St John the Baptist, Cold Overton Tim Heaton

St John the Baptist

The delightful conservation village of Cold Overton lies on a ridge close to the Rutland border, where the church originates from the 12th century with its medieval wall paintings and stone carvings.

Cold Overton, Leicestershire

Opening times

The church is open daily during daylight hours.


Main Street
Cold Overton
LE15 7QA

St John the Baptist is a Grade I listed building.

The earliest evidence of a church at Cold Overton (Overtone) is from the Domesday survey of 1086. Of the fabric of the building the south door and the south aisle walls and it’s paintings are the earliest. These belong to the 12th century when a rebuilding was begun and completed in the 13th century. As rebuilt the church consisted of a nave with an aisle each side and a chancel without aisles.

Upon the plaster walls of the Lady Chapel is where the fragile sections of the once hidden medieval paintings cling. These paintings, dating from the 12th century, are unique and which survived the reformation. Further modifications were made in the 14th century with the Chancel rebuilt keeping the lower parts of the sidewalls with the 13th century piscina, credence and sedilla.

In the 15th century a porch was added, a clerestory to the nave and the entire roof made new. In addition, the richly decorated Western tower with parapet spire was built. The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings in 1889 reported it as being 'a most excellent specimen of design and workmanship, the carved beasts at the base being especially worthy of note'.

The 1780s saw the last major structural change when the south aisle was extended to provide a family chapel and burial vault for the Frewin-Turner family who then lived at Cold Overton Hall, a country house dating from ca. 1664. 

The village has a large garden centre at one end and a nationally renowned rare breeds farm and shop at the other.

  • Captivating architecture

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Magnificent memorials

  • National heritage here

  • Social heritage stories

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Wildlife haven

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Bus stop within 100m

  • Café within 500m

  • Dog friendly

  • Level access to the main areas

  • On street parking at church

  • Parking within 250m

  • Steps to enter the church or churchyard

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • The church holds services twice monthly in addition to major events such as Remembrance Day, Easter and Christmas. There are also regular fundraising events such as Harvest Supper, concerts and summer BBQ.

  • Church of England

  • Repair Grant, £10,000, 2018

  • Our Repair Grants funded urgent repair work to help keep churches open.

Contact information

Other nearby churches

St Andrew

Whissendine, Rutland

St Andrew’s serves a village of approximately 1200 people. It is a well loved and well used building, with a very active congregation.