Domesday Book records that the manor of Sutton then possessed a church and a priest. The present church, which id dedicated to St Michael, consists of chancel, nave, north aisle, and tower surmounted by a broached spire at the west end. The body of the church was entirely rebuilt in 1863 and a new vestry to the north of the chancel and a south porch were erected in the place of their predecessors. A sketch of circa 1820 shows that the south side of the church was then lighted by square-headed debased windows. 'The present walls stand on the old foundations, and there seems to have been little or nothing that the most rigid antiquarian need regret in that which was removed in 1863. The fabric had been thoroughly cleared out of almost every detail of interest many years before that date…'. There were plans to take down the steeple in 1813 but this did not take place, although the spire had to be rebuilt in 1841 after it had been struck by lightning. The four pointed arches between the nave and aisle belong to the old building and are 14th century. In the foundations of the north aisle, 13 silver coins of the reign of Henry III were found in 1863. The two two-light windows and the priest's door on the south side of the chancel are also of the 14th century. (1)
St. Michael's Church, Sutton-on-the-Hill has a 14th century west tower but the spire and the rest of the church were rebuilt in 1863 except the 14th century aisle arcade. (2)
In normal use. (3)
Church of St Michael, Grade II* Listed building. Parish church. 14th century, 1841 and rebuilt 1863. (4)
A watching brief was carried out in 2006 inside the base of the tower during the installation of a toilet. It had been anticipated that excavation might reveal evidence of earlier activity, such as burials or bell-founding. In the event the only deposit encountered below the tile floor of 1863 was a layer of bedding sand at least 300mm thick. Exposure of the foundation for the west jamb of the south door showed that the floor level was unchanged. It was noted that the relative isolation of St Michael's raises the question of whether the village has migrated. However, it seems more likely that the church was intentionally sited on the highest point to make it conspicuous to the scattered rural community. Continuity in use of the site from the earlier period is also supported by the finding in 1863 of a number of 13th century coins which pre-date the existing fabric of the church. (6)
A bell in St Michael's is of historical significance. Dating to circa 1400, it was made by J de Colsale. (7)
Bibliographic reference: Cox, J C. 1877. Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire, Vol. III. pp 327-332.
Bibliographic reference: Pevsner, N. 1953. The Buildings of England: Derbyshire, 1st edition. 228-9.
Personal Observation: F1 BHS 03-AUG-66.
Bibliographic reference: DOE (HHR) Dist of South Derbyshire, Aug 1985, 46-67.
Unpublished document: Sumpter, T. 2006. Church of St Michael, Sutton-on-the-Hill, Derbyshire: Archaeological Watching Brief.
Unpublished document: Church of England. 2007. Identification of bells and bell frames of historic significance.
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Centred SK 237 342 (28m by 18m) (Centred on)
SUTTON ON THE HILL, SOUTH DERBYSHIRE, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Jun 25 2015 10:41AM
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