St John the Baptist Church
Religious Place Stockton on Tees North Yorkshire

St John the Baptist Church

Religious Place In Stockton on Tees, North Yorkshire

An 11th Century Church in the village of Egglescliffe

St John the Baptist Church is an Anglican church in the village of Egglescliffe, Stockton-on-Tees. It is a perpendicular church, built in the Norman style. The perpendicular style was part of the English Gothic movement that was popular from the 14th to 17th century. There has been a church on the site for at least 900 years, however the original date of construction is unknown. There is a theory that the origin of the name “Egglescliffe” means “the church on the cliff”.

There is a piece of a carved cross in the entrance porch to the church which was found on site and dated at over 1000 years old which may suggest Christianity was practiced at this site for even longer than thought.

The earliest surviving parts of the church date from the 12th century, including the nave, chancel, and west tower. The church was extensively rebuilt in the 14th and 15th centuries, and the current Perpendicular style was largely completed in the 16th century.

The church has a number of notable features, including a 15th-century font, a 16th-century pulpit, and a number of stained glass windows. The most famous window is the East Window, which was designed by William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones in 1878. The window depicts the Tree of Jesse, a biblical genealogy of Jesus Christ.

There are also some quite unusual things to keep an eye out for when you visit the church. When you arrive at the main door you will no doubt see the sundial above it, this is a 1963 replica of the 1779 original and the Latin inscription translates to “be mindful of death”. One thing you might not spot, however, are a series of grooves in the door jamb. These are thought to be marks from where villages used the stone to sharpen their knives.

The box pews in St John the Baptist Church date from around 1633 and are irregular in size as each one was made to fit the family who paid for them. There is a Priests door in the southern wall of the church which would have been used in the middle ages by the rector to access the church to maintain it. It is very small, although the floor levels have been raised over the years.

My favourite little detail at the church was pointed out to me by one of the volunteers present during my visit and it involves a beautifully decorated memorial plaque behind the lectern. The memorial is for a man from Newsham (a nearby village) who died in 1611, but it wasn't erected until 1663, perhaps because it took his son that long to be able to afford it. If you look closely, however, you will spot that the sculptor missed the “S” out of Newsham and had to add it in later!

St John the Baptist Church is a Grade I listed building and is open to the public for worship and for tours, there was a coffee morning about to start when we visited on a Wednesday.

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How To Find St John the Baptist Church

Where Is St John the Baptist Church?

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54.512007, -1.351891

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Where To Park For St John the Baptist Church?

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54.512276, 54.512276

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Parking is tight in Egglescliffe and there isn't any parking directly adjacent to the Church but you can park on the street on Butts Lane nearby.

Contributed by Andrew Gardner

I love being outdoors, in nature, and experiencing the relaxation it brings. Wandering through the northern countryside seeing unexpected buildings, historic places and occasionally surprised wildlife is one of life's great pleasures.

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Andrew Gardner

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St John the Baptist Church was listed in Religious Place // North Yorkshire // Stockton on Tees