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St John the Baptist Church
The History of the Church
The Domesday Book records that there was a Priest in Hartwell in the year 1066.
The old Chapel was situated at Chapel Farm on the Hanslope Road, which was then the main focus of the village with scattered homesteads around that area and towards the Elms and Hartwell End.
By the middle of the 19th century the population was now 533 but the old church could only seat 170 with an extra 30 on forms in the chancel. The Norman church was described as "in a very decayed and dilapidated condition as well being situated a very long and inconvenient distance from the village". Approval was requested and given to move the church nearer the village. In 1850 the Duke of Grafton gave an acre of land on Hartwell Green as the site for the new church.
The new church is fashioned on the lines of the old one, with the nave, aisles and chancel arch in Norman style and the chancel in English style. The north aisle is separated from the nave by an arcade of four round-headed arches with Norman piers which appears to be part of the fabric of the old chapel.
The bellcote is also a reproduction of the original. The south bell was inscribed with Peace 1919 to mark the end of the First World War and at the same time the north bell was also recast.
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