St John the Baptist, Latton, Wiltshire

Feature Sets (4)


The current church consists of a chancel, a nave, N and S transepts, a small S porch and a broad W tower. The lower part of the W tower dates from the 12thc but the upper part is Perpendicular. The transepts date from c1300. The arch into the nave from the tower and the chancel arch both date from the 12thc and there is a late 12thc S door. 


The Domesday Survey records Latton as held by Regenbald the priest. It was worth £10, with its 2 mills, 200 acres of meadow and a pasture. No church is mentioned.


Exterior Features


South Doorway

Contained within the S porch there is an elaborate late 12thc doorway. Outside the opening there is a single order of shaft decorated with twisting, three-dimensional chevron and scallop capitals which are 0.23m high including a 0.08m high chamfered abacus and a 0.03m high neck. The arch has chevron lateral to the face, moulded with two rolls and a hollow chamfer. This chevron is 0.25m wide and 0.18m deep. Outside it there is a hoodmould decorated with small, octagonal studs. The tympanum is built of blocks and is undecorated. Buckler illustrated the door in the early 19thc.

Height of opening 2.23m
Width of opening 1.12m

Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches

Chancel Arch

The chancel arch dates from the 12thc but was renewed in the 19thc. The opening consists of two orders. The inner order is plain but the outer one has a single shaft with scalloped capitals (0.39m high including a chamfered abacus 0.16m high and a neck 0.03m high). The abacus continues around the inner order as an impost. The capitals are 0.18m wide at the top. The arch has two plain orders with a label decorated with a series of billet-like studs, some of which have been renewed in the 19thc.

Tower/Transept arches

West Tower

The W tower has an opening into the nave. The arch consists of two orders, each decorated with a small chamfer terminated beneath the impost with a small, scalloped, decorative rather than structural corbel (0.15m high). The impost is a simple chamfered form 0.12m high and the double, chamfered order arch has a label around it decorated with cylindrical billet. Above the tower arch there is a small, round headed window

Width of opening 2.34m

Loose Sculpture

Fragment of a Cross Shaft

There is a much eroded fragment of a cross-shaft. The clearest carving is a roundel containing an animal that looks like a horse. However, above it there is a pair of fingers, possibly suggesting the subject matter of the Agnus Dei. On one of the side faces there is a crude head 0.10m high and 0.07 wide, while on the other there may have been a similar head.


Height 0.36m
Width 0.18m


The chancel was rebuilt twice in the 19thc, in 1858-63 by William Butterfield.


  • Anon. St John the Baptist's Church, Latton Private Press

  • Historic England listing 1284123

  • F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications or England’s Patron Saints, London 1899, III, 176.

  • J. Buckler, Unpublished album of drawings. Devizes Museum, vol. VIII, plate 65.

  • DCMS Listing Description.

  • N. Pevsner and B. Cherry, Buildings of England: Wiltshire. Harmondsworth 1975, 2nd edition, 293.


Site Location
National Grid Reference
SU 093 968 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Wiltshire
now: Wiltshire
now: Bristol
medieval: Old Sarum
now: St John the Baptist
medieval: St John Baptist
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Allan Brodie, John Wand 
Visit Date
28 August 1993