SP9599 : Church of St. John the Baptist, Wakerley

taken 6 years ago, near to Wakerley, Northamptonshire, Great Britain

Church of St. John the Baptist, Wakerley
Church of St. John the Baptist, Wakerley
View from the north west. Just visible through the trees are the variations in the design of the openings to the bell chamber on the two different side of the tower.
Church of St. John the Baptist, Wakerley

The church consists of nave and chancel, the nave having chapels on north and south sides forming partial aisles. There is a west tower and spire and a porch alongside the north chapel.

It has 12th century origins of which the east wall of the nave with its fine chancel arch, and part of the south wall of the nave are the only remains. The church was largely rebuilt in the 13th century, when the south chapel was added, and again in the 14th when the tower was built and the north porch added. In the 15th century the chancel was rebuilt and the north chapel built or rebuilt in its current form. Further work on the chancel was undertaken in the 17th century, and there was the usual 19th century refurbishment, although this had less effect on the visual aspect of the church than in many places.

The chancel arch makes an initial impact on entering the church, with its wide span of chevron mouldings. It is likely to have been circular when built, probably assuming its arched shape during the 13thy century rebuilding. It is especially noteworthy for the figurative carving of the capitals, thought to be associated either with a mason working at nearby Castor or one from Ely Cathedral. On this basis the work is dated to 1120-30. The blind arches either side are indicative that there were originally side chapels within the nave before the side chapels were built. The rest of the work is good but unexceptional. An inter4esting feature are the rather crudely carved bosses on the centre line of the nave roof. The roof was rebuilt in the 18th century, but the bosses may be earlier. Specifically what they depict is unclear.

Externally the tower and spire immediately draw attention. These were built as a single unit in the 14th century in late Decorated style. The tower is of four stages, the middle two being relatively short. The bell chamber has long openings which are distinguished by having a variety of styles. On the east and west faces, there is a square top to the openings, on the south face they have round arch tops and on the north face pointed arches. There is a fine frieze of qutrefoil panels below the battlemented parapet. The octagonal spire is set back from the parapet; it is decorated with ballflower on the edges and there are two tiers of lucarnes on alternating faces. The original profile of the nave roof can be seen on the east face. Other noteworthy external features are the good 15th century Perpendicular windows in the east walls of chancel and north chapel.

The church is Listed Grade I, and is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust LinkExternal link having been made redundant.

Listed Buildings and Structures

Listed buildings and structures are officially designated as being of special architectural, historical or cultural significance. There are over half a million listed structures in the United Kingdom, covered by around 375,000 listings.
Listed status is more commonly associated with buildings or groups of buildings, however it can cover many other structures, including bridges, headstones, steps, ponds, monuments, walls, phone boxes, wrecks, parks, and heritage sites, and in more recent times a road crossing (Abbey Road) and graffiti art (Banksy 'Spy-booth') have been included.

In England and Wales there are three main listing designations;
Grade I (2.5%) - exceptional interest, sometimes considered to be internationally important.
Grade II* (5.5%) - particularly important buildings of more than special interest.
Grade II (92%) - nationally important and of special interest.

There are also locally listed structures (at the discretion of local authorities) using A, B and C designations.

In Scotland three classifications are also used but the criteria are different. There are around 47,500 Listed buildings.
Category A (8%)- generally equivalent to Grade I and II* in England and Wales
Category B (51%)- this appears generally to cover the ground of Grade II, recognising national importance.
Category C (41%)- buildings of local importance, probably with some overlap with English Grade II.

In Northern Ireland the criteria are similar to Scotland, but the classifications are:
Grade A (2.3%)
Grade B+ (4.7%)
Grade B (93%)

Read more at Wikipedia LinkExternal link

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Alan Murray-Rust and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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SP9599, 158 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Monday, 4 April, 2016   (more nearby)
Friday, 8 April, 2016
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Village, Rural settlement  Religious sites 
Former (from Tags)
Parish Church 
Period (from Tags)
14th Century 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 9566 9921 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:34.9377N 0:35.3767W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 9563 9924
View Direction
Southeast (about 135 degrees)
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Other Tags
Church Spire  Church Tower  Grade I Listed 

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