the church of st john baptist

the Roof Bosses

in St John's church


People rarely look upwards inside buildings, which is a pity as much is missed - especially in St John's church where there is a wealth of medieval carved roof bosses. You will, like me, need a very long telephoto lens to photograph them or a pair of binoculars just to see them.

Below are illustrated seventeen examples.

According to Leslie Brooke " the roof, is a boss with the rather crudely painted royal arms of the fifteenth century. These are quartered England and France modern - the reverse of the order usually shown. It has recently been demonstrated that Henry IV, in amending the royal arms from France ancient, had not quite made up his mind, in 1404, as to the sequence of the quarterings - whether to give England or France priority - and that the very infrequent occurrence of the arms, as shown on the boss, occurred only in 1404-5, which would indicate the period that finishing touches were being applied to the newly-built church."

The painting seen on the bosses today is, of course, modern. Whether or not the bosses were painted originally is not known but unlikely, certainly not in the bright colours seen today,


For the carved church mice - click here

For the carved Medieval African masks - click here




In no particular order....


The quartered arms of England and France modern that dates the bosses to 1404-5.












The face of either Robert de Sambourne, founder of today's St John's church, or its designer/builder Master Mason William Wynford (d1405)..