Friday, 13 March 2015

St John the Baptist South Moreton

This has been another on my Todo list for a while and though I had been to visit the church may times I failed to find the door open of find any one home to ask. I eventually found out where the key was kept and after asking was allowed to visit the inside for some photos St John the Baptist is part of the Churn Benefice and the last one to I had to visit. No doubt there has been a church here on this site as next door are the remains  Mott & Bailey castle and one was most likely built nearby for some protection and people to worship in.

 This is a view of the south side of the church with it's porch doorway the church also an arguably Saxon doorway which I am unsure as to where it is

 Looking from the east corner of the churchyard

the view form the North West where you can see a couple of blocked up doorways, was one the Saxon doorway?

Looking from the North East with a chest tom in the foreground. The Yew tree to the left is around 1000 plus years old

 Going through the door from the porch you first see this south aisle chapel

before going through to the main part of the nave to see down the aisle there
Here you can see the dividing wall with it's archways & pillars

 The main altar has a plain covering on it and there is a lack of stained glass in the window above

To the left is a very nice stone pulpit that has its own door leading to some stare which give you entrance through another door to the pulpit itself, the door was locked to no view from the pulpit. In from of the altar is this tomb with some superb brass on it. I did not check it's age or who was buried there 
I never know what this pew is for though it does have some nice carved finals on it

Here you look back down the aisle to the small organ you see at the back. One of the lady's who visit look after the church at least has made  a beautiful display

At the back is a small plaque with  a list of those me who lost their lives in the defense of this country in the First World War

The list of fallen some most likely had relations in my Village

The area Foulscote still exists a mile or so outside the village

I love coming across these old benefaction plaques, it was quite a lot of money Edward Shermane left to the village. On the right is a memorial to John Kerby who is buried in the church

The small church organ

Another memorial to a John Kerby and his Wife Sarah, no doubt son of the other John Kerby . View of the top of the pew and the candles to light the lectern on the pulpit

Going over to the South Aisle we look at a side that looks in more regular more use

The altar has a more colourful cloth and the cross and banner in the background newer

Looking over towards the man aisle

One thing I noticed was the keeler by the altar moved and revealed this memorial  under it

along with a couple more nearby which date back to the 17th century

In the corner by the altar is this small blocked off window which looks old but I could not hazard a guess as to if it is Saxon or Norman

On one side is a banner and further along the aisle you can see the memorial to the dead of the second war

If you look up you can see the roof supports with carved heads supporting them

 like the face here on the left or on the central arch on the right

 At the back is the carved stone font

and if you look along the pews 

you can see the handy  work of the Women's Institute or Union

 As I was about to go I noticed a line of what looked like a tomb poking out from beside the carpet and on pulling it back it unveiled this wonderful old tomb, I thought what a shame some of it is damaged.

Going back out for a quick wander round the churchyard

you find the north side had most of the graves in

Going towards the east end you find many more and at the end an extension has been built for new burials

Round the south side of the church near the entrance is a Yew tree of considerable age

and even under its bows you can find headstones

going back round the north again a solitary tomb chest

I always see something new when visiting a church again and this time I noticed the headstops

or grotesque if you like but I do like this one

One nice this was the snowdrops were out
After finally seeing St John the Baptist inside I felt a little disappointed. The church is looking more run down than I would have thought and needs  money spent on restoration, I wonder how long it will be before it becomes part of the Conservation Trust. If your in the area then do stop off and visit the church if you can as it is quite a pleasant one to look round.
Before you go could you vote on the poll I placed in the side bar I'm considering a change of name for the blog to something less morbid sounding

Wishing you a pleasant Sunday


  1. Bill, once again you have found a beauty and have recorded all the details. What a lovely tour. Thanks Tom The Backroads Traveller

  2. a lovely tour - especially like the rose design on the kneeler