Church of John the Baptist, The Crescent, Brinklow

Description of this historic site

The Church of John the Baptist, Brinklow. The church was originally built during the Medieval period and may have originated as a castle chapel. It is situated north east of the Recreation Ground, Brinklow.

Notes about this historic site

1 Archaeological observation of groundworks within St. John The Baptist Church and churchyard revealed a considerable quantity of rubble in the floor make-up below the tower, including a possible foundation block for one of the walls.The rubble layer was overlain by the mortar bedding for the 19th century tiled floor. A residual sherd of Romano-British pottery, a fragment of medieval floor tile and fragments of 17th century clay pipe were recovered from the churchyard.

2 Church. Late C15 with C19 restorations. Sandstone ashlar with some coursed rubble. Tile roofs, with lead roofs to aisles. Chancel and aisled nave with west tower. Chancel of one bay. Three-light east window of intersecting tracery. 2 lancets to south, C19 plank door within pointed and chamfered arch between. Single lancet to north. Nave of 5 bays. South aisle has 3 restored three-light Perpendicular windows within chamfered surrounds, and one to east and west. Also to west a small 2-light window. Part brick C19 vestry. North aisle has two C15 three-light windows with scallop ornament within chamfered surrounds to north, with one to west. Single cusped lancet to east. C15 timber porch with 4-centred arch, the spandrel carved. 4-centred plank door within has carved mouchette spandrels to hood, and is within heavily moulded surrounds with cusped panelling. South aisle has coped parapet. North aisle is battlemented and has cusped panelled finials to corners. West tower of 4 stages, the first with C19 plank door to west within 4-centred arch with moulded surround. 2 rows of C15 cusped panelling to either side. Restored 3-light Perpendicular window to second stage within chamfered arch, and with hood mould. To north and south of third stage a restored 2-light Decorated window within chamfered arch. 2-light bell-chamber openings with scallop tracery to north, south and west of fourth stage. Tower is battlemented with pinnacles to corners. Stair turret to south rising to all 4 stages. The church has a plinth, and angle buttresses, the clasped polygonal buttresses of the tower with nodding ogee niches to third stage. Gables are coped. Interior: chancel, restored C19, has hammerbeam and arched brace roof supported on carved corbels. Nave arcade of 5 bays has double chamfered arches supported on shafted piers with smaller shafts supporting C19 nave and C15 aisle roofs. Bases of piers are broached. Complete stone stair to former roodscreen to east of south arcade has chamfered openings. 4-centred vestry door to south aisle. West tower arch is triple chamfered and rests upon round piers with polygonal capitals. Some C15 stained glass in east window of south aisle; and to north and east of north aisle. The remaining stained glass is C19. Pulpits, choirstalls and pews C19. Three Cl9 wall monuments, and one dated 1737 in south aisle with moulded sandstone surround and segmental pediment.

3 Dugdale mentions that the church was valued at 6 marks in the ecclesiastical taxation assessment of 1291. He also includes a list of incumbent clerics starting with Hugo De Underwood in 1252.

4 Chatwin suggested that the church may have originated as a castle chapel. The church is located just outside the bailey, with the churchyard butting up against the bailey earthwork. Furthermore, the inconvenient position of the church has resulted in the alter being nearly 10 feet higher than the floor of the west end and even the chancel cuts into the hill side. This all suggests that the present church developed from a much smaller building.

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