St John's is one of the oldest churches in the city. The first church was built on this site in c.1130. The only distinctive feature of this original Norman church remaining today is one rounded window arch, which can be seen in the chancel. The tower was added in c.1270, and then the nave was enlarged with the addition of the north aisle in c.1350. Further building work in about 1450 resulted in the church as we have it now. A pretty little church, its quiet simplicity rendered more charming still by the huge piles of modern buildings which surround and overtop it on three sides. It has no pretension to architectural beauty; there is nothing grand about it; its tower, it is low and square, with little pinnacles at the corners; its windows have flattened arched tops, far from elegant in design but there is something about it which makes it pleasing. Perhaps it is that it recalls to our mind some little country church, and that its aspect is suggestive of green trees and sunny pastures and quiet sylvan delights, amongst all the turmoil and bustle of the busy streets which run past it. Over the outside of the large window in the south transept, which looks into Westgate Street, is a stone which has carved upon it the arms of Robert Rhodes, the builder of St. Nicholas’ steeple, and the benefactor of this and all the churches of the town. The stone we see is a copy of the original one placed there in the lifetime of the good lawyer, as were also his arms in the groining of the tower, to commemorate his generosity. The old one was taken down about 1861, when some repairs were being executed, and is now in the castle.
Part of the graveyard was built over in the 1960s for a hall and meeting rooms; most of the rest has been paved over. There remain about ten gravestones

Open the photograph album left to view many more pictures of the cemetery, unusual stones and epitaphs. I will add more photographs as I visit this cemetery. If you would like to add your own, please contact me, and if they are suitable, I will add them, with an acknowledgement. There a several pages in this album.

Who is buried here?

Cuthbert Pigg

 


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