Church of the Month

Categories: Church of the Month

The featured church for February 2018 is All Saints, Sutton on Trent, which is 10 km north of Newark on Trent.

The church is large and consists of a nave with north and south aisles, a south porch, chancel with a large south (Meering) chapel, and an impressive west tower. It is set in a large churchyard on the south-eastern edge of the scattered village, not far from the River Trent.

There has probably been a church here since the Anglo-Saxon period and it is recorded with its priest in Domesday Book. The core of the nave fabric dates from the 13th century, as does the tower, the aisle arcades and chancel arch. The early 16th century saw the addition of an impressive chantry chapel (the Meering Chapel) and major refurbishment of the rest of the church, with the insertion of a clerestory (with six closely set three-light windows) and the heightening of an already substantial tower. In the 19th century and early 20th century, there were several separate campaigns of restoration, of which the most important was in 1902-3 when the tower was rebuilt.  Pevsner observed that the careful restoration by William Weir ‘succeeded in leaving the impression of the old and time-worn.’

The Meering chapel is traditionally dated to c.1525 with elaborately panelled battlements and four-light windows which contains some fragments of early stained glass. A two-bay arcade separates the chapel from the chancel and has a panelled pier with a castellated capital. A chest tomb with a Purbeck marble top is situated in the easternmost bay. Between the chapel and the south aisle is a rare survival of an intact rood screen and loft with ornate tracery and leaf friezes.

In the chancel are a few poppy-headed bench ends, probably dating from the 15th century. There are also a 15th century octagonal font with a 17th or 18th century two-tiered cover, and a finely-carved 18th century pulpit.