The Church of St John the Baptist lies at the heart of Harringworth.
The Parish Church of St. John the Baptist was initially built in the 13th-century, although work on the tower may have commenced in the late 12th-century. It consists of a Chancel, Nave, North and South Aisles, Tower with spire and South Porch.
The present chancel arch was constructed towards the end of the 13th century and the nave, aisles and south porch were rebuilt in the 14th-century. The chancel dates from the late 15th century and is the same width as its predecessor. The walls are largely constructed in coursed limestone rubble and larger squared stones, although the south aisle is built in high quality ashlar with some banding in ironstone.
During the 17th century, the piers on the north arcade were replaced and the north clearstorey was rebuilt. The church survey book (NRO, X622 (7)) records that between 1681 – 3 the spire was extensively repaired and possibly rebuilt. Repairs to the buttresses on the north side are also recorded.
In the 18th century, the Tryon family added a large burial vault which is located on the north aisle.
The tower contains 6 bells and a clock, which was erected in 1877, at a cost of £100 by Lt. Col. Tryon (Kelly’s Directory 1940). Further restoration work in 1891 was primarily focused on the roof.
Detailed architectural descriptions of the church’s structure, fittings and monuments can be found in the book An Inventory of Architectural Monuments in North Northamptonshire 1984. Royal Commission on Historical Monuments. A copy is available from Corby Library.
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Further reading relating to the church’s history
- Information regarding the long serving Vicars of Harringworth as recorded in Kellys Directories can be found in section 1.11 of the Harringworth Millennium Book.
- Plan and brief description of Harringworth Church
- For information relating to a helmet, crest and coat of arms associated with the church
- Excerpt from The Church Bells of Northamptonshire (dated 1878)
- In 1888, Rev. F S Edmonds, vicar from 1886 -1898 published a booklet to raise money for the Church Restoration Fund – ‘Notes on Harringworth, it’s Church and History’
- Document describing Church dated 1988
- In June 1999 the Northamptonshire Family History Society recorded the memorial inscriptions in the Church and Graveyard. They have published a booklet which can be ordered via their website