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Church of St John the Baptist and attached railings and gates

A Grade I Listed Building in Cirencester, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.7176 / 51°43'3"N

Longitude: -1.9678 / 1°58'4"W

OS Eastings: 402319

OS Northings: 202092

OS Grid: SP023020

Mapcode National: GBR 3QY.7B9

Mapcode Global: VHB2Q.V314

Plus Code: 9C3WP29J+2V

Entry Name: Church of St John the Baptist and attached railings and gates

Listing Date: 14 June 1948

Last Amended: 24 May 1993

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1206356

English Heritage Legacy ID: 365379

Location: Cirencester, Cotswold, Gloucestershire, GL7

County: Gloucestershire

District: Cotswold

Civil Parish: Cirencester

Built-Up Area: Cirencester

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Cirencester St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester

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Listing Text


578-1/4/253 (North side)
14/06/48 Church of St John the Baptist and
attached railings and gates
(Formerly Listed as:
(North side)
Church of St.John the Baptist)
(Formerly Listed as:
(North side)
Church Yard railings and gates to
Church Path)


Church. Chancel c1115, enlarged c1180 and 1240 with early C14
and early C15 alterations; St Catherine's Chapel originally
C12 north chancel aisle altered and enlarged mid C15 and
early/mid C16; Lady Chapel c1240, rebuilt mid C15; Chapel of
St John the Baptist originally C12 south chancel aisle altered
and enlarged mid C14; Trinity Chapel 1430; aisled nave c1120
and c1240, west end of aisles rebuilt early C14 to accommodate
tower buttresses, nave rebuilt except west end of aisles
1515-1530; south porch c1490; west tower early C15. South
porch restored 1831-33; complete restoration 1865-7 by Sir
George Gilbert Scott including removal of C18 galleries and
box pews.
Chancel, Lady Chapel, Chapel of St John the Baptist and west
ends of aisle naves coursed squared limestone; St Catherine's
Chapel, vestry, Trinity Chapel, nave, south porch and west
tower limestone ashlar. Chancel, St Catherine's and St John
the Baptist's Chapels have stone slate roofs; Trinity Chapel
and nave have lead roofs; roof covering to Lady Chapel, south
porch and tower not visible, probably lead.
3-bay chancel with St Catherine's Chapel and Lady Chapel to
north, Chapel of St John the Baptist and vestry to south;
6-bay aisled nave with Trinity Chapel to north; 3-storey south
porch; 3-stage west tower.
Chancel: east gable has offset angle buttresses, 5-light
lancet window with moulded hood, south wall has two 2-light
square-headed clerestory windows with cusped lights, one
2-light pointed window with geometrical tracery.
St Catherine's Chapel: east gable has offset angle buttress to
north, 4-light window with panel tracery with 4-centred arch
head and hoodmould, north wall has four 3-light clerestory
windows with Tudor arch heads.
Lady Chapel: east gable has offset angle buttresses to north,
5-light window with panel tracery with depressed arch head and
hoodmould, embattled parapet with blind tracery and crocketed
finials, north wall rebuilt c1820 except east window has 4
three-light pointed windows with panel tracery, to east
renewed, largely blocked and different pattern tracery,
moulded string with gargoyles and parapet continued from east
Vestry: single-storey with 5 single-light windows in splayed
reveals to east wall, 3 similar windows to south wall, coped
Chapel of St John the Baptist: east gable has 3-light lancet
window with hoodmould, south wall has two 2-light pointed
windows with geometrical tracery, small door in splayed
reveal, embattled parapet.
Trinity Chapel: east gable wall has one 5-light window with
panel tracery with Tudor arch head, plinth with moulded top,
north-east angle buttress continued above embattled parapet
with blind tracery as crocketed finial, north wall has four
4-light pointed windows with panel tracery and hoodmoulds,
plinth with moulded top and offset buttresses continued above
embattled parapet with blind tracery as crocketed finials.
North nave aisle; east gable wall has 5-light lancet window in
basket arch opening, embattled parapet with blind tracery and
NE angle buttress continued as crocketed finial above parapet,
north wall has five 4-light clerestory windows with panel
tracery, 4-centred arch heads with hoodmoulds, one similar
window to W end 3 lights high, W wall has one 4-light pointed
window with panel tracery.
North porch: north wall has pointed doorway with moulded stone
surround, embattled parapet.
South nave aisle: east gable wall has openwork parapet with
crocketed finials, south wall has to east of south porch two
4-light clerestory windows with panel tracery and 4-centred
arch heads over two 2-light pointed windows with panel tracery
and hoodmoulds, one 4-light window, 3-lights high with panel
tracery and 4-centred arch head similar to clerestory windows;
2 similar windows to west of south porch; offset buttresses
continued as crocketed finials above openwork parapet; west
wall has one 5-light pointed window with panel tracery and
Nave: east gable wall has 7-light window with panel tracery
and 4-centred arch head over chancel arch, openwork parapet
with crocketed finials, north and south walls each have six
4-light clerestory windows with 4-centred arch heads, openwork
parapet with crocketed finials has sculptures on string
South porch: 3-storeys high, 3 bays wide and 3 bays deep has
traceried panels covering south, east and west walls, to south
3 canted oriel windows to first and second floor 2 and
3-lights wide and 3-lights high with 4-centred arch heads,
ground floor has doorway to centre with 4-centred arched head
flanked by 2 small doorways with 4-centred arched heads each
with some panels above glazed; octagonal stair turrets to
north-east and north-west each linked to body of porch at
first floor by single-bay bridges with 3-light window with
panel tracery and square head with embattled parapet with
pointed arch beneath to east and west doors to porch in
4-centred arch openings, to west pair of panelled doors with
date and initials 1635 MS IH; offset angle buttresses to all
angles of porch and to south front, to south with niches,
openwork parapet with crocketed finials.
West tower: 3-stage tower has to west wall 5-light pointed
window with panel tracery over pointed doorway with moulded
stone surround with hoodmould with quatrefoils in spandrels; 2
lower stages of tower formerly concealed by other buildings
have blind traceried panels, top stage has similar panels and
3-light pointed louvred window with panel tracery to each
face; flying buttresses to east angles built into west walls
of nave aisles, offset angle buttresses to west, embattled
parapet with blind tracery, crocketed finials.
INTERIOR: Chancel: east window in mid C13 moulded arch with
shafts carrying stiff-leaf capitals, chamfered arches with
shafts to late C13 windows to north and south of sanctuary;
chancel widened to south c1180 with 2-bay arcade of which
round piers, to west with leaf capital, to east reworked Roman
column, survive now with triple chamfered pointed arches, to
west infilled by organ; north wall has 2-bay arcade with
double chamfered pointed arches of c1420, mid C14 clerestory
windows, two of two lights, one single-light with square heads
and cusped lights now partially blocked; chancel arch enlarged
to present form mid C14; chancel screen mid C16 below with
pierced carving between transom and solid panels beneath has
canopy added by Scott, raised 1906 and east side carved.
Sanctuary has carved stone reredos by Scott; mid C18 mahogany
communion rail. St Catherine's Chapel; north wall has early
C20 round-headed doorway into Lady Chapel, remnant of original
church and originally external, 3-bay pointed arcade with
hollow mouldings c1450-60 when Chapel extended east on
foundation of Chantry of St Catharine and St Nicholas,
wall-paintings of this date of St Christopher to north wall
and St Catharine to south wall, early C14 wall paintings to
west end of north wall; stone fan-vault dated 1508 donated by
Abbot John Hakebourne has bosses with his mitre and initials,
royal arms and pomegranate for Catharine of Aragon; late C15
oak screen in contemporary 4-centred arch on mid C13 bases and
lower shafts; sanctuary has reredos of 1905 carved in
Oberammergau and painted by William Butchart, communion rails
and pavement by Ninian Comper.
Lady Chapel: rebuilt c1450, timber ceiling with carved bosses
and corbels; south wall has bracket for former image of St
Nicholas; wall paintings to south wall above arcade include
Judgement to west; late C15 oak screen in contemporary
4-centred arch on mid C13 bases and lower shafts; to west C18
marble font.
Chapel of St John the Baptist; now choir vestry, organ
reconstructed 1897 in case designed by Scott now fills
north-west portion of chapel. Trinity Chapel: constructed from
1430, east wall has elaborate reredos with canopied niches,
four-bay S arcade with piers of 4 shafts and 4 hollows
surmounted by shield-bearing winged angels and with Yorkist
badge of falcon and fetterlock at apex of each moulded pointed
opening is echoed to north wall; stone-traceried openwork
screen with 2 ogee doorways to south; contemporary timber
Nave: rebuilt 1516-30, of 6 bays with arcade to north and
south aisles has tall compound piers with 8 shafts with
shields borne by demi-angels carrying arms or merchants' marks
of contributors to rebuilding, blind traceried panels to east,
north and south walls surrounding and below window over
chancel arch and below clerestory windows; east wall has to
south of chancel arch small round arch now housing Boleyn Cup,
perhaps for a recessed altar off a south transept of church of
Garstang Chapel in south-east corner of south nave aisle mid
C15 chantry chapel enclosed by carved oak screen with original
iron closing ring to door; rare C15 stone pulpit of wineglass
shape has pierced panels with crocketed canopies and pinnacles
over ogee arches with tracery, original colour retouched 1865;
Perpendicular font, probably C14, octagonal with panelled
sides in second bay from west of north arcade removed from
church C18 and restored 1865; pews by Scott copied from one
surviving original.
South Porch; fan vault and early C17 stone dole-table to
entrance, 2-storeys above rebuilt as single-height room (not
inspected) 1831-3.
MONUMENTS: numerous monuments, brasses and wall tablets, wall
tablets re-arranged by Scott, monuments include: Lady Chapel,
in north-east corner large tomb to Humfry Bridges and his
wife, 1598 and 1620, with recumbent effigies under canopy with
coffered arch with 2 sons kneeling to either end under
separate canopies and 6 daughters to front by Baldwin of
Stroud, to south wall semi-reclining effigy of Sir Thomas
Master 1680, other tablets and headstones and C15 and C17
St Catherine's Chapel, recumbent stone effigy of layman or
merchant in panelled recess to north of sanctuary.
St John the Baptist's Chapel, marble kneeling figures of
George Monox, 1638, and his wife, on raised tomb with canopy
and broken pediment attributed to Thomas Stanton of Holborn.
Trinity Chapel, Bathurst family memorials including first Earl
and Countess Bathurst, 1776, with busts by Joseph Nollekens,
bust of second Earl Bathurst, 1794, six C15 brasses.
Garstang chapel; three busts on entablature to Rebecca Powell,
founder of Powell's School, and 2 husbands, 1718.
STAINED GLASS: Mediaeval glass largely lost since C18, east
window of chancel has mediaeval glass to lower half of 3
central lights imported from Siddington, otherwise made up,
partly from fragments, in late C18 by Samuel Lysons; medieval
fragments in each window of Trinity Chapel; early C16 glass to
south window of south nave aisle; C19 glass by Hardman.
Attached railings to right of south porch approximately 2m
high, probably C19, have shaped baluster heads, dog bars and
matching gate; length of railings and gate attached to
south-east corner of vestry and bounding churchyard have
sharply pointed tops and dog bars.
An exceptional church, the largest parish church in
Gloucestershire. The railings and gates to the Church of St.
John the Baptist were listed 23.7.71.
(The Buildings of England: Verey D: Gloucestershire: The
Cotswolds: London: 1970-: PP 161-171; Rowland E Hill:
Cirencester Parish Church: Cirencester: 1981-1985; Croome WR:
The Stained Glass of Cirencester Parish Church: Cirencester:

Listing NGR: SP0231902092

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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