Church of the Month

Categories: Church of the Month

The featured church for April 2021 is St Mary Magdalene, Sutton in Ashfield.

The church consists of a west tower with octagonal spire, nave, north and south aisles, organ chamber, vestry, chancel and south porch.

The earliest parts of the church 12th century: a stone with chevron decoration, some fragments of masonry in the west wall and a rare pillar piscina.

The north arcade has circular piers with elementary waterleaf capitals, but has one respond with a delightful mid-13th century capital with stiff-leaf and human heads. The north doorway, south arcade and chancel arch are also 13th century.

The clerestory and the aisle windows are of the 15th century, and there are five stained glass windows.

The chancel was rebuilt in 1854 and the aisles enlarged and vestry and organ chamber added by C. J. Neale in 1867. The east window was enlarged in 1907 and the original three-light east window with ogee reticulation was re-erected in the south chancel wall.

There are memorial tablets for William Unwin (1774) and the Rev William Goodacre and a memorial stone pulpit for the Rev W B Stevens. In the chancel is a cross slab decorated with a bow and arrow and, originally, also a sling and bugle, possibly a memorial for John de Sutton, an ancient verderer of Sherwood Forest.

According to the latest edition of Pevsner’s Buildings of England : Nottinghamshire (2020) the church has ‘a good ensemble’ of stained glass with a fine Raising of Lazarus in the north aisle and a window in the south aisle by Hardman.