The chancel of Littlehempston church is believed to be of 14th century date, but most of the present building was constructed, or rebuilt, in the 15th century. The red sandstone font survives from an earlier, Norman, church.

There are three 14th century recumbent effigies in the church, although it is thought that these may have been brought from another parish.  Some interesting  graffiti survives on the limestone piers and on the effigies.

The male effigy  close to the south door has concentric circles scored on the side of the head, that seem likely to have had some apotropaic (protective) meaning. Other marks include series of holes, and these are also found on some of the piers. There is feint graffiti on the northern effigy, but much is difficult to decipher, and some is on the inaccessible side close to the window, as the figure is not in its original location. The most notable item visible is a small simple merchants mark.

Graffiti on the piers includes compass-made circles, and arrows, both of which are probably apotropaic. A few feint scored marks containing remnants of red colouring survive on one of the southern piers –  a reminder that piers and walls were once painted with colours – rather than the bare scraped clean stone we see today.

The letters V:X:Z  at the base of a pier in the north arcade are intriguing and seem likely to have had some official function or meaning rather than being casual graffiti.

The stick type figure on a southern pier is a nice find, although it is not clear what it represents, and we don’t know how old it is. It seems possible that it represents a cadaver or skeleton with ribs, or, perhaps less likely, a figure holding a shield with chevron ornament.

The lead on the tower roof has been renewed, but there are a few older pieces on the doorway threshold that have early 20th century names and dates.

Littlehempston, St John the Baptist