Church of All Saints at Sudbury in South Derbyshire
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This building was thought to have been replaced by a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 fígures,
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.
All Saints Church
Revd John Vickerstaff Tel 01283 585098
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