Photographer's Note

St John's Parish Church
Knaresborough, North Yorkshire

"It is believed that a place of worship has existed on the site currently occupied by St John's Church, for over a thousand years but the first mention of Knaresborough Parish Church appears in the records of Nostell Priory near Wakefield. This states that in the year 1114 King Henry I granted the "Church at Cnaresburgh" to the canons at Nostell. The church was originally dedicated to St.Mary and held that name until the Protestant reforms of the 16th century when it became the Church of St.John the Baptist.

Following the Scottish raid in 1318, the church fell into a dilapidated state and in 1328 the then king, Edward III honey-mooning with his young bride Philippa in Knaresborough, promised her that he would arrange the reconstruction of the church. Queen Philippa took a considerable interest in the restoration work and in particular, in the re-designing of the St.Edmund's Chapel, then St.Edmund's Chantry. It is not known exactly when the restoration work began and ended but throughout this period and during the Black Death in 1349, the townsfolk had the support of Queen Philippa who was often in residence in the castle. Philippa died in 1369 and her devotion to the town of Knaresborough and the church, was long remembered by the people and the church became known as the Queen's Church.

The bells were first hung in 1774 and the present clock was installed in 1884. The face carries St.Paul's phrase, "redeeming the time" and the exterior view from the north side shows the gargoyles and turret stair-way up the tower which is mainly late 12th century. The churchyard was landscaped in 1973 and many of the gravestones can be seen around the immediate area of St John's.

The Church of St.John the Baptist today has a lively and active community with regular services each Sunday and most days of the week. A strong choir tradition exists and youngsters from an early age may join and receive tuition. The bells are rung every Sunday before the 10.30 a.m. service by a dedicated team who encourage other teams to join them from time to time. The Sunday school is well attended with about fifty children on the register. There are groups such as Guides, Brownies, Rainbows, Mothers' Union, Homemakers and The Friends of St.John's who are all associated with the church."

See the interior of St John's in 360 panorama (courtesy of Vital Online Ltd)

Knaresborough online

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Additional Photos by Rob Janovski (robiuk) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1687 W: 183 N: 2457] (10807)
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