St John the Baptist, Tiffield, Northamptonshire
- Site Location
- National Grid Reference
- SP 699 517
now: Peterborough from 1539
now (or name of monument): St John the Baptist
- Type of building/monument
- Parish church
II General Description
St John's is a simple stone and rubble church with an aisled nave with three-bay arcades, square-ended chancel and an unbuttressed W tower, all to a small scale. Despite its simplicity the tower is early 14thc., and of the rest only the 13thc., N arcade is original, the S aisle and its arcade dating from E. F. Law's restoration of 1859, and the remainder due to H. C. Vernon (1873). It retains a 12thc. font, carved with foliage but unfortunately positioned hard against a pier.
Alongside pier 2 of the S arcade. The bowl is cylindrical with a recut hollow chamfer around its lower rim. It stands on a later cylindrical shaft with an octagonal chamfered base and circular moulded capital. The bowl is decorated with a band of cusping outlined below by a fillet with a row of beaded decoration. The cusping consists of five large shields and one smaller one to the E, and each is filled with a broad inverted palmette-like leaf with fluted lobes and a scalloped edge. Between the cusps, and rising from a broad chamfered lower collar, are triangular multi-lobed leaves with fluted lobes and a scalloped edge. Below the smaller E cusp is an enigmatic raised boat-shaped motif. The font is lined with lead and has a lock staple on the rim at the S, although it does not look medieval.
|overall h. of font||0.98 m|
|h. of bowl||0.38 m|
|ext. diameter at rim||0.64 m|
|int. diameter at rim||0.49 m|
The Domesday Survey recorded two holdings in Tiffield, one held by Ralph and a smaller one by William, both from the Count of Mortain although the soke of William's land belonged to Towcester (i.e. to the king). The same William held Dodford. No church was recorded in 1086.
Benefice of Pattishall with Cold Higham and Gayton with Tiffield.
The font is a product of the workshop from St Peter's, Northampton, active in the 1140s and '50s. Other fonts by these sculptors are found in the county at Green's Norton, Paulerspury, Dodford, Harpole and Weedon Lois, and nearby at Maids' Moreton (Bucks).
- N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Northamptonshire. Harmondsworth, 1961, rev. by B. Cherry 1973, 431f.