Adwick-upon-Dearne is a village in the Doncaster borough of South Yorkshire, near Mexborough. The church of St John the Baptist is a small building standing at the end of the village, consisting of chancel, nave and open bellcote, weathered. Romanesque features include the south doorway (which has an Early English porch), the original chancel arch, and some miscellaneous material. There is a modern vestry on the north side. All the exterior is coated with grey pebbledash and the building is roofed in blue slate. According to the church guide, the walls were built of limestone and sandstone, and the slate roof replaced thatched reeds in 1881. Borthwick Institute, York, holds consecration deeds 1822, Fac. 1881/5 and Fac. 1910/26.
The church is not mentioned in Domesday Book. A church here was granted to Nostell Priory by Swein son of Ailric in the time of archbishop Thurstan, 1114-1130, confirmed by Alric’s son Adam c.1153-4; a priest and rector of Adwick witnessed a Pontefract priory charter of c.1120-1130 (Thompson and Clay 1933, 2-3).
A round-headed doorway of one plain order flush with the main walling. There is a narrow chamfer on the angle of the jambs only. At the springing, the jambs can be seen to project further into the doorway than the arch does, and on the L side, where better preserved, there is perhaps a rebate for a tympanum.
|h. of opening||2.73m|
|w. of opening||0.98m|
The window in the centre of the N wall of the chancel is round-headed and may be original; the pair of pointed windows in the S wall at the E end may reuse an old window head and voussoirs.
An external pilaster has been added to the W wall to help support the bellcote. The thickened wall extends above the main roof of the nave to make a small gable with a slated roof shedding to N and S. There are two vaguely round-headed openings through the extension, each containing a Victorian bell. Some shaping of the dividing wall is still visible through the pebble-dash and it may have chamfered angles. There is a thin impost, and at the same level a string course runs round the outer part and just under the little roof.
|W. of pilaster||2.9m|
There is a copy of a photograph of the arch removed in 1910 on display in the church. The arch was round-headed, with plain and square jambs and plain and chamfered imposts; it resembles an early twelfth-century arch, but showing no signs of wear. The present arch is a replacement.
There is part of a Maltese cross head built into the wall above the W window in the S chancel wall. It is flanked by two fragments, roughly mirror-images of each other, having a fat angle roll curving round one edge.
|Dimension of straight window-head below these fragments||approx. 1.05m|
The Yorkshire Church Notes of Sir Stephen Glynne (1825-1874), L. A. S. Butler, ed. Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series (159), Woodbridge 2007.
St John’s Parochial Church Council, St John’s church Adwick upon Dearne: A Guided Tour, 2011.
W. Farrer, Early Yorkshire Charters 3, Leeds 1916.
Joseph Hunter, South Yorkshire, Deanery of Doncaster 1, Nichols, London 1828, 389.
G. Lawton, Collectio rerum ecclesiasticarum de diocesi Eboracensi; or, collections relative to churches and chapels within the Diocese of York. To which are added collections relative to churches and chapels within the diocese of Ripon, New edition, London 1842.
J. E. Morris, The West Riding of Yorkshire, London 1911, 2nd edn. 1923, 75-6.
N. Pevsner, revised by E. Radcliffe, The Buildings of England, Yorkshire, The West Riding, Harmondsworth 1967, 74.
A. H. Thompson and C. T. Clay (ed.), Fasti Parochiales I part I (Deanery of Doncaster), Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series 85 (1933), 2-3.
J Raine, 'The Dedications of the Yorkshire Churches', Yorkshire Archaeological Journal 2 (1873).
P. F. Ryder, Saxon Churches in South Yorkshire, South Yorkshire County Council Archaeology Monograph no.2. Sheffield 1982.