Loxwood – St John the Baptist
Loxwood church was built around 1410 as a chapelry in the parish of Wisborough Green, because of the distance of the associated settlement from the church (1 p176). The Burrell Collection drawing (1795) shows a timber-framed aisleless nave, west porch and belfry, not unlike the old chapel at Plaistow. In 1822 J P Henly rebuilt this in brick with round-headed windows (ICBS), but the chancel was untouched. Unusually, this had a transverse roof and thus north and south gables. In 1873 Loxwood became a parish and, as the foundation stone at the east end records, in 1900 a church was opened on a new site, partly in order to provide a burial ground which the old one, as a former chapel, did not have.
The new church, designed by R Plumbe (GRI) was started in 1898 and completed in 1900. It is built of red brick with stone dressings and capitals inside, though the moulded heads of the arches are brick. Except for the hammerbeam roof in the nave, most detail is C14 in style, though the sloping south buttresses are definitely late C19 and the chancel arch includes that unfortunate motif, the hooked corbel. A low tower north of the chancel has an octagonal spire behind battlements and a prominent stair-turret. At the west end of the church is a shallow external porch leading to an inner entrance area west of the arcade that is also of brick. The only later external change is a utilitarian brick extension that leads off the south side of the church.
Since 1978 the parish of Loxwood has been linked to that of Alfold, Surrey, to which it is close. It is thus part of the Diocese of Guildford and is now the only parish in Sussex not to be in the Diocese of Chichester.
Fittings and monuments
Benches: (North aisle) From the old chapel, probably C15. They have curling tops with small finials and are some of the best in the county.
Font: Octagonal bowl with a quatrefoil on each side, standing on a stem of clustered marble shafts, probably of 1900.
1. (East window) A J Dix, 1902 (signed).
2. (South aisle second window) W Morris Studios, 1946 (DSGW 1952).
2. (North aisle, first and second windows and south nave, first window) Single figures depicting four Beatitudes by P Neave, 1980-82 (signed), contorted in an Expressionist manner. The surrounds in particular effectively recall later mediaeval glass.
1. J C Buckwell: Stories of Loxwood, SAC 56 (1914) pp161-91
My thanks to Nick Wiseman for the photographs