Herefordshire Places of Worship

St John the Baptist's Church, Yarkhill (1) (29k) St John the Baptist's Church, Yarkhill (2) (24k) St John the Baptist's Church, Yarkhill (3) (31k) St John the Baptist's Church, Yarkhill (4) (52k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Rosemary Lockie
St John the Baptist's Church, Yarkhill
St John the Baptist's Church,
Watery Lane,
Yarkhill, Herefordshire.


This Church has (or had) a graveyard.

Note: any church within an urban environment may have had its graveyard closed after the Burial Act of 1853. Any new church built after that is unlikely to have had a graveyard at all.

Church History

This Place of Worship was founded in the 13th century, and we understand it is still open.

The following information about the Church has been provided to accompany the photographs on the right. A list of people who have supplied the information is included in the Acknowledgements, below.

[Image 1] Most of the visible parts of the church are a result of extensive renovations of 1862 - in fact Mike Salter, in his booklet The Old Parish Churches of Herefordshire says it was entirely rebuilt, with the only parts retained from an older church being the south doorway (13th century), and the tower. The guide leaflet tells us however that it is likely a church has stood on this spot for over 800 years; that in 811 the name of its settlement was ‘Geardcylle’ (meaning ‘enclosure with a kiln’), and in 1066 it was held by a Knight of King Harold, called Arkell.

This gives plenty of scope for suggesting the derivation of its present name - either from the name of King Harold's Knight, from ‘Geardcylle’ (the hard ‘g’' sound from Old English becoming ‘Y’, as in ‘Giolgrave’' - Youlgrave in Derbyshire, according to the Domesday Book), or (as also suggested by the church's guide leaflet) from the Saxon word ‘Yarcle’, meaning slope of the hill.

Mind you, to me the latter sounds rather unlikely, since Yarkhill is in the valley of the River Frome, the road through it being bordered by deep drainage ditches.[1]

[Image 2] A stone slab set into the north wall of the vestry is a memorial to Francis STEDMAN who was Yarkhill's parish priest for more than 40 years (1625-1671). The church leaflet tells us he was the father of Fabian STEDMAN, and by way of confirmation, the IGI has a record of Fabian son of Francis STEDMAN and “Urs”, baptised at Yarkhill on 7 Dec 1640. Fabian published “Tintinnalogia” (1668), and “Campanalogia” (1677), treatises on the art of bell ringing. It has been suggested he may have learned bell ringing initially from his father; however he was apprentised at the age of 15 to Daniel PAKEMAN, a Master Printer in London, and there he joined a rather prestigious bell- ringing society, one of whose venues was St Mary le Bow (“Bow Bells”)

[1] Article on Fabian Stedman (Wikipedia)
[2] Hereford Diocesan Guild of Bellringers (Open Lead, June 2008) - isn't it amazing what you can find on the Internet![1]

[Image 3] The church has a spectacular collection of ‘Kneelers’; with just a few captured on this photo. Many of them are unique, including one on the right of the church with a tractor embroidered on it, and as can be seen in the foreground, one with poppies.[1]

[Image 4] It's possible to stand in the churchyard and look across the valley of the River Frome to see the Churches of Tarrington, and Stoke Edith.[1]


Now or formerly Church of England.

If more than one congregation has worshipped here, or its congregation has united with others, in most cases this will record its original dedication.


This Church is located at OS grid reference SO6085742578. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:


I have found many websites of use whilst compiling the information for this database. Here are some which deserve mention as being of special interest for Yarkhill, and perhaps to Local History and Places of Worship as a whole.

The above links were selected and reviewed at the time I prepared the information, but please be aware their content may vary, or disappear entirely. These factors are outside my control.


A special thanks to the following people who have contributed information for this web page:

1. Information provided by Rosemary Lockie.

Information last updated on 5 Dec 2018 at 14:34.

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This Report was created 27 Mar 2021 - 02:16:31 GMT from information held in the Herefordshire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 7 Feb 2019 at 13:34.

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