Church of St John the Baptist


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Church of St John the Baptist, Eton Wick Road, Eton Wick


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Statutory Address:
Church of St John the Baptist, Eton Wick Road, Eton Wick

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

Windsor and Maidenhead (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SU 95189 78341



ETON ETON WICK ROAD Church of St John the Baptist



1866-7 by A W Blomfield. Parish hall on N of 1959 by A R Borrett.

MATERIALS: Red brick with brown brick base course and black brick and limestone polychrome banding. Bath stone dressings. Brown brick parish hall. Red clay tile roofs but wooden shingling to the bell-turret

PLAN: Nave, chancel S transeptal organ chamber/vestry, S porch, N parish hall.

EXTERIOR: The exterior is dominated by a large roof which continues through at the same level over the chancel, punctuated by a bell-turret straddling the ridge diagonally at the junction of the nave and chancel. The sanctuary area, E of the S transept, is slightly narrower than the nave and choir area. The roof is steeply pitched and sweeps down low in the area of the nave. The style of the building draws freely upon medieval architecture of the late C13, whence the three-light Geometrical-style E window with its large cusped circle in the head, the two-light windows in the nave and the freely-treated W window and fenestration of the S transept. The former is of two lights with a highly individual circular opening in the head with multiple circles for tracery; the latter has three cusped trefoils under a superordinate arch, again an original treatment which is a development of, rather than a copy of medieval precedents. The main corners of the building have buttresses with offsets. The bell-turret is an important visual component of the building, having a shingled base, open middle stage and a square shingled spire above. The parish hall on the N is a plain brick structure of 1959.

INTERIOR: The church interior reflects the exterior in the use of bare red brick with limestone and polychrome banding is faced with red brick. The planning is somewhat unusual in that the choir is a structural continuation of the nave while the chancel is placed beyond an arch (normally the entire chancel is demarcated by the presence of a chancel arch). The roof is a six-sided structure with scissor braces. The capitals to the shafts to the sanctuary arch and other shafts have uncarved square blocks, suggesting that funding for embellishment was limited.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: The church is seated with open benches with square ends and interesting and most unusual open backs. At the E end there is a gabled stone reredos with foliage decoration: in the centre is a painted representation of the Agnus Dei. Over the sanctuary arch is a now rare, wooden, arched board with a text in Gothic script (Glory to GOD etc), no doubt dating from or soon after the building of the church. At the entrance to the chancel there is a low stone wall. The pulpit and stalls are fairly conventional pieces but, taken with the other fittings, are part of an unusually complete mid-Victorian scheme.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: First World War memorial cross on a stepped base immediately S of the nave

HISTORY: The church was designed by one of the most active and successful church architects of the Gothic revival, Arthur William Blomfield (1829-99) who was the fourth son of Bishop Charles J Blomfield of London (bishop 1828-56). He was articled to P C Hardwick and began independent practice in 1856 in London. His early work is characterised by a strong muscular quality and the use of structural polychrome often with continental influences. He became diocesan architect to Winchester, hence a large number of church-building commissions throughout the diocese. He was also architect to the Bank of England from 1883. Blomfield was knighted in 1889 and was awarded the RIBA's Royal Gold Medal in 1891.

St John's church is characteristic of the work of Arthur Blomfield and the work of Victorian church architects in general in the 1860s. The use of polychromy and the free development of medieval architecture was a major theme of the time and this church presents a particularly characterful and attractive example of it. A curiosity of the building is that, in the N wall of the choir, there are two straight joints either side of the windows. Normally straight joints indicate different building campaigns but this seems improbable in the case of St John's. More likely they represent an unrealised scheme to insert, after the initial building of the church, a vestry transept corresponding to the one on the S side without too much disruption to the fabric.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The church of St John the Baptist, Eton Wick, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * It is a good example of an attractive, small, mid-Victorian church by a leading church architect displaying typical characteristics of the time in terms of style and the use of building materials. * The interior is substantially intact.

This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 10 January 2017.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Brodie, A, Directory of British Architects 1834-1914 Volume 1 A-K, (2001), 204
Pevsner, N, Williamson, E, The Buildings of England: Buckinghamshire, (1994), 321
British Geological Survey, Strategic Stone Study, accessed 04/02/2020 from
War Memorials Online, accessed 10 January 2017 from
War Memorials Register, accessed 10 January 2017 from


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

Images of England

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: 10 Sep 1999
Reference: IOE01/01389/06
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Derek Reay. Source Historic England Archive
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