Church of St. John the Baptist


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:
Church of St. John the Baptist, Church End


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Statutory Address:
Church of St. John the Baptist, Church End

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Dacorum (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TL 05887 16898


TL 0516 7/144 MARKYATE CHURCH END (north side) Church of St. John the Baptist

(Formerly listed as Church of St John)


GV II* Chapel of ease to Caddington parish, Bedfordshire until 1877, now a parish church. Nave and west tower dated by '1734' on bell in tower and stone plaque inside now at west end of south aisle 'THIS CHAPEL / WAS BUILT & INDOWED BY / JOHN COPPIN / OF MERGERET CELL.ESQ/ IN YE YEAR 1734'. South aisle dated by exterior oval stone plaque 'THIS / CHAPEL ENLARGED / BY JOS HOWELL ESQR. / AD 1811'. Matching north aisle 1841 for Daniel Goodson Adey probably by T.L Donaldson (ex inf Goodhart Rendell index at NMR) with triangular vestry built in north angle with tower. General restoration for Rev Francis Wm Adey 1874. North door blocked, south door formed, south porch added and north west vestry enlarged 1875. Gothic east parts added after it became a parish church, 1888 date on specification by John R Brown of Luton, external east end foundation stone, laid by Mrs. Mary Brooke Adye on St. John the Baptist's day AD1892 .... J.R Browne and Son Architects: W.G Durham Builder.

Oldest walling on tower and west wall of dark red brick chequered with blue headers, sandier red brick in chequered walling with stone dressings of north aisle, dull red with random black bricks in south aisle, plum brick to south porch, plum brick with Bath stone dressings to east parts. Steep red tile roofs with metal roofs at lower pitch behind parapets to the aisles. When originally built this was a freestanding chapel in the south west part of Cell Park approached from the north from the drive. It consisted of a long narrow building with small crenellated slender west bell tower, diagonal buttresses to each angle, central entrance on north with four windows, probably five matching windows on south side, and large round-headed east window. When the south aisle was added in 1811 three windows were probably re-used and a south arcade on wooden pillars was inserted and probably the west gallery. This arcade was rebuilt in brick in 1841 when the north arcade and north aisle were added presumably re-using the stone north doorway and four windows from the former north wall, and extending the west gallery. Drawings preserved in the church show that those arcades of 1842 were of three bays flanked by shorter bays at each end blocked by screen walls. The present three-bays arcades date from the restoration and rebuilding of the nave roof in 1874-75 when the north entrance was blocked and the south entrance formed. The later eastern parts in Decorated style consist of a raised chancel, south east chapel and north east vestry. The church now has its own access directly from the road to the east and iron railings cut it off from the park, running 1 metre from the blocked north door.

The nave has wide semi-circular arched arcades of three stepped shallow orders and dripmould raised on thick octagonal piers with coved capitals. Six-bays open timber collar-truss roof boarded under the rafters. South aisle has two round-headed windows with rectangular leaded glazing, central division, and wrought iron teramenta. South door formed in lower part of a third window, C18 fielded panelling fixed to south wall with carved panels probably from a pulpit. Grey marble wall monument to Joseph Howell d.1819. North aisle has four similar round headed windows, one with a quarry inscribed '.... Halsey .... 1758', and a central recess behind the blocked north doorway. Parts of C18 pews re-used in C19 re-seating one marked 'INCUMBENT' is renewed. West gallery of timber with bowed front on four slender iron columns with C18 barley sugar twist balusters set in open panels.

Externally the Totternhoe stone round-headed windows each have moulded architrave and archivolt with keystone and impost blocks. Moulded sills below. The stone has been preserved by limewash. The central external projection has its own moulded cornice, V-jointed rusticated round arched doorway with projecting keystones. The threshold is some height above ground level and must have been approached by steps. The west tower has small pointed bell-stage openings and diagonal buttresses rising only half its height. Brick string course below crenellated parapet. Boiler chamber below ground on south side with octagonal flue topping south west corner buttress of nave. South porch is gabled with tile roof and gable parapet. Circular opening in gable over arched doorway of two stepped orders with keystone only to the inner. Fielded panel double doors probably re-used from north door.

The chancel is entered through a wide pointed arch with corbelled jamb-shafts and profuse carved leaf capitals. Two bays Decorated arcade gives onto south east chapel. Lesser arch on corbelled shafts divides off east end. Triple trefoil arches in south wall for piscina and stepped sedilia. Similar shafts flank three-light east window with stained glass 1922 by A.L. Moore and Son. Red tiled floor with diaper of black lines. Painted barrel vault. Choir stalls incorporate barley sugar twist balusters possibly from an C18 altar rail.

(RCHM Typescript on Markyate Cell: rcds kept at church).

Listing NGR: TL0588716898


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Doubleday, AH, The Victoria History of the County of Hertford, (1908), 190
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: Hertfordshire, (1977), 246
'Kelly's Directory' in Kelly's Directory, (1914), 183-4


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 03 Feb 2005
Reference: IOE01/13832/35
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr A. Gude. Source Historic England Archive
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