The Church of St John the Baptist is a Grade 1 listed structure, and has a 12th Century Tower, with a 14th Century spire, with carved heads (one with its tongue sticking out!) The top of the spire was renewed in 1892. In the tower and on the church walls are lists of benefactions to the Parish.
The original porch was 15th Century, North door 14th Century, and South doorway 15th Century. The Porch was rebuilt at various times, and last in 1909. The arches are 13th Century, the outer one having dog-tooth moulding. The inner arch is supported by one of the Tudor period.
The Nave has 14ft Century arcades with four arches on each side. Most of the South Aisle roofs are original, and have old bosses of curving stone. The Tryon family are buried in the vault in the North Aisle, the ornate wrought iron work is thought to be by Jean Tijou (1650-1712).
The interior of the Church has many carved heads, especially in the South- west comer of the North Aisle. The exterior has double-gabled buttresses on the South aisle, and two grotesques at the East end of the Chancel.
The Church was thoroughly restored during the incumbency of Rev. F.S. Edmonds, Vicar 1886-1898, and the work was completed in 1892. The Nave had been previously seated with box pews facing North, and the Pulpit placed with its back to the Tryon vault.
The East Window was the gift of the parishioners and others, in memory of those who gave their lives in the l9l4 -1918 war.
The Hatchment with the arms of the Tryon and Brereton families was to Thomas Tryon who died in 1825.
One ancient carved bench end survives beside the North door. The organ was formerly in Deene Church, Northants. The Vestry was possibly made from a family pew. The large hook is to remove burning material from thatches.
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 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