Church of St John the Baptist

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Things to do


Date of travel

March, 2016

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St John the Baptist is the parish church and is set back from the High Street near the Guildhall. The building dates from 1822 and replaced an ancient church with Saxon and Norman work which was falling down. Many of the old memorials were rescued and placed in the new building. From the outside it is a rather characterless building with a plain tower at the west end and low battlemented side aisles.

The inside is more interesting than the outside. Tall slender cast iron columns support the roof and there is a gallery round three sides of the church. Above the west door is a painting of the Last Supper by Franz de Cleyn , who was court painter to James VI of Scotland and I off England. This originally hung in St George’s Chapel before being given to St John the Baptist by George III. It hung above the altar until the apse was added in the late C19th. It has been described as a ‘National Treasure’.

Midway down the nave is the mayor’s pew with the Royal Arms of the Borough of Windsor. On the side walls are memorials to the great and good, many of which came from the old church. One of the most attractive is the 1605 memorial to the kneeling figures of Edward and Elinor Jobson with their six sons, including a baby and four daughters.

A delicately carved screen separates the chancel from the nave.This was placed here to commemorate the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria. The chancel apse has a lovely ‘boat’ ceiling with carved stone angels playing musical instruments around the base.

The base of the five sides of the apse are covered by a beautiful golden mosaic reredos with images of angels and symbols of the passion. It is topped with stone angels. Above are five lancet stained glass windows.

On the right is the royal pew with the two thrones being given by Princes Augusta, the daughter of George III who regularly worshipped here. Across the front is a rail with panels of a pelican feeding its young, that were carved by Grinling Gibbons.

Opposite is the vestry with flags of the Royal Airforce and Royal Navy.

There is a lot to see and enjoy in the church and it is worth making an effort to visit. The church is open daily. The post code is SL4 1LT and the grid reference is SU969768.

There are more pictures “here.”:


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