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St John the Baptist, Mayfield, Staffordshire

(52°59′57″N, 1°46′19″W)
SK 154 447
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Staffordshire
now Staffordshire
  • Ron Baxter

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St John's has an aisled nave with three-bay arcades and a S doorway under a porch. The chancel is square ended and the W tower has diagonal buttresses. The S arcade and S doorway date from the 12thc., both with round arches and the arcade with cylindrical piers. The N arcade also has round arches, but the piers have a quatrefoil plan and the capitals have crockets. The style is early 13thc., therefore, but Pevsner suggests that it belongs to the rebuilding of the aisle in 1854 by F. W. Fiddian and Ewen Christian. This is incorrect; Fiddian's plan suggests that the arcade was not replaced, and it also appears on J. Buckler's drawing of 1844 (William Salt Library SV VII 69). The S porch is dated 1866, and must replace the porch shown on Fiddian's plan. The chancel windows have Y-tracery or (at the E) reticulated tracery, pointing to a date in the first half of the 14thc. The external cresting of the chancel roof looks 18thc. According to an inscription on its W face, the tower was begun by T. Rolleston in 1515. It has Perpendicular bell-openings and W window and doorway, and a battlemented parapet with eight tall pinnacles. Construction is of reddish ashlar. A plain 12thc. window head is reused as facing stone above the S porch. Two 12thc. lancets are shown above the porch in a Buckler drawing of 1839 (William Salt Library SV VII 66), but they are no longer there, and this window head probably belonged to one of them. Romanesque features recorded here are the S arcade and the S doorway.


Mayfield was held by the king in 1086, having been held by Earl Aelfgar under Edward the Confessor. A priest was recorded at that time. The Conquereor granted the estate to Henry de Ferrers, Lord of Tutbury, who bestowed the church on Tutbury Abbey.


Exterior Features


Interior Features



The W respond capital of the arcade is stylistically earlier than the others, and has a different necking profile. It appears to date fromc.1100-10, whereas the others are stylistically mid-12thc. It could be the work of an older sculptor; there is no sign that it came from elsewhere. The doorway also contains work of different periods. The cushion bases and W capital are early 12thc. in type, whereas the undercut lozenges of the arch probably belong to the third quarter of the century despite their inaccurate cutting. As noted above, features of the construction point to its having been heavily remodelled, and it was perhaps fabricated from more than one source.

Anon., Mayfield Parish Church In the County of Staffordshire. Undated church guide.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Staffordshire. Harmondsworth 1974, 204.
Drawings in William Salt Library, Stafford, nos. SV VII 66 to 70a, mostly by J. Buckler and all made between 1839 and 1844. Available online via the Staffordshire County Council, Staffordshire Views Collection webpages at Staffordshire County Council, Staffordshire Views Collection. Available online at http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/portal/page?_pageid=47,71124and_dad=portaland_schema=PORTAL