St John the Baptist, East Ayton, Yorkshire, North Riding

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Feature Sets (4)


The exterior of the building is largely 15thc, as some significant rebuilding and re-modelling of the church appears to have happened then, and the buttresses would have been added to the nave and chancel.  The upper part of the tower would also date from this period but the lower story may be the original 12thc structure.  The porch dates from 1634 (see date stone).  Some further alterations/additions were made towards the end of the 18thc. Norman elements include a doorway in the S wall of the nave, the imposts of the chancel arch and, possibly, some small windows. 


There are no records for the church before the early 14thc.


Exterior Features


Doorway - S wall of the nave

A doorway or single order with extensive beakhead ornament.  Each head is formed of a roughly triangular shape, with a thin, raised central beak, bulbous raised eye sockets and two areas of raised, semi-circular ridges above.  Small, hollowed, inverted triangles have been placed on either side of the top of the head. The arch is enclosed by a narrow moulding.

Height (outer) 2.30m
Width of opening 1.16m
Width (outer) 1.62m

(Priest's) Doorway

A small doorway to the right side of the vestry was rebuilt or remodelled with 12thc masonry.


Windows - S wall of the Chancel

In the S wall of the chancel, there are two windows remodelled with 12thc masonry.

Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches

Chancel arch

L and R imposts of the arch are roughly rectangular, with broad chamfer.




This is a tube font decorated with a continuous low-relief arcading. The arches are supported by wider columns with capitals and bases; all resting on a wide curved band of roll moulding. The mouldings representing the arches and columns are of various width.

Height 0.61m
Width 0.85m


The uneven distribution of the heads in the arch of the S doorway may suggest that it has been reset at some point.


  • F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications or England’s Patron Saints, London 1899, III, 39.

  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Yorkshire, The North Riding, Harmondsworth, 1966, 67.

  • A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 2, ed. William Page, London, 1923, 225-231.


Site Location
East Ayton
National Grid Reference
SE 992 850 
now: North Yorkshire
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Yorkshire, North Riding
medieval: York
now: York
now: St John the Baptist
medieval: St John the Baptist
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Jeffrey Craine 
Visit Date
September 2001