Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of CHURCH OF ST JOHN THE BAPTST
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Statutory Address:

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

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


MARKYATE CHURCH END TL 0516 (North side) 7/144 Church of St. John 26.1.67 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 W tower dated by '1734' on bell in tower and stone plaque inside now at W end of S aisle 'THIS CHAPEL/WAS BUILT & INDOWED BY/JOHN COPPIN/OF MERGERET CELL.ESQ/IN YE YEAR 1734'. S aisle dated by exterior oval stone plaque 'THIS/CHAPEL ENLARGED/BY JOS HOWELL ESQR./ AD 1811'. Matching N aisle 1841 for Daniel Goodson Adey probably by T.L. Donaldson (ex inf Goodhart Rendell index at NMR) with triangular vestry built in N angle with tower. General restoration for Rev Francis Wm Adey 1874. N door blocked, S door formed, S porch added and NW vestry enlarged 1875. Gothic E parts added after it became a parish church, 1888 date on specification by John R Brown of Luton, external E end foundation stone, laid by Mrs. Mary Brooke Adye on St. John the Baptist's day AD1892 .... J R Browne and Son Archts: W G Durham Builder. Oldest walling on tower and W wall of dark red brick chequered with blue headers, sandier red brick in chequered walling with stone dressings of N aisle, dull red with random black bricks in S aisle, plum brick to S porch, plum brick with Bath stone dressings to E 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 SW part of Cell Park approached from the N from the drive. It consisted of a long narrow building with small crenellated slender W bell tower, diagonal buttresses to each angle, central entrance on N with 4 windows, probably 5 matching windows on S side, and large round-headed E window. When the S aisle was added in 1811 three windows were probably re-used and a S arcade on wooden pillars was inserted and probably the W gallery. This arcade was rebuilt in brick in 1841 when the N arcade and N aisle were added presumably re-using the stone N doorway and 4 windows from the former N wall, and extending the W gallery. Drawings preserved in the church show that those arcades of 1842 were of 3 bays flanked by shorter bays at each end blocked by screen walls. The present 3-bays arcades date from the restoration and rebuilding of the nave roof in 1874-5 when the N entrance was blocked and the S entrance formed. The later eastern parts in Decorated style consist of a raised chancel, SE chapel and NE vestry. The church now has its own access directly from the road to the E and iron railings cut it off from the park, running 1M from the blocked N door. The Nave has wide semi-circular arched arcades of 3 stepped shallow orders and dripmould raised on thick octagonal piers with coved capitals. 6-bays open timber collar-truss roof boarded under the rafters. S Aisle has 2 round-headed windows with rectangular leaded glazing, central division, and wrought iron teramenta. S door formed in lower part of a third window, C18 fielded panelling fixed to S wall with carved panels probably from a pulpit. Grey marble wall monument to Joseph Howell d.1819. N Aisle has 4 similar round headed windows, one with a quarry inscribed '.... Halsey .... 1758', and a central recess behind the blocked N doorway. Parts of C18 pews re-used in C19 re-seating one marked 'INCUMBENT' is renewed. W gallery of timber with bowed front on 4 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 appproached by steps. The W-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 S side with octagonal flue topping SW corner buttress of nave. S-porch is gabled with tile roof and gable parapet. Circular opening in gable over arched doorway of 2 stepped orders with keystone only to the inner. Fielded panel double doors probably re-used from N door. The Chancel is entered through a wide pointed arch with corbelled jamb-shafts and profuse carved leaf capitals. 2 bays Dec arcade gives onto SE chapel. Lesser arch on corbelled shafts divides off E end. Triple trefoil arches in S wall for piscina and stepped sedilia. Similar shafts flank 3-light E 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. (VCH (1908)190: Kelly (1914)183-4: Pevsner (1977)246: 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.

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