Great Hale, St John the Baptist - Last updated 26th July 2020 at 1.15pm 

Our Church Warden is Mrs Elaine Huckle

THE CHURCH AT GREAT HALE IS NOW CLOSED FOR REPAIRS TO THE FLOOR.

A said service of Holy Communion will be provided at Great Hale Village Hall by Rev Stephen on the 1st and 3rd Sundays at 9.30am. They begin on 2nd August. The wearing of face masks is encouraged and hand sanitiser will be provided. Please remember to keep 2 metres apart.    


HISTORY.

Great Hale. A pleasant place in blossom time, and indeed, at any time, its church, which belonged to Bardney Abbey 600 years ago land lost its chancel about the time of the Civil war, is a striking building with simple, rugged tower, long aisles and spacious porch.

Pinacle on Great Hale tower

Carving on tower pinacle (photo by local photographer Martin Wace)

The tower is its great feature for except for its 15th-century parapet and leafy pinnacles it was built by Saxons, probably a century before the Conquest. Largely of rubble, it has the usual Saxon belfry windows, deeply-splayed and with dividing baluster shaft, and an arch into the nave probably built by the Normans. At the north-east corner, in the thickness of the wall, is a turret staircase about 15 inches wide, its steps worn by the impress of feet through a thousand years.

Open area Great Hale Church  

New open area around Font     Organ built by Thomas J Robson. Installed in 1896.

The spacious nave, its east end serving as a chancel, has five pointed arches on each side borne up on slender 13th-century pillars. Both aisles still have their medieval piscinas and aumbries, and north aisle and chancel have ancient screenwork incorporated with new. Part of the roodloft stairway remains, and the fine font with quatre-foils and niches on its eight sides has been in use for 600 years.

There are two notable memorials to the Cawdrons who came to live here in the 17th century and saw the chancel, long ruinous, finally demolished. One shows Robert Cawdron, who dies during the Commonwealth, with his two wives and ample family; nine sons and seven daughters are behind the parents, and five more children in swaddling clothes lie in the foreground. Another Robert Cawdron who died in the year of the Great Plague and was probably one of those 21 children, has a sculptured memorial showing him kneeling at a prayer desk with one of his three wives, while the other two kneel discreetly in their long dresses and veils in separate compartments below.

North side of Great Hale church view from the road