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 is in the village of Aldford, Cheshire, England. The church has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed building. 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's Church, Waverton and St Mary's Church, Bruera.

History

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.

Architecture
Exterior

The church is built in red sandstone with a grey-green slate roof and a shingled spire. 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.

Interior

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. 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. 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. At the base of the tower is a list of rectors going back to about 1300. 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. The ring consists 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.

External features

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. Also in the churchyard is a sundial with a copper plate on a sandstone pier which probably dates from the 18th century. The churchyard walls and gates date from around 1866. The walls are made from squared rubble red sandstone and the gates are of oak. All these structures are listed Grade II. To the north of the church are the earthworks and some stone fragments remaining from Aldford Castle.