Hospital Church

Map Reference: R706361 (1706, 1361)

Geoffrey de Marisco founded a Commandery of the Knights Hospitallers here in 1215. It was dedicated to St John the Baptist and continued in use until the Dissolution in 1541. In 1566 the church was leased to John Cockerham and in 1578 to W Apsley. It is now a roofless ruin with a doorway in the south wall and lancet windows. At the west end of the church there was a two-storey residential tower and possibly a belfry. The upper portion of this has been transformed into a grotto. Inside the church there are three effigy slabs. One of these is of a helmeted knight holding a shield. He lies with his head on a pillow and a hound at his feet. This was once the top slab of a box-tomb of which there are no other remains. A second slab shows a robed, bare-headed figure, possibly holding a sword. The church is usually locked and it is not possible to examine these slabs closely. A third slab is broken and appears to have two effigies. In the gable of the church are a number of carved stones including a good crucifixion.

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