Melmerby St John the Baptist » Church Directory

Melmerby St John the Baptist

Contact: Canon Stephen Pye
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Biographical Info

Although of C13th origin St. John’s has experienced the familiar C19th heavy restoration. In plan form the church comprises nave and north aisle with tower to the north west corner, vestry to the north side and porch to the south side. The structure is of random coursed red sandstone walling with much evidence of alteration. The roof is of slate in random and diminishing courses over an exposed timber roof structure of C19th origin. Evidence of the east gable end wall and the north wall suggests that the aisle roof has been raised to accommodate a gallery accessed from the tower stair by a doorway now blocked. The gallery and supporting arcade have been removed leaving a rather uncomfortably eccentric space. The tower was built in 1848 with castellated parapet and stepped castellated stair turret. The porch now attached to the south side is reputed to have been dismantled and removed from the west end gable wall in 1895. Windows generally to the south and east elevations appear to be C19th inserts into an earlier structure. The small windows to the north elevation could be mediaeval. There are two mediaeval grave slabs in good condition set into the floor of the chancel. Unusually the east window is clear glazed with plain sheet glass rather than leaded lights. Local knowledge informs that the leaded lights were blown out by a particularly severe ‘Helm Wind’ and that funds could not be raised for reinstatement.

Categories: Church of England