St. John the Baptist church

Rector: Rev’d Rachel Snow

The first mention of the church in Eversholt is in 1166 when Simon de Beauchamp who had recently succeeded his father gave away two-thirds of the tithes to the Priory of Newnham on the occasion of its foundation.

However the church’s roots must date back further than this point because much of the early work of the church is Norman and, if the church was founded by Simon de Beauchamp, then it is unlikely to have been completed in time for the tithes to be donated.

In the inventory of Edward VI, 4 bells are mentioned as being in the steeple and 2 sacring bells – none of these now remain. Of the present bells, 1 and 4 were cast in 1638 by Miles Gray of Colchester, 3 and 5 in 1785 and 1786 by Emmerton of Wootton, and 2 and 6 in 1882.

Parish records began in 1628 and show the first baptism as that of Elizabeth Smith. The first recorded marriage was recorded in 1630 with the first burial in 1631.

The original church was much smaller than the current building and consisted of a Chancel, Nave with a three bay north Arcade and a north Aisle.

The Nave and Aisle were lengthened and another bay was added to the north Arcade at the western end in 1230. The churches font, resting on a central support also dates from the 13th century.

In circa 1330, the Chancel was rebuilt and the north aisle extended eastward to provide a North Chapel and this was separated from the Chancel by a two bay Arcade.

The three windows on the south side of the Chancel are 14th century. The 15th century, saw the tower built, the South Aisle and porch added and the Clerestory and Nave roof completed.

The old hand wound clock was added in 1890 but was motorised in 1989 by Mr Harry Jaye. The clock now works and chimes automatically.

Information abridged from a number of sources including:
A Short History of Eversholt by The Rev. C H D Grimes MA
St. John the Baptist, Eversholt – a brief introduction