Church of the Month

Categories: Church of the Month

The featured church for December 2020 is the church of St John the Baptist, Scarrington, 14 km south-west of Newark-on-Trent.

The church consists of a west tower with spire, three-bay nave, south aisle, chancel, organ chamber and vestry.

A major restoration of the building took place in 1867 under the supervision of the London architect, J. H. Hakewill. A south aisle was constructed (the medieval aisle had been demolished and the arcade bricked up c.1800), the south arcade unblocked, the roofs replaced, the chancel restored and an organ chamber added to the north chancel wall.

The west tower is of two stages, with four corner buttresses and dates from the early C14th. The ashlar spire has three tiers of lucarnes. The west doorway is of the same date, indicated by the ballflower decoration. 

The opening to the organ chamber on the north side of the chancel is spanned by a medieval timber lintel with a boss in the form of a carved head with branches emerging from its mouth, possibly a representation of a Green Man.

The three-bay, double-chamfered south arcade dates to the early C14th. The pier to the east is octagonal with a moulded round base, round seat and a foliate capital; the round pier to the west has a water-holding base, round seat and moulded capital. The responds have moulded square bases and capitals with nailhead decoration. The arches have hood moulds and label stops only on the north side of the arcade.

The font is from 1662 and has a tapered octagonal bowl on a round shaft, strapwork panels, and C19th wooden cover.

The church has three medieval bells, one bearing the arms of the Kempe family (John Kempe was Archbishop of York 1426-52). These were silent for much of the 20th century but restored in 2002, when a fourth bell was added. The bells were augmented to five in 2004 and to six in 2007.