St John the Baptist's Church, Aldford

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St John the Baptist's Church, Aldford
St John the Baptist's Church, Aldford,
from the southwest
St John the Baptist's Church, Aldford is located in Cheshire
St John the Baptist's Church, Aldford
St John the Baptist's Church, Aldford
Location in Cheshire
Coordinates: 53°07′44″N 2°52′11″W / 53.1290°N 2.8698°W / 53.1290; -2.8698
Location Aldford, Cheshire
Country England
Denomination Anglican
Churchmanship Conservative Evangelical
Website St John the Baptist, Aldford
History
Dedication St John the Baptist
Consecrated 1866
Associated people Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster
Architecture
Status Parish church
Functional status Active
Heritage designation Grade II
Designated 1 June 1967
Architect(s) John Douglas
Architectural type Church
Style Gothic Revival
Groundbreaking 1865
Completed 1866
Specifications
Materials Red sandstone with a slate roof and a shingled spire
Administration
Parish Aldford
Deanery Malpas
Archdeaconry Chester
Diocese Chester
Province York
Clergy
Rector Revd Jules Beauchamp
Assistant priest Revd Nic Deane
Laity
Reader(s) Kath Wentel

St John the Baptist's Church is in the village of Aldford, Cheshire, England. The church is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II listed building.[1] It is an active Anglican parish church in the diocese of Chester, the archdeaconry of Chester and the deanery of Malpas. Its benefice is combined with those of St Peter, Waverton and St Mary, Bruera.[2] It is described by the authors of the Buildings of England series as "expensive" and "stiffly conventional".[3]

History[edit]

The church was built in 1866 on the site of a previous church to a design by John Douglas at the expense of Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster. The vestry was converted into a chapel, and a new vestry was added in 1902 by Douglas and Minshull.[3]

Architecture[edit]

Exterior[edit]

The church is constructed in red sandstone with a grey-green slate roof and a shingled spire.[1] The architectural style is that of the late 13th century.[3] Its plan consists of a west tower, a four-bay nave with a clerestory, north and south aisles, a chancel with a north chapel, and a south vestry, and a south porch. The tower is in three stages with a recessed octagonal spire, and at its southwest is an octagonal stair turret with a small stone spire. Lancet windows are in the first and second stages of the tower, above which are paired bell-openings. At the top is a corbelled open parapet. A rose window is in the north wall of the chapel. Over the south doorway is the damaged dedication stone from the former church.[1] The porch is in striped stone, and has a pointed barrel vault.[3]

Interior[edit]

The interior of the church is in ashlar stone, the walls of the tower and chancel being diapered. The arcades are carried on polished limestone monolithic columns.[3] Both the pulpit and the font are in marble. The reredos contains five panels of mosaics by Salviati. The stained glass in the east window of the chapel dates from the 19th century and was made by Morris & Co.[1] to a design by Burne-Jones. In the church are memorials, some of which have come from the previous church. These include a monument to the memory of Lieut. Job Watson Royle who was killed in 1812 at the Battle of Badajoz.[4] Another memorial is a wooden tablet to Frances Jones who died in 1719. In the vestry is a benefaction board covering the period 1682–1723.[5] At the base of the tower is a list of rectors going back to about 1300.[4] The organ was made by William Hill and later modified by Robert Hope-Jones. A further modification was carried out in about 1997 by David Wells.[6] There is a ring of six bells. Four of these were cast in 1865 by Mears & Stainbank at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, and the other two are by John Taylor & Co. of Loughborough.[7]

External features[edit]

Associated with the church are three structures listed at Grade II. In the churchyard is a red sandstone cross on a base of four steps. The base is medieval and the shaft and head are dated 1901. On the head is a carving of the Crucifixion.[8] Also in the churchyard is a sundial with a copper plate on a sandstone pier which probably dates from the 18th century.[9] The churchyard walls and gates date from around 1866. The walls are made from squared rubble red sandstone and the gates are of oak.[10] Also in the churchyard is the war grave of an Army Service Corps soldier of World War I.[11] To the north of the church are the earthworks and some stone fragments remaining from Aldford Castle.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Historic England, "Church of St John the Baptist, Aldford (1135984)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 26 March 2012 
  2. ^ St John the Baptist, Aldford, Church of England, retrieved 29 September 2009 
  3. ^ a b c d e Hartwell, Clare; Hyde, Matthew; Hubbard, Edward; Pevsner, Nikolaus (2011) [1971], Cheshire, The Buildings of England, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, pp. 94–95, ISBN 978-0-300-17043-6 
  4. ^ a b Thornber, Craig (2002), A Scrapbook of Cheshire Antiquities: Aldford, retrieved 20 January 2008 
  5. ^ Morant, Roland W. (1989), Cheshire Churches, Birkenhead: Countyvise, pp. 93, 95, ISBN 0-907768-18-0 
  6. ^ Cheshire, Aldford, St. John the Baptist (K00425), British Institute of Organ Studies, retrieved 10 November 2010 
  7. ^ Aldford, S John Bapt, Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers, retrieved 10 November 2010 
  8. ^ Historic England, "Cross and stepped base east of path to south porch of Church of St John the Baptist, Aldford (1135991)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 26 March 2012 
  9. ^ Historic England, "Sundial and pier west of south porch of Church of St John the Baptist, Aldford (1129950)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 26 March 2012 
  10. ^ Historic England, "Churchyard walls and gates, Church of St John the Baptist, Aldford (1330591)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 26 March 2012 
  11. ^ DAVIES, JOSEPH, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, retrieved 2 February 2013