St John the Baptist - Cranford, Northamptonshire
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member SMacB
N 52° 23.053 W 000° 38.311
30U E 660713 N 5806396
Quick Description: Church of St John the baptist, Cranford (Cranford St John), Northamptonshire.
Location: East Midlands, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 12/29/2014 12:56:37 PM
Waymark Code: WMN5EM
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Dorcadion Team
Views: 1

Long Description:
"The church of ST. JOHN consists of chancel, 28 ft. 3 in. by 12 ft. 10 in., with north chapel and vestry, clearstoried nave of three bays 38 ft. by 13 ft. 10 in., north and south aisles, north and south porches, and west tower 8 ft. 6 in. square, all these measurements being internal. The north aisle is 11 ft. wide, the south aisle 10 ft. 6 in., the width across nave and aisles being 39 ft. 2 in. The chapel is structurally a continuation of the north aisle, with the vestry at its east end, and covers the chancel its full length. The south aisle had been taken down before Bridges' time (d. 1724), but was rebuilt in 1842, and a south porch added; in 1880 the aisle was extended eastward about half the length of the chapel to form an organ chamber, and the chancel restored. There was a general restoration in 1887. Bridges, at the beginning of the 18th century, records that the stump of a spire was then standing; the spire had 'fallen down some years ago' and broken in upon the roof of the church. It has never been rebuilt.

The building throughout is of rubble, with plain parapets, and the walls are plastered internally. The chancel has a high-pitched tiled roof, but the roofs of the nave and aisles are leaded.

The nave arcades are the oldest part of the building, dating from the end of the 12th century. The north arcade consists of two wide round-headed arches with a narrower and lower one at the west end. The two eastern arches were cut through the wall of an earlier church and are of almost elliptical form, of two orders, the outer square and the inner slightly chamfered, springing from a cylindrical pier and from half-round responds, with separate attached shafts carrying the outer order. The circular moulded capitals of pier and responds are elaborately carved with stiff-leaf foliage in low relief, and the abaci follow the cross plan of the arch orders; the base of the pier is cut away. The work dates from c. 1190, and a few years later the nave appears to have been extended westward by the addition of the smaller bay, the whole of the south wall taken down, and an entirely new arcade constructed with a narrow and lower west bay to correspond with that on the north. The added bay of the north arcade has a round arch of two square orders on plain corbels, and is of ironstone. The south arcade is all of one build, with round arches of two orders springing from piers and responds with richly carved capitals similar to those opposite. The piers differ in section, the eastern one being a plain cylinder and the other a square with four attached shafts; the responds are similar to those on the north side.

As thus altered in the last years of the 12th century, the church was not very much smaller than the present building, with an aisled nave and a chancel somewhat shorter than the existing one. The chancel was rebuilt and lengthened in the course of the 13th century, and the chapel added c. 1290. The tower belongs to the earlier part of the 13th century, but was heightened a century later (c. 1320), when the clearstory was added and the north aisle reconstructed.

The chancel is substantially of the 13th century with an east window of three trefoiled lights and beautiful geometrical tracery, c. 1290. In the south wall is an inserted 14th-century square-headed window of two trefoiled lights, and the north wall is pierced at its west end by a late 13th-century arcade of two chamfered arches on an octagonal pier and half-round responds with moulded capitals and bases, opening to the chapel. On the south side there is a modern arch to the organ chamber. The 13th-century chancel arch is of two chamfered orders with hood, the inner order on moulded corbels. The upper steps of the rood-loft stair and the loft doorway remain on the north side of the arch. The insertion of the rood stair at the back of the north-east respond weakened the chancel arch and a big buttress of two stages was afterwards added within the aisle. Over the south window of the chancel a panel inscribed 'I.L. 1692' probably indicates some repair or reconstruction in that year.

The north aisle has two square-headed 14th-century windows of two trefoiled lights, one on each side of the porch, and there is a similar window in the north wall of the chapel, but another of three lights further east is a late 15th-century insertion. The north doorway is modern. In the north aisle is a restored wall recess with segmental chamfered arch.

There are three clearstory windows on each side, the two outer ones being trefoiled openings within curved triangular labels like those at St. Andrew's church, but the middle window on each side is a tracericd circle. On the south side the windows are modern.

The tower is of two stages with a small west lancet and another higher up on the south side in the lofty lower stage. The diagonal buttresses were probably added in the 14th century when the upper story was erected, the windows of which are of two trefoiled lights with transom and quatrefoil in the head. Immediately below the stepped battlemented parapet is a band of panelling, the design of which differs on the four sides, and there are gargoyles at the angles but no pinnacles. The 14th-century tower arch is of three chamfered orders, the innermost on halfoctagonal responds with moulded capitals and bases. There is no vice.

The font is of the 14th century, with a plain octagonal bowl moulded on the under side; it has a flat 17th century cover.

The pulpit is modern, but worked into it are two Renaissance carved panels of the same type as those in St. Andrew's church, the subjects represented being our Lord before the High Priest, and Pilate washing his hands. There is an early 17th-century low panelled chancel screen, and in the east window is some 14th-century heraldic glass taken from one of the windows of the chapel—(i) the leopards of England, (ii) the arms of Bassingbourne, gyronny of twelve argent and gules, (iii) the same with a label of three points azure. In the window is also some foreign glass with medallions, shields, figures, etc., one piece of which is dated 1547, others being of the 17th century similar in style to that at St. Andrew's church.

There are no monuments. All the roofs are modern or much restored.

SOURCE - (visit link)
Building Materials: Stone

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