Newton – St John’s Church

History

Church of St. John the Baptist in Newton, near Porthcawl, was probably erected in the eighties of the 12th century, because the first parish priest was recorded in 1189. The initiator of the construction was Richard de Cardiff or William, Earl of Gloucester or de Sanford, one of the knights of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem. Newton was then a small seaport, trading with centers on the other side of the Bristol Channel, and the church was just at the entrance to the village from the sea. In the years 1485-1495 Jasper Tudor, the uncle of king Henry VII, carried out a significant renovation of the building. The next works were carried out in the nineteenth century, when the north-eastern sacristy was established and at the beginning of the 20th century.

Architecture

The church consists of a rectangular nave, a narrower and shorter rectangular chancel on the eastern side and a massive, squat tower from the west. It has four floors distinguished from the north and south by narrow window openings. Also from these sides there is a parapet on protruding corbels and battlement, and the whole is crowned with a gable roof. The corners of the tower are reinforced by wide buttresses. The entrance to the nave is located on the south side and is preceded by a late medieval porch. Inside, the tower is open to the nave with a pointed arcade. On the opposite side is chancel arch, on the sides of which, there are openings for viewing the part of the church with the altar (hagioscopes). The stairs and the portal in the northern wall lead to an unusual, protruding, stone pulpit, dating back to the Middle Ages, but transformed in the 19th century.

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bibliography:
Wooding J., Yates N., A Guide to the churches and chapels of Wales, Cardiff 2011.
Website britishlistedbuildings.co.uk, Church of St John the Baptist A Grade I Listed Building in Porthcawl, Bridgend.