Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

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

South Northamptonshire (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SP 74511 39500


WICKEN CHURCH LANE SP7439 (West side) 17/123 Church of St. John the 17/05/60 Evangelist


Church. Medieval origins. Tower rebuilt 1617, body of Church 1753 onwards by Thomas Prowse of Wicken Park at his own expense, with the assistance of John Sanderson, and completed in 1767 after his death. Altered and enlarged by Edward Swinfen Harris 1874-90. Limestone ashlar, lead roofs. Chancel, South chapel, vestry, aisled nave, south porch and west tower. Chancel has 5-light east window with 4-centred head and 2-light windows to north and south, all with C19 Perpendicular-style and hood moulds. Large C19 gabled vestry/organ chamber to north with stone lateral stack to east side with octagonal stone flue, serving boiler-house at basement level, north door and 3-light window above with hood mould. C19 south chapel with lancet window to east and 3-light window to south with Perpendicular tracery. Nave and aisles are under one roof and have 2-light windows to north and south with C19 Decorated-style tracery. 6-panel double-leaf south door in porch dated 1839 with Tudor-arched doorway and hood mould; datestone above door in plain stone-coped parapet. Blocked 1-light window to west end of aisles with hood moulds. 4-stage tower has chamfered round-arched west door with hood mould. 4-light window above with C19 Perpendicular style tracery and hood mould. 1-light windows to intermediate stages with straight heads,cut spandrels and hood moulds. Coat of arms below lower window to south in moulded stone surround; arms probably those of Lord Spencer of Wormleighton at whose expense the tower was rebuilt. Coupled pointed-arched bell-chamber openings with hood moulds. Off-set diagonal and angle buttresses and plain stone-coped parapet with gargoyles to angles. Corner pinnacles have been dismantled. Moulded stone eaves to body of church. Interior: nave in style of hall church with narrow aisles of same height. 3-bay arcades with clustered shafts of quatrefoil section on high octagonal bases to clear former box pews. Piers have two shaft-bands and capitals in later C13 French style with shallow foliage and square abaci with hollows at angles. Slightly pointed plaster barrel vault to nave with penetrations and rosettes from which candelabra formerly hung. Groin-vaulted aisles. Aisle vaults spring from foliage corbels; similar corbels at either end of arcades. Double-chamfered tower arch. Chancel arch has responds with clustered shafts, foliage capitals and moulded 4-centred arch. Marble plaque on north wall opposite south door inscribed This Church was designed/and built by/THOMAS PROWSE Esq/in the Year 1758/And finished after his Death. Chancel has fan vault of papier mache with pierced pendant bosses. Font: square bowl of Purbeck marble with 3 shallow blank round-headed arches to each side on octagonal stem and octagonal shafts to each corner. Reredos: late C19 by E. Swinfen Harris, oak with diptych panel paintings of Annunciation and Nativity. Late C19 and early C20 stain glass to chancel, south chapel, north aisle and west window, that to chancel north 1921 by Eleanor Brickdale. Monuments: brass to Thomas House, d.1633. Wall monument to Margaret Shirte, d,lb34, with Latin inscription on brass plate in moulded stone surround. Wall monument to John Sharp, d.1726, with two seated putti holding cartouche of arms against slate obelisk background and inscription to apron flanked by scull and cross-bones. Similar wall monument to John Hosier Sharp, d.1734, son of John Sharp, with urn against obelisk background. Pair of marble wall monuments flanking tower arch of similar size. That to right has pedimented top, cherub with down-turned torch and bow-fronted inscription panel below to Anna Maria Sharp, d.1747, widow of John Sharp. That to left to Charles Hosier, d.1750, and his wife Mary, d,1724, parents of Anna Maria Sharp, by Sir Henry Cheere with open pediment, obelisk background and garlanded urn. Erected 1758, at rebuilding of Church, by Thomas Prowse and his wife Elizabeth daughter of Anna Maria Sharp and grand-daughter of Charles and Mary Hosier. Wall monument to Elizabeth Sharp, d.1810, signed by J. Bacon Jun. with draped urn against black marble background weeping willow and bas-relief with Sorrow and Charity. Early C19 wall monuments to Emily Elizabeth Fitzroy, d.1827, and Lord Charles Fitzroy, d.1829, and Reverend Henry Quartley signed P. Rouw, sculptor, Portland Road, London. (Buildings of England: Northamptonshire: 1973, pp461-2; M. Whiffen: Stuart and Georgian Churches, 1948, pp70 and 74; B.F.L. Clarke: The Building of the C18 Church; 1963, pp71 and 136-7; C.S. Dickin Moore: Wicken Church: 1967 (guide book); H. Colvin: A Dictionary of British Architects: 1978, pp666-7 and 716)

Listing NGR: SP7451139500


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Clarke, B, The Building of the Eighteenth Century Church, (1963), 71, 136-7
Colvin, H M, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840, (1978), 666-7, 716
Dickin Moore, CS , Wicken Church Guidebook, (1967)
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: Northamptonshire, (1973), 461-2


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

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Date: 03 Mar 2005
Reference: IOE01/08137/18
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Alistair F Nisbet. Source Historic England Archive
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