St John the Baptist, Piddington
The Parish Church of St John the Baptist, Piddington with Horton was built in about 1290, although it is believed that there may have been a place of worship on this site prior to that date. The Church is laid out in the traditional cross shape, but has been extensively restored and rebuilt with additions over the subsequent centuries. The accepted dedication is to St John the Baptist,though old Wills refer to St Mary the Virgin, and there is also reference to St Thomas Becket. It is a Grade 2 listed building.
The older walls are of limestone, but the aisles and porch were rebuilt in ironstone. Internally, the walls are bare stone with a wooden floor which gives the interior a warm and friendly atmosphere. Outside, the attractive Churchyard is now closed to burials.
A number of trees, both ancient and newly planted, frame the open views in three directions from the Church which occupies a surprisingly commanding position over the neighbouring countryside. The main entrance gates were the gift of an anonymous donor in 2008, while the Hackleton Parish Council installed the “kissing gate” as part of the commemoration of the Millennium.
The tower rising to a spire (described as 'strange and unsatisfactory' ) was rebuilt following a rate levy in the Parish in 1847. the style of spire is similar to those where a wooden spire tops the tower, but in this case the spire is of stone. On the east face of the tower is the clock face of the church clock, more than a 100 years old, believed to have been made by Dent and Co., who manufactured "Big Ben".
On entering the Church, you pass beneath the historic cusped niche above the porch door, believed to have been removed from an earlier location. The statue which one would expect to find in it has not been traced or recorded.