Hornton: St John the Baptist, Hornton
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The Church is a Grade I listed.
Both church and village are built from the same golden Hornton stone - ironstone - which was once quarried locally.The building dates from the late 12C. The nave and north aisle, the Norman pillars and the cylindrical font have survived from this period. In the 13C the chancel seems to have been re-constructed and the north aisle lengthened to the west. In the early 14C the chancel was rebuilt and a chapel added on the north side. The south arcade of two bays was built and a clerestory added. A flat timbered roof replaced the steeply pitched one and the doorways and the windows were re-modelled. The Tower dates from 14C. During the 15C a four light east window was added. The remains if a reredos of this period can be seen next to the pulpit
The church is fortunate to have several intriguing examples of medieval wall painting, giving a glimpse of how rich and colourful the interior might have looked. There is a fine 14C pieta on the left of the chancel and a figure of St.George. This painting depicts the Black Prince as St.George as can be seen from the fleur-de-lys, the Black Prince's emblem, in the background.
The famous painting over the chancel arch is known as the "Doom". These strange, pale figures represent part of a painting of The Last Judgement. From recent research it appears to date from 12C or 13C. It was overpainted in suceeding centuries, including a coat of limewash during Cromwell's time. Originally it must have extended over the entire chancel arch and down both sides underneath the pieta and St.George.
In the floor of the south aisle there are two brass figures purported to be of a yeoman, Thomas Sharman (died 1586) and his son. There is also a small fragment of medieval glass remaining, depicting the arms of the Verdun family who were owners of the lay manor of Horley and Hornton.
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The current editor is: Brian HYDER-SMITH