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

A Grade II* Listed Building in Widford, Hertfordshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.8229 / 51°49'22"N

Longitude: 0.0492 / 0°2'57"E

OS Eastings: 541326

OS Northings: 215795

OS Grid: TL413157

Mapcode National: GBR LCV.M85

Mapcode Global: VHHLZ.SFWX

Entry Name: Parish Church of St John the Baptist (Church of England)

Listing Date: 24 January 1967

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1101926

English Heritage Legacy ID: 160045

Location: Widford, East Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire, SG12

County: Hertfordshire

District: East Hertfordshire

Civil Parish: Widford

Traditional County: Hertfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hertfordshire

Church of England Parish: Widford

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans

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Listing Text

TL 4115 WIDFORD WARE ROAD
(north side)

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

GV II*


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
Grandame.
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 from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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