Other places from the Past: St John’s Church, Spon Street
In this post, Communications Officer Jess shares a recent visit to a building very close to The Weaver’s House.
I have passed St John’s Church many times but this was my first visit. Like The Weaver’s House and many of the Spon Street buildings, it is medieval, and though it is now close to many large modern developments it is easy to imagine how it must have dominated its surroundings in times past.
On entering the church I was interested to see that although it was mid-January, there was still a large and beautiful crib on display. One of the guides explained that this would be left up until Candlemas on February 2. I had heard of the tradition but had not seen it observed before.
It was immediately clear that one visit was not going to be sufficient to see everything that St John’s had to offer. There is some stunning stained glass, an impressively huge wooden lectern and the Stations of the Cross which are sited around the church.
There was also a piscina for returning holy water directly to the earth, I hadn’t seen one like this before. There are many detailed carvings including some Green Men which I am particularly keen to return to look at properly.
I had probably complicated things for myself by taking my son, he is only three but he enjoys looking at old buildings particularly when there are ‘things to spot’. It was a particularly cold day when we visited and we had also picked the day the boilers were being replaced so the church itself was chilly – we headed into the modern hall at the back. As it was Saturday morning there were refreshments available.
We were made very welcome throughout our visit, the guides clearly have an absolute wealth of knowledge which they are happy to share. Due to its location it would make an excellent inclusion for visitors to The Weaver’s House to compare these two contrasting medieval buildings.