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Church of St John Evangelist, Kenilworth

Description: Church of St John Evangelist

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 10 November 1971
English Heritage Building ID: 307853

OS Grid Reference: SP2921371086
OS Grid Coordinates: 429213, 271086
Latitude/Longitude: 52.3371, -1.5727

Location: A452, Kenilworth, Warwickshire CV8 1FU

Locality: Kenilworth
Local Authority: Warwick District Council
County: Warwickshire
Country: England
Postcode: CV8 1FU

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Listing Text

586/9/156 WARWICK ROAD
10-NOV-71 (East side)


Anglican Church. 1851-2. Designed by Ewan Christian and built by George and Joseph Lilley of Derby in the Decorated style.

MATERIALS: Constructed of irregularly shaped red sandstone rubble with ashlar dressings. The roofs are covered in plain clay tiles.

PLAN: The plan of the church consists of a chancel, four bay nave, south aisle and a tower with broach spire to the west end. There is a small single storey extension to the south-east corner.

EXTERIOR: The tower to the west end has diagonal buttresses and a further north-west buttress incorporating an internal stair turret. The doorway consists of a pointed arch with moulded decoration springing from shafts with foliate capitals. The belfry windows have two cusped lights with louvres and a quatrefoil above. Stone broach spire with two tiers of lucarnes. The nave and chancel have buttresses with set-offs. There is a stringcourse at window sill level. The fenestration to the north and south elevation has varied, Decorated tracery. The north wall of the chancel is blind with a priest's door with a Caernarvon arch. The Geometric, five light window has carved heads to the hoodmould terminals. To the south-east corner is a single storey flat roofed C20 extension.

INTERIOR: The interior walls are ashlar masonry and extensively decorated with painted biblical texts above the arches of the windows to the north side and to the chancel. The chancel has an alabaster reredos, enriched with polished stones with a cross to the centre. The south aisle has three octagonal piers, one cylindrical pier and a quatrefoil-section to the easternmost pier with foliage-carved capital. To the sanctuary are encaustic tiles. The west end of the nave is screened off by an open timber screen. The upper floor of the tower has been converted into a church office reached by a flight of C20 timber steps in the west end of the south aisle. There is no chancel arch and the division between the nave and the chancel is expressed through differences in the design of the roof. The roof is eight bays with intermediate trusses, all of arch-braced design. The slender braces of the main trusses descend to stone corbels which are moulded in the nave but carved with figures in the chancel. The chancel roof bays are more closely-spaced than the nave. The roof has two tiers of purlins and is plastered behind the rafters. The south aisle has a scissor-braced roof of slender common rafters. The interior retains a number of fixtures and fittings including a stone pulpit which is square of plan but has canted corners and is richly-carved with vine trails and inscriptions, and a font with an octagonal bowl carved with quatrefoil symbols and an octagonal stem and pews with canted corners. The stained glass includes three good Lavers and Westlake windows to the south aisle, one signed and dated 1896 and the pulpit window is signed Jones and Willis of London with a date of 1907. There is also a wall memorial sunk into the north wall of the chancel to the first incumbent, with an inscription under a cusped arch flanked by marble shafts.

The Church of St John Evangelist is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* The church's Grade B does not conform to the current system of grading for listing buildings
* Built in 1851-2 to the designs of Ewan Christian, it is a high quality example of his prolific church architecture
* The interior retains a complete decorative scheme of high quality fixtures and fittings with good attention to detail which includes the font, pulpit and reredos
* It is notable for the artistic use of painted biblical text above the windows to the north side and to the chancel
* It includes stained glass windows by the notable English firms Lavers, Barraud and Westlake and Jones and Willis
* The church is outstanding for its mid-C19 date as a design combining good proportions, subtle detail and good quality fittings

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.