St John The Baptist - Wappenbury, Warwickshire
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member SMacB
N 52° 19.216 W 001° 26.809
30U E 605860 N 5797796
Quick Description: Medieval church of St John The Baptist, Wappenbury.
Location: West Midlands, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 4/12/2020 12:41:55 AM
Waymark Code: WM12A72
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member pmaupin
Views: 0

Long Description:
Medieval church of St John The Baptist, Wappenbury.

"The church of ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST stands on a slight mound in the middle of a small churchyard, with a farmhouse on the west and Wappenbury Hall, which has been entirely rebuilt, to the east. The church was built in the 13th century and then consisted of chancel and nave. Early in the 14th century a west tower was built on the south side of the nave, together with a south aisle and porch. The nave and south aisle were completely 'restored' c. 1825 but were pulled down in 1886 and rebuilt in the character of 14th-century work, and at the same time a south porch and transept were added and the whole church re-roofed.

The east wall of the chancel has been almost entirely refaced and the string-course, plinth, and the coping and cross finial of the gable renewed. It has three lancet windows with the jambs and sills restored. Over these windows there is a continuous hood-moulding round each arch with head-stops at the two ends. The north side is built of red sandstone rubble patched with small limestone rubble. It has three lancet windows of one splay, a moulded string-course at sill level and a plinth of one splay. The south side is similar but has a re-set doorway at the west end with a trefoil head of two splays, the string-course at sill level carried over it as a pointed arch. The walls of the south aisle, transept and porch are modern, built of a reddish sandstone in squared and coursed masonry. The transept has a gable with a chimney as a finial and is lighted by a two-light tracery window with a hoodmoulding on the south, and a single trefoil-headed light on the east. Between the transept and the porch the aisle is lighted by three lancets placed close together. The porch has angle buttresses and a pointed entrance arch and an ogee-headed window on either side, that on the west being an old one re-used. Below the wallplate some old moulded stones have been used as a cornice. The south door has a pointed arch and mouldings of a 13th-century character. The north side of the nave has two single trefoil lights with pointed arches and between them a plain two-light tracery window. West of these is a doorway, projected slightly from the wall as a gable with low buttresses to give the appearance of a porch. The doorway has a moulded trefoil head and a pointed arch formed by a hoodmoulding.

The tower, which is divided by string-courses into three stages, is built of red sandstone ashlar, supported by diagonal buttresses at each corner, those on the east side coming down, the one into the nave, the other into the south porch. At the base of the tower is a moulded plinth, restored, but with some remains of the original. It has an embattled parapet, with a small turret corbelled out at the south-west angle, probably to balance the stair turret. Below the parapet at each corner are grotesque gargoyles. At the south-east angle there is a turret corbelled out for the spiral tower staircase, the corbel carved with a grotesque figure of a man lying on his chest, his chin supported on his hands. The stair is lit by a chamfered loop-light in the lower stage. The belfry windows on the north, south, and west are of two trefoil lights, of two chamfered orders, with pointed arches containing pierced cusping, and a labelmoulding above; that on the east side has three trefoil lights, with a rather flat four-centred arch and a labelmoulding. Beneath the window in the second stage is a chamfered window with a trefoil head under a square label-moulding, and near the south-east angle there is a similar light. On the south side of the lower stage is a window of two trefoil lights set in deep splayed reveals with a pointed arch, cusped piercing, and a label-moulding, with head-stops. On the east face above the modern aisle roof is the line of the lowpitched earlier roof.

The chancel (30 ft. 10 in. by 16 ft.) has a modern tiled floor, three steps from the nave, two to the altar rails, and two to the modern altar, and a modern trussed rafter roof. The three east lancet windows have trefoil rear-arches, springing from capitals, and above them a label-moulding with head-stops. The three lancet windows in each side wall have deep splayed recesses with segmental-pointed arches, and above them trefoil heads. At sill level there is a moulded string-course, which is carried over the slightly cambered rear-arch of the south door as a hood-moulding. Between the two east windows on the south side is a late-13th-century piscina, the head trefoiled in two delicately moulded orders springing from two shafts in each jamb, with moulded capitals and bases; the bowl is modern. The recess is unusually wide for a piscina, being 4 ft. 6 in. across.

The nave (43 ft. 9 in. by 20 ft.) is entirely modern, with a tile and wood-block floor and a roof matchboarded in the form of a wagon vault. The north door has a segmental rear-arch with hood-mouldings stopped on scrolls. All the windows have shouldered rear arches. The chancel arch of two orders is also modern, and on the south side of it is a modern moulded niche with a bracket. The nave arcade is in three bays in line with the tower arch, which forms a fourth; the east bay opens into the modern transept, used as a vestry and organ chamber. The arches are pointed, in two splayed orders springing from octagonal pillars with moulded capitals, the splayed bases being modern. The stone-work of the capitals and pillars has been re-dressed. The pointed tower arch is lofty and of two splayed orders supported on half-octagon responds with moulded capitals and bases. On either side of the arch are corbels carved like animals' heads, now used to support the modern roof. As the modern south aisle (20 ft. 6 in. by 9 ft. 2 in.) is lower than the original the upper part of the arch to the tower has been blocked and a modern depressed four-centred arch inserted, springing from the original moulded capitals; that on the south is carved with the face of an old man with a beard. Traces of the earlier arch can be seen under the apex of the modern lean-to roof. The windows have stop-chamfered recesses with flat oak lintels.

The tower (9 ft. 6 in. by 9 ft. 6 in.) has a modern tiled floor with three steps down into the aisle. Placed on the top step is a modern plain tapered circular stone font. The window in the south wall has a splayed recess with a stop-chamfered rear-arch. In the southeast corner there is a narrow doorway to the tower staircase, with a four-centred head. Standing against the west wall are two 13th-century coffin lids, one with a foliated cross, and the other, belonging to a child, with a plain cross; above are several 18th- and 19thcentury mural tablets. On the north side is an old plain wooden chest of uncertain date, bound with iron straps.

There are three bells: (1) by Brian Eldridge, 1657; (2) by Newcombe, c. 1580; (3) by Hugh Watts, 1629.

The registers start in 1753.

In the churchyard opposite the south door to the chancel is the square base, on three octagonal steps, of a 14th-century cross. The angles of the base are carved with a male head and shoulders in deep relief, three of them, however, are badly mutilated. Let into the base is a short length of square-moulded shaft."

SOURCE - (visit link)
Building Materials: Stone

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