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Description: Church of St John the Baptist
Date Listed: 28 October 1959
English Heritage Building ID: 316399
OS Grid Reference: ST9672584368
OS Grid Coordinates: 396725, 184368
Latitude/Longitude: 51.5582, -2.0486
LITTLE SOMERFORD THE STREET
ST 98 SE
3/272 Church of St John the Baptist
Anglican parish church, c1300 with C15 west tower, restored c1860.
Rubble stone with stone slate roof and coped gables. Nave and
chancel in one with south porch and thin west tower. Body of the
church has restored 2-light Y-traceried windows with hoodmoulds,
moulded sill course to nave and angle buttresses. South side has
2-light each side of porch, chancel has 1905 single light
(replacing a 2-light), C19 door and a 2-light. Porch is late C15,
ashlar-fronted with coped gable and sundial, moulded plinth and
broad four-centred arched entry with hoodmould and carved shield
over. Plank door within in C14 broad hollow-moulded pointed arch
with hoodmould, damaged, niche over and stringcourse each side.
Chancel has C19 three-light east window with reticulated tracery,
north side Y-traceried 2-light and C19 lean-to vestry. Nave has
two Y-traceried windows, hoodmoulds, sillcourse and blocked pointed
north door. C15 tower is roughcast with angle buttresses, small 2-
light bell-openings, cornice with angle gargoyles and ashlar
embattled parapet. Narrow west door and 3-light Perpendicular
Interior: original roofs have been strengthened with heavy C17
framing on tie-beams, nave has collar rafter roof with straight
braces, chancel similar but with curved braces, probably formerly
ceiled. Tower arch has 2-chamfer segmental-pointed head and is
infilled with royal arms dated 1602, formerly in tympanum over
chancel screen, but removed 1983. 1928 tower screen by Sir R.
Lorimer. Moulded sill course and hoodmoulds to windows each side
and some C17 painted texts: Creed and Ps. 72 vv 1-3 to north,
Lord's Prayer to south. Fine timber chancel screen, basically C14
with heavily moulded top and quatrefoil frieze, centre opening and
five ogee-headed lights each side. Lower panels removed in C17 and
some added pinnacles each side of centre. Exceptional C15 boarded
tympanum with paintings concealed until 1983, two censing angels
each side of Ten Commandments, angels on a deep red ground. Lower
part is missing. It is suggested that the Commandments are a C16
replacement for a rood. Chancel walls show signs of 2-light to
north, blocked for vestry and to south around 1905 lancet.
Shouldered-headed piscina, C19 sanctuary paving, north side organ.
Fittings: in nave C17 pews, cut down, and matching c1900 pews in
nave and stalls in chancel. C19 octagonal font with C17 wood
cover. Fine two-decker heavily carved pulpit and reading desk
dated 1626, missing sounding board. On north window sill the
circular head of a c1300 churchyard cross with Crucifixion on one
side, Virgin and Child the other. Stained glass of fine quality,
pre-Raphaelite style, of 1866 in one south window, the other with
glass of 1932 by W. Glasby, north side has 1920 glass in head of
former north door and C19 patterned glass elsewhere. Chancel has
reredos of c1900 to match C17 pulpit, 1930 neo-Georgian communion
rails, east window glass of c1860, north of c1890 and south of
1863, and various C19 wall monuments.
(N. Pevsner, Wiltshire, 1975 300-1; K.R. Clew, Church Guide 1985)
Listing NGR: ST9672684374
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.