History (1 of 2)
There was a settlement called East Tun here in Saxon times, and probably earlier;
two Roman roads intersected at Stambridge, the old Roman stone bridge over the St Catherine’s brook. In the Domesday Book the church is mentioned along with counts of cattle and other stock.
The splendid tower dates from 1460 and is in the perpendicular style: its four stages reach a total height of 94 feet, and a statue of St John the Baptist sits aloft, looking over the village.
In the 18th century galleries were built to provide accommodation for a growing population, and in the 19th century the north aisle was added. A few years later an enlarged south aisle was built, the pillars between nave and south aisle having attractive alternating quatrefoil and octagonal designs.
The first mention of a priest at Batheaston is that of one Nicholas, recorded around 1180, in a register at Bath Abbey. The present church was begun in 1262, and both St John’s and St Catherine’s were administered from the Abbey. A Monks’ Causeway of stone slabs was built from Bath the St John’s and up the valley to St Catherine’s. Small sections of this survive at The Batch and North of Eagle House in Northend.
In 1986 the church suffered an arson attack, which damaged or destroyed much of the internal furnishings. The opportunity was taken to lay level stone flooring throughout nave and aisles, including a stone floor maze in the south aisle designed and laid by the then vicar, Paul Lucas.
The organ was damaged, and the decision was made to provide a kitchen, toilet facilities and a parish office in the space originally occupied by the organ chamber, and the present electronic instrument was installed at the West end.