Church of St John the Baptist

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This is an attractive church built of the local ironstone in the small village of Yarburgh set between the Lincolnshire Wolds and the sea. It is on the unclassified road running between Grimoldby and Fulstow. The church is signed off this road and reached by a concreted path. There is no parking along this stretch of the road so we parked on the verge on the turning to the north of the church. There is a grassed footpath to the church from this road but it gets muddy in wet weather.

The church was rebuilt after a fire in 1405. The local ironstone is beginning to weather badly on the tower and has been replaced with limestone ashlar dressings in places. Corner stones are often of limestone.

The tower is massive with heavy buttresses and gargoyles. The parapet top is a later addition. Make sure you go and look at the west door with its delightful carving of Adam and Eve with the Tree of Knowledge and the serpent above. On the other side are carved shields. The arch around the door was highly carved but this has weathered badly and it is now difficult to make out details. Above is a large 15thC window.

The windows of the south wall are set in bigger arches between wall buttresses which have rather nice carved heads at the base of the window arches. Entry is through the small south porch with carved heads at the base of the door arch.

Inside there is a nave and north aisle separated by four pointed archways. The church is light and airy inside with whitewashed walls and clerestory windows adding extra light. The large square windows in the south wall have pale yellow glass which give a golden glow to the inside of the church.

Above is a beautiful wooden beam roof with carved quartefoils. The roof in the north aisle and chancel is much plainer.

A carved wooden screen cuts off the base of the tower. The wooden pews have rather nice carved ends. There is wooden pulpit with carved panels and wrought iron lectern.

At the end of the north aisle is a small stone piscina.

A simple chancel arch leads into the chancel which contains an old wooden chest with metal bands. There is a carved wooden altar rail with a wood table altar and a wood panel reredos across the width of the chancel. The stained glass east window has biblical scenes including the crucifixion, good Shepherd and Jesus preaching. Below each is a biblical comment.

On the south wall is a memorial to the dead of Work War One with 17 names, including many from the same family.

At the back of the north aisle is framed list of rectors of the parish starting from ‘before 1219’. The last entry is 1960-4.

This is a pleasant small church. There is nothing special about it and it is typical of so many English churches of its time.

No longer in use, the church is looked after by the Churches Conservation Trust and is always open.

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