St John, Washingborough, Lincolnshire

Feature Sets (2)


This church consists of a W tower, a four-bay nave with side aisles, a chancel and a N chapel off the chancel. Most of the church is 13thc, with elements of late 14thc and 15thc construction. The single Romanesque feature here is the baptismal font.


Washingborough is mentioned in the Domesday Book as the head of manor of Coleby. It was taxable at 12 geld units. The lord in TRE was Earl Ralph the constable; in 1986 Washingborough was held by King William. 





The font is located in the E end of the S aisle. It is a drum-shaped, arcaded font of a very light-grey stone colour, set on a pedestal not integral with the drum. At the base of the drum is a band of intersecting, round arches with small trefoils in the intersecting spaces. Above this is a chamfered ledge which carries the sixteen-bay, rounded arch arcade. A great variety of plinth and base forms carry a variety of column shapes – semi-circular or flat, smooth or fluted, single or double columns. This same penchant for variation is also seen in the capitals and in the foliate and rosette spandrel ornaments above. The arches are beaded and the roll mould above the spandrels carries over onto the top of the font. The bowl is lead-lined with centre drain hole now plugged.

Diameter of exterior 0.83 m
Diameter of interior 0.63 m
Height of bowl 0.54 m


The exterior was renovated in 1859 by G.G. Scott and in 1861-62 by Scott & Goddard.

While the features of the font are typical for 12thc design, the crispness of some edges and the unusual design features (i.e. the angled bases) could suggest the possibility of later re-cutting.


  • F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications or England’s Patron Saints, London 1899, III, 296.

  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire. London, 1990, 782-83.


Site Location
National Grid Reference
TF 020 705 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Lincolnshire
now: Lincolnshire
medieval: Lincoln (Dorchester to 1085)
now: Lincoln
now: St John
medieval: St John the Baptist or St John the Evangelist
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Thomas E. Russo 
Visit Date
12 October 2000