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Sudbury Church

Church of All Saints at Sudbury in South Derbyshire

sudbury church
Sudbury Church

The Doomsday Book of 1086 records that there was a church at Sudbury. This was most likely a wooden building, very possibly on the same site as the present building, and could have been of Saxon foundation. This building was thought to have been replaced by a stone building in Norman times. There are traces of Norman style work in the South doorway with its semicircular head and plain mouldings, and also in the small window high up over the door leading to the Vestry, but both these features have been substantially restored, if not completely replaced in later years. There is some evidence of Norman times in the rubble stone work in the Chancel south wall nearest the Nave. The Church is thought to have been rebuilt about 1300 if the appearance of the double chamfered arches on either side of the central aisle are anything to go by. Here the condition of their capitals and nail headed mouldings are suspiciously well preserved, and may well have been the result of later restoration. The same thing may account for the difference in the shape of the pillars on the North and South side of the aisle. About 1400 the pitch of the Nave roof was lowered to accommodate the clerestory wmdows. Some 200 years later, at about the time of the building of Sudbury Hall, the South porch was built and a balustrade parapet was added to the tower.

The Font is Victorian, and was described in 1877 as "of good workmanship". It replaces an eariier octagonal font, that probably disappeared during the beautifýing of the church in 1827.

The Vemon Memorial plaque behind the font is dated 1862 and is dedicated to the three infant children of Augustus Henry Vernon.

The Bell Tower has a peal of six bells rung from floor level every Sunday. No.6 bell has just celebrated its 400th Anniversary and is inscribed "God Save the Queen 1598". But No.5 bell is the heaviest, weighing 1 lcwts.

The Organ Chamber on the north wall was built in the 19th Century to provide accommodation for the school children; the organ was moved into this space from the Vernon Chapel in the restoration of 1875, and is now considered to be one of the finest small organs in Derbyshire.

The Vemon Chapel contains a memorial of John Vernon and his wife Mary Vernon, whose first husband was Walter Vernon of Houndhill, Staffordshire. Her grandson George is regarded as the builder of Sudbury Hall. Also note two recumbent fĂ­gures, which were at one time propped against a wall in the churchyard, date from the 13th Century. They are almost certainly ladies from the Montgomery family, who held the manor from after the Norman Conquest until 1513, when Ellen Montgomery married Sir John Vernon, the younger son of Henry.

The Screen, beautifully carved in oak, was erected during the 19th Century restoration, and was dedicated in 1903. At the same time, the reseating of the Church in oak was completed.

The Chancel. The east window was presented to the Church by Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort in 1850, to the memory of George Edward Anson, (brother of the then Rector) who had been private secretary to Prince Albert and Keeper of Her Majesty's Privy Purse. The glass is the work of a German artist. The reredos is a good example of Alabaster work. It was executed in 1885 to the memory of the 6th Lord Vernon. The tiles here and in the Sanctuary are Victorian, but have exceptional pattems copied from fragments of old tiles found here in the last century.

The South Aisle, note the Lord's Prayer in black lettering, surrounded by brown scrollwork.

The Panelling was rescued from Sudbury Hall and installed here in 1990. Originally it had been the Vernon Box Pew.

sudbury church
Sudbury Church


All Saints Church
Main Road
Derbyshire DE6 5HT
Revd John Vickerstaff Tel 01283 585098

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