitude: 52.7936, -2.8989

Location: B4397, Ruyton-XI-Towns, Shropshire SY4 1LA

Locality: Ruyton-XI-Towns
County: Shropshire
Country: England
Postcode: SY4 1LA

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

Listing Text

SJ 32 SE side)

8/138 Church of St. John the
- Baptist

Chapel-of-ease, now parish church. Mid-C12, mid-C14 north aisle rebuilt
in 1845 and early C15 west tower; chancel restored in 1862 and rest of church
in 1868 at a cost of £1000. Regularly coursed and dressed red sandstone
blocks; slate roofs with coped verges and C19 crosses to gables. Nave;
chancel; west tower; north aisle; south porch and north vestry. Tower.
In 2 stages with multi-stepped diagonal buttresses, chamfered string course
and plinth. Embattled parapet has carved heads to cornice and gargoyles
to corners (much weathered). Restored louvred 2-light windows to belfry
have mouchettes and sexfoils to heads. 3-light west window with panel
tracery. Projecting splayed staircase turret to south-east angle with
narrow rectangular slit openings and grotesque head projecting at string
course level. Narrow rectangular opening beneath north belfry window.
Pyramidal slate cap with C18 brass weathercock to contemporary wooden finial.
Earlier roof pitch of nave visible on east face. Nave. Basically C12
with moulded string course. C19 two-light Decorated-style window to left
of porch with 4 quatrefoils to square head. Two heavily restored C16 or
C17 two-light square-headed windows with cusped tracery to right. Gabled
stone porch of 1892 with machine tile roof has pointed outer arch with hoodmould
and twin trefoil-headed windows to east and west sides. Buttress at south-
west corner forms part of tower and massive stepped buttress to south-east
corner is probably early C19. East gable has high chamfered plinth to
south and possible outline of former roof pitch. Oval-shaped window with
pierced cusped quatrefoil below apex inserted 1676 and restored in C19.
Chancel. C12 and extended by one bay to east c.1300 (see straight joint
on north side). South side has round-headed priest's doorway similar to
that at Church of St. Mary, Knockin (q.v.). Chamfered hoodmould and moulded
imposts to outer arch. Recessed segmental-arched tympanum and chamfered
inner jambs with broach stops to top; inner moulded imposts. Date 1771
inscribed on eastern outer jamb. Hoodmould continues over 2 narrow recessed
and chamfered round-headed windows to east and formerly continued to C12
east wall but is now carried down to east of second window. C19 two-light
Decorated-style windows to west of doorway and to early C14 extension.
East wall has stepped angle buttresses and pointed C14 window of 3 cusped
lights with spheric triangles to head; hoodmould. North side has 2 small
C12 windows like those on south linked by continuous hoodmould, in this
case continuing to straight joint. Low infilled C14 segmental-pointed arch
below and between windows is said to be associated with former anchorite's
cell (see below). 3-light tile-hung gabled dormer to centre in roof slope
inserted 1903. Mid-C19 north aisle on site of C14 aisle is buttressed in
4 bays and has 2-and 3-light Decorated-style windows with hoodmoulds to
centre bays and to east and west walls. Mid-C19 lean-to vestry at junction
with nave at east end has lancet to east side and paired trefoil-headed
windows under segmental arch to north side. Probably late C18 lean-to
at west end of aisle has projecting keystone to segmental arch on north
side and rectangular chamfered window to west. Interior. C12 south doorway
similar to that of chancel but larger and inner jambs have chamfered edges
and broach stops to top more clearly defined. 4-bay nave arcade-of 2 periods:
low octagonal pillars with plain moulded capitals and chamfered bases.
Double-chamfered pointed arches, western 2 with roll moulding and fillets,
eastern 2 plainer, easternmost of irregular segmental-pointed shape. West
respond and west capital are early C13, east respond and east capital are
early to mid-C14. Curiously the eastern half of the middle capital is Early
English and the western half is Decorated. The explanation seems to be
that a 2-bay chapel was built at the east end of the nave in early C13:
this was taken down in C14 when a full aisle was built, the chapel's capital,
arches and 2 responds being reused in the aisle's construction. On the
south-west face of the western pillar is a medieval carving of a horned
head, said to represent the Devil. Broad cinquefoiled late C15 image niche
inserted in eastern respond. To west of western respond is a low C19 segment-
al chamfered arch with dogtooth decoration dying into western wall. Pointed
chancel arch of 1862 with corbelled responds has rectangular entrance to former
rood loft on north side. Tall pointed tower arch is contemporary with
tower. Probably early C17 arch-braced collar beam roof in 5 bays to nave
has 2 tiers of purlins and cusped windbraces; cusped struts from collars
forming cusped quatrefoil and trefoil patterns with cusped principal rafters.
Carved wooden corbels probably date from 1845 when roof was repaired but
north side has 3 stone corbels from earlier medieval roof, one with the
carving of a human head and another with a carved ram's head. Chancel
has C19 arch-braced collar beam roof in 3 bays and north aisle has C19 roof
similar to that of nave, also retaining 3 stone corbels of a medieval roof
(one with a carving of a grotesque human head). Chancel has 2 pointed
piscinae in south wall and 2 aumbries to north, all in C12 part. Small
square opening on north side with hooks for door opening outwards said to
be associated with former anchorite's cell. Two C19 sedilia below east
window on south. C12 string course and straight joint marking break with
c.1300 extension clearly visible on both sides. Encaustic tiles except
for black and white marble floor around altar which has stone reredos of
c.1892 by Bodley and Garner; communion rails probably of same date. Reading
desk and choir stalls 1903; stone pulpit, font, benches all late C19 or
later, although some benches incorporate Jacobean panelling. Oak chest
at west end of aisle and more elaborate Jacobean press at east end. C18
chair in sanctuary and Jacobean chair by pulpit. Late C13 stone coffin
lid with carving of a foliated cross of quatrefoil design at east end of
aisle, found during rebuilding of porch in 1892. Mid-to late C19 and early
C20 stained glass throughout. Monuments. Francis Thornes (died 1678)
and his wife, Beatrice (died 1664): chancel, north side; stone wall memorial
with Tuscan columns flanking brass inscription panel; 2 projecting pieces
of entablature above and dome-shaped top with conical finials to left, right
and centre; further brass inscription panel beneath. Painted encaustic
tile below commemorates George Augustus Selwyn (died 1878), Bishop of Lich-
field and first Bishop of New Zealand. Sara Willaston (died 1622): chancel,
north side;marble wall memorial. C17 brass memorial in south-east corner
of chancel illegible at time of resurvey (December 1986) has brass plate
beneath to Hannah Wilde (died 1759). Wall memorial to William Kinaston
(died 1748), north side of north aisle. This has C18 hatchments of local
families, 3 on north and one on south. Late C18 and early C19 benefactors'
boards on south and west walls of vestry and cast-iron plate on west wall
of tower commemorating restoration of 1868. Originally a dependent chapelry
of Baschurch and founded c.1140, Ruyton became a separate parish in 1230.
The tithes were appropriated by Haughmond Abbey in 1331. B.o.E. pp. 237-
8; D.H.S. Cranage, The Churches of Shropshire, Part 9 (1908), pp. 818-25;
appendix, p.1005. Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. 2nd series, Vol. VIII, pp. 313-

Listing NGR: SJ3948222155

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.