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Church, Sutton St Michael

SMR Number
: 6902
Grid Reference
: SO 5263 4582
Parish
: SUTTON, HEREFORDSHIRE

Nave, chancel and bell turret with pyramidal roof. Built arch in west wall suggests the existence of west tower. The west buttresses are probably part of its north and south walls. In the chancel, on the north and east sides are Norman windows. In the nave is a blocked Norman doorway. (1)
The bowl of one font was recovered from the garden of a house on the road to Sutton St Nicholas and returned to the church. It is made of local Withington sandstone, like the font at Sutton St Nicholas (HSMR 6901). The basin is bucket shaped, with straight sloping sides and flat bottom. The base was probably found in the churchyard. The stone with the lions is ancient; the lions are similar to those at the base of the Hereford Cathedral font and are evidently made by the same mason. Like the Cathedral font, this one may be dated to c. 1140. (2)
Small nave and chancel. (3)
A 12th century church, it has remained much the same for 800 years. The tithe and other income went to St Guthlac's in Hereford. Later they were gifted to the Knights Hospitaller of St John, based at Dinmore. In the 14th century the yearly revenues were £10, the church expenses 6s 8d and the chaplain's stipend 20s. The Knights could bury pilgrims and members in the churchyard and they had an estate at Overcourt. At the Dissolution the rights were handed over to the Lingens. There may once have been a tower in the late 12th or early 13th century. (4)
There is a second baptismal basin in the church. It is kept under one of the pews, and used in baptisms by being placed in the Norman font, but it is recorded that previously it was used by being placed in the hands of a carved angel in the centre of the chancel's east wall. Further investigation revealed that basin would in fact have been placed on a shelf above the angel's head. The angel and shelf are let into a recess below the Norman single light east window, and are hidden behind a hanging. They were probably provided to conform with the Commonwealth Directorate of Public Worship of 1645, under which all fonts were abolished and a basin used for baptism instead - this could be placed anywhere in the chancel. Similarities of detail between the font and the nearby monument to Elizabeth Cotton, erected in 1654, suggest that both were executed by the same sculptor and at the same time. (5)
C. Musson 2002's colour slide aerial photograph catalogue (6)

Monument Type(s)

  1. CHURCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Files

    Sources and Further Reading

    Associated Historic Landscape Character Records

    1. HHE312 - Enclosure of Common Arable Fields - Narrow Closes Continuously Distributed
    Last Updated: 23/07/2010 12:35:57