St John the Baptist's church has an early 11thc. W tower with an octagonal upper storey and broach spire of c. 1200, an 11thc. nave to which aisles were added, the N in the late 12thc. and the S, along with its porch, in the 13thc. The chancel has a 12thc. N chapel and a broad S chapel (the Walcot Chapel) of c. 1500. The chancel was lengthened and a wider chancel arch built c. 1300. Shortly afterwards the E part of the S nave aisle was widened to form a chapel, and the N chancel chapel was also rebuilt at this time, with a vestry added to the E of it. There was a major restoration in 1853-55, which included the removal of a 13thc. wall blocking the tower arch and the strengthening of the tower walls with iron bands. In the 1935-37 restoration these bands were removed and a number of openings unblocked.
Construction is of Barnack ashlar, all neatly cut except for the Anglo-Saxon portions, built of large irregular blocks with long and short quoins on the angles. Photographs of the celebrated Anglo-Saxon W tower, tower doorway and chancel arch are included here, but descriptions are confined to the Romanesque work. This comprises the N arcade and N chancel chapel arch, the N doorway and a corbel and capital reset in the S rood-loft stair. Notice has also been taken of the Christ in Majesty relief, now set in the N aisle, which has been variously dated between the early 11th and the 13thc.
The vill was first noted in 664 as a grant by Wulfhere, King of Mercia, to Peterborough Abbey (then Medeshamstede). The only mention of the manor in 1086 recorded that 3 hides were held by Otbert of William fitzAnsculf. No church was noted, although parts of the present building were certainly there, and presumably still in the hands of Peterborough.
Benefice of Barnack with Ufford and Bainton.
|h of opening||2.20 m|
|w of opening||1.20 m|
|d of plinth||0.23 m|
|h of block||0.99 m|
|h of plinth||0.04 m|
|max. d of block||0.22 m|
|w of block||0.46 m|
|w of plinth||0.52 m|
Victoria County History: Northamptonshire. II (1906).
A. W. Clapham, 'A Figure of Christ in Majesty at Barnack', Antiquaries Journal13 (1933), 468.
P. G. M. Dickinson, Barnack Church Guide. Barnack 1968 (revised J. M. Goodwin 1990).
A. Gardner, English Medieval Sculpture. Cambridge 1955, 38.
T. D. Kendrick, Late Anglo-Saxon and Viking Art. London 1949, 146.
L. Musset, Angleterre Romane: I. Le Sud. La-Pierre-qui-Vire, 1983, 70-71.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Bedfordshire and the County of Huntingdon and Peterborough. Harmondsworth 1968, 207-10.
D. Talbot Rice, English Art 871-1100. Oxford 1952, 114-15.