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Church of St John the Baptist

A Grade II Listed Building in Bath, Bath and North East Somerset

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.3884 / 51°23'18"N

Longitude: -2.3554 / 2°21'19"W

OS Eastings: 375367

OS Northings: 165548

OS Grid: ST753655

Mapcode National: GBR 0Q9.Z5T

Mapcode Global: VH96M.4C5G

Entry Name: Church of St John the Baptist

Listing Date: 30 June 2011

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1402509

Location: Bath and North East Somerset, BA2

County: Bath and North East Somerset

Electoral Ward/Division: Walcot

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Bath

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

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Summary

A Gothic Revival church built in c1861-2 to a design by C E Giles, and enlarged by Arthur Blomfield in c1871.

Description

A church built in 1861-2 by C E Giles, enlarged in 1869-71 by Arthur Blomfield, in the Gothic Revival style.

MATERIALS: limestone ashlar with a Welsh slate roof.

PLAN: the earlier part comprised nave, chancel with semi-octagonal sacrarium, and the base of the tower. This all survives as the present north aisle; the present large nave and chancel being added later in the C19, when the local population had greatly expanded. The upper part of the tower and the spire were also added at that time, together with the baptistery.

EXTERIOR: the west wall of the nave has a deeply moulded gabled doorway with a large window of two compartments having three lights in each, above them a circular compartment enclosing three smaller circular lights, each of which is trefoiled. A moulded outer arch encloses the whole. The south wall has stepped buttresses separating three light windows, each with a rose of four, five or six lights. A tall gabled porch projects from the second bay. The north aisle has a triple window in the west wall, and paired lancets in the north wall, the bays divided by stepped buttresses. The spire is on an octagonal base, the main faces having a single pointed bell-opening, the corner faces a finial with spirelet.

INTERIOR: the three bay nave arcade extended beyond the earlier wall. It has plain polished shafts with stiff-leaf capitals, and a clerestory of quatrefoils above. The nave has a hammer-beam, with a plainer panelled roof to the chancel. The rood screen designed by Sir Ninian Comper was added in 1923.


History

The ancient parish church which stood nearby was demolished in c1818. The chancel arch is said to have been incorporated in the mortuary chapel at that time (qv). The parish was catered for by the new St Mary's church (qv), but the increasing population growth, allied with the desire to provide a proper amount of church-going provision, made it necessary to build St John's. Blomfield was responsible for the tall nave with its bands of contrasting stone, and a bespoke rood screen was added in 1923 to a design by the Scottish architect Sir Ninian Comper.

Reasons for Listing

The Church of St John the Baptist, St John's Road, Bath is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: it is a good example of a mid-C19 church by C E Giles, enlarged in the later C19 by Arthur Blomfield, and displaying good quality architectural detailing in the Gothic Revival style
* Interior: it has a good quality interior and contains a bespoke rood screen of 1923 by the Scottish architect Sir Ninian Comper

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