St. John the Baptist South Moreton
The parish church serving South Moreton is dedicated to St. John the Baptist.
History of the Building
The church was originally built as a chapel for pilgrims crossing the Berkshire Downs on their way to visit the shrine of St. Birinus at Dorchester Abbey. The present appearance of the building dates from the drastic restoration of 1849. The earliest part of the church is the Saxon Doorway visible outside the west wall of the church. The light and airy feel of the building is assisted by the absence of stained glass.
The massive Yew tree at the east end of the churchyard had been certified to be 1600 years old. Unfortunately it was seriously damaged by fire in June 2002. However, with expert advice and careful management the tree has been saved. At first it was left to establish the extent of the die back then in 2004 and 2005 was given a root feed to stimulate growth. The tree was trimmed in the spring of 2006. It is now possible to see the fire damage but also the new growth sprouting from the trunk.