Return to King Sutton Site
History an Overview


Chancel East Wall
Chancel North Wall - The Vestry and Organ Chamber
Chancel South Wall
South Aisle South Wall
South Aisle East Wall and Stair
North Aisle East Wall
North Aisle - North Wall and Porch
West Walls of Aisles
The Tower and Spire
The West Porch
The Upper Nave Walls


The Chancel
The Choir Vestry and Organ Chamber
Nave - South Arcade
The Nave - The North Arcade
The Aisles - South and North
The Tower and Spire
The Tapper Design for the South Aisle
The St Thomas Becket Chapel Reredos
The North Aisle
The Screen
The Pulpit
The Font


North aisle: NE window
The East Window of the Chancel
The South Wall of Chancel - SW window
South Aisle - SE window
The South-West Window

Robert Kenwrick

S Ward Painting

History an Overview        top

The story of St Rumbold suggests that the Christian faith was established here in the mid-7th century.  The place name means the King's south estate. King Alfred mentions it in his will.  He died in 899 and the church here before the Norman Conquest was a minster church serving as a missionary centre for the surrounding area.

Local lands were later a 'prebendary' for a canon of Lincoln Cathedral.  

Northamptonshire was in the Diocese of Dorchester/Lincoln until the formation of the Diocese of Peterborough in 1541 (September 3).   The present building may have a Saxon core, evidenced by the height and regular thickness of the nave walls, together with the plan in which the aisles 'clasp' the tower.  The chancel is fundamentally Norman. The nave, which may have been aisle-less originally, gained a south arcade in the 12th century and one to the north a century later.  The south one was then rebuilt to balance the north one.   Later, in the 14th century, the aisles were widened to their present size, the north and south porches added and many of the windows reached their present form. In addition the tower and spire were built. Finally, the west porch was added about 1450 and the clerestory windows inserted, the roofs flattened and the parapets constructed probably around 1500.

Sir George Gilbert Scott was employed to carry out restoration work in 1866. He added the vestry and organ chamber to the north of the chancel, the door in the south wall of the chancel and added various furnishings.  Much of the glass dates from this period too.

Up to the 16th century the church was part of the Catholic Church, in communion with the see of Rome, but,  from the reign  of Henry VIII, the links were broken and it became a parish of the independent Church of England.  The medieval paintings,  glass, vestments, rood, altars would have been destroyed and  the services been those of successive editions of the Book of  Common Prayer (BCP), first published in 1549, with major revisions  in 1552,  1559, 1662 and 1928.    However, by the late 19th century King’s Sutton was much influenced by the Oxford Movement and the Tractarians.  The BCP remained in use, but with increasing modifications. Gradually more 'catholic' High Church practices were introduced but the Church seems always to have retained an Anglican ethos.  In the latter part of the 20th century the Roman weekday calendar was used, but the Anglican Alternative Service Book Calendar was used for Sundays from 1981.  

The Building Exterior

Chancel East Wall       top

This is a gabled wall of coursed iron-stone with very wide diagonal buttresses in ashlared limestone.  5.5m wide with 1.5m buttresses. A dripstone runs below the window which has a deeply angled sill. The window is perpendicular in design but the details suggest that it was largely renewed in the 19th century.  It has four lights. Above the centre of the hoodmold is a head, somewhat eroded, but 15th century is style.  There is a simple cross of stone set on the gable. The apex is about 14m high.

Chancel North Wall - The Vestry and Organ Chamber top

The wall of the chancel is of coursed iron-stone with a corbel table running along the eaves. Against this wall, the overall length of which is 12.8m with a slight bulge in the centre, is set the vestry and organ chamber, added in 1866 to designs by Scott. The east wall of this is solid masonry, the west has a doorway, and the north has two windows. It is gabled and has a chimney at the apex. The vestry is 4.4m x 5.2m. The eastern part of the chancel wall is 4.1m and the western part 3.5m A  dripstone runs horizontally along the whole of this, going down  to skirt the two main windows of the chancel. These are ogee-headed, of three lights and with three quatrefoils and some tiny panels. Scott's upper window although of different stone is of similar design. Two lights, one quatrefoil and two tiny panels. It has a hoodmold that looks medieval. This section of the building has quoins. The lower window is of three lights, square headed. There are two ventilation points of diagonal crosses at ground level below this window.  The roof of the whole eastern arm is of stone slates, covering the roof timbers in one sweep. This dates from 1866.

Chancel South Wall       top

This wall of roughly coursed ironstone is in three bays divided by buttresses. The outer two each have a three-light window with three quatrefoils in the tracery, and the centre bay has a doorway. The door has ironwork on and is by Scott. At the lower level there is a further small window in the western bay. The western section is 2.8m, the central one 3.8m and the eastern one 4m. The buttresses are both 0.8m, making a total of 12.2m. As with the north chancel wall there is a slight bowing at the centre, but of less than a metre overall. A corbel table with many carvings, badly eroded, runs below the eaves.

South Aisle South Wall      top

The south wall is divided by the South porch. To the east, a section 9m long, there are two 3 light windows, the eastern one some 30 cm wider than the other. The latter constrained by the porch. They have decorated tracery with a mixture of 3-, 4-, 5-, 6- and 8-foil shapes. A dripstone runs intermittently.  Beyond the porch, which is 4.3m overall wide, the western section - 5.8m, is a blank roughly coursed ironstone wall, with the dripstone continuing. There are diagonal buttresses of ashlar at either end, and the whole length has a straight-topped parapet. At the eastern end is a carving of a dragon. Above the porch, the scar of an earlier steep gable roof can be seen.  The porch has a deep, embattled parapet. The interior roof is beamed with 8 panels. There are stone benches to either side, and on the east wall, a blind window feature.  The entrance has deeply concave jambs in which are some graffiti. The double doors have a square-headed arch above them. Two steps lead down into the porch.  The inner doors, which are moulded with Gothic tracery, are set in a pointed arch underneath a square-headed one. This has alternate carvings of squared-flowers and ball-flower, typical of the 14th century. The porch is not square.  The east wall is 3.3m, and the west one 3.5m. The overall width at the aisle wall, as we have seen is 4.3m, but the outer width is 4.5m.

A lantern hangs in the porch and a Crucifix in the blind window.

South Aisle East Wall and Stair     top

This wall is of roughly coursed iron-stone and the head of the 5 light window has alternate brown and cream stones. The hoodmold stops are carved but seriously eroded.  In the angle of the aisle and chancel is the stair for the Rood Loft. It has three sides, as if part of an octagon. The upper part is wider and has a coving to link the two widths. One small circular window provides light.  This is all of ashlar.  The roof is sloping stone, like a cap, and there is a short length of projecting stone on the east chancel wall too. The wall is 5.9m wide and 7.3m at its lowest height.

North Aisle East Wall      top

Of roughly coursed iron stone and with a three tiered diagonal buttress at the north-east corner, it is 6.4m wide. There is a large window and a blocked doorway, 1.1m wide and 1.1m from the chancel wall. This seems to predate the window (The piscina is in this part of the wall inside). The upper parts of the tracery of this window have been curtailed and a new arch built over them. The wall is completed by a plain parapet which slopes up toward the high nave wall.  The plan reveals that this wall is a metre thick at its south end, and 1.1m at the outer end. The window is in line with the outer wall, thus creating an angle on the inside.

North Aisle - North Wall and Porch    top

This wall, of roughly-coursed ironstone, and with ashlar limestone buttresses at either end is in four areas. From the east, the first two are similar and have windows of three lights.  These sections together are 9.3m long. The third, 4m wide, has the flat-roofed porch, and above the present roof the scar of a steep gable; the fourth section is blank walling, but reveals a blocked doorway. This is 5.9m, and the doorway is approximately 1.6m x 1.9m high and is 2m from the west end. There are some small fragments of carved stone in this wall. The wall is topped by a plain parapet.   This is 7.4m high. The porch has a similar parapet with three balls on the north side and an inscription, now illegible. The doorway is a pointed arch with hoodmold.  The windows have hoodmolds without stops and decorated tracery.

West Walls of Aisles       top

On the north side the wall is of roughly-coursed ironstone with a late Gothic window of 5 lights. It is 6.1m wide and rises from 7.4m at the north end to 8.7 at the tower. The upper tracery has been cut off horizontally and a square-headed hoodmold placed across it. Below this at the south end is a small, square headed doorway which is the entrance to the tower spiral stair. The wall tucks in behind the angled buttress of the tower.

The south aisles' west wall is a good deal higher than that on the north - 9.8m from 7.3m. The floor level is lower inside the church on the south side. Again it tucks in behind the tower buttress and has a diagonal buttress at its south end. The five-light window fills most of the wall and the wall, with only a narrow coping which slopes up to the tower well above the drip stone which in turn runs above the west window of the tower and across the buttress. The wall is 6.1m wide.

The Tower and Spire       top

The tower is principally ironstone ashlar but the lower levels use much limestone and indeed an attempt is made to create a brown/creamy-grey pattern, although this is now obscured by the west porch.  The tower is not quite square, measuring overall  S;  6m N 6.3m E 7.1 and W 7.2 and has diagonal buttresses,  on  the west side, which are almost wholly of limestone, and rise  from above roof level on the eastern side.  These continue up to form the base of four pinnacles, set at right angles to the tower. Between these is the low parapet. There are gargoyles at the corners, and on the cardinal sides, sculptures of the evangelists. There is also a frieze. Within the parapet are four larger pinnacles and from within these rises the spire which is octagonal. There are flying buttresses to link outer and inner pinnacles and the spire itself. At the base of the cardinal sides of the spire are ornate lucarnes, great open windows with transoms and decoration. Higher up a frieze and some smaller lucarnes. The spire has many crockets. The capstone has a weathervane cock.  The overall height is 198 feet (60m).  The feature is of the 14th century and has been damaged many times during the centuries. The last hundred years saw three examples. In 1925 the SW pinnacle was blown down, and the SE one came down twice in 1990 and 2000.

Sir Nikolaus Pevsner describes it as 'one of the finest if not the finest spire, in a county of spires'.

The tower is in four stages: the lowest rises to the top of the west window where a drip mould runs across the west face.  The lower part has double doorways, now within the west porch.  The second stage is the ringing chamber. On the west facade is a two light window with stone louvers, and the east side has a small glazed window.  A string course runs between this and the third stage. The square-headed moulding of the  double-light belfry louvers runs around the tower at the level  of the springing of the arches and these have small figure  carvings. The fourth stage has the clock face and concludes with the frieze and parapet.

There is a wonderful contrast between the tower and the spire.  First of stone: brown largely for the one, grey-limestone for the other. Their proportions are roughly equal. The tower is tall and slim and then gives rise to this exuberant area at its top and around the base of the spire, which is in itself ornate.  Continuity between the two elements is achieved by the outer diagonal pinnacles rising from the tower's buttresses.

The West Porch       top

This is of ashlar limestone. The north and south walls (2.7m between the buttresses) have a dripstone creating the impression of a plinth and a similar area at the top. The lower moulding there is at roof level for two small gutters protrude. These are too small and have been enlarged as part of the 2002 inspection work. There are buttresses at each corner. Each is topped by a pinnacle with crockets, on the diagonal. The one on the north-west corner has been damaged.  The west facade has double doors under a four-centred arch.  The jambs are concave but only from the plinth upward. Above the door is a canopied niche with the remains of a badly damaged and eroded Virgin and Child with two small supporting figures  in separate niches. The parapet rises above this with parallel copings which have flat tops.  Behind this parapet is a roof of stone slates which is steeply pitched. The parapet is 5.4m at its highest and the doorway is 3.7m high and 2m wide.  The inner doors are 1.5m wide and the western wall is 1.9m thick.  The porch has a tierceron vault 3.4m square. There are small carvings at each corner below the springing point of the ribs.  The centre is an octagon with a design of a four-petalled flower.

The Upper Nave Walls      top

These are 20m long on the south and 20.5m on the north, (the west wall of the north aisle is not at right angles to the north wall.)  They have four windows on either side, each having three rounded lights under a square head, although there are no hoodmolds. They are 8.3m from the internal pavement and 1m deep. Above them there is a crenulated parapet with eleven merlons on either side and seven on the east wall above the chancel arch. There is a sun-dial at the east end on the south side.  

Building Interior

The Chancel        top

The chancel measures 12.7m x 5.0m. It consists of a western portion of 6 arched seats to north and south and the sanctuary.  The seats are stone and there are free standing circular shafts between the seats. Each has a deep square section base and then two shaft rings one above the other. A further ring is at the base of the capital, of a simple block type and the abacus is square. The arches have zig-zag carvings on the outer surface.  It is these arches which were replaced by Scott. At the eastern end of these seats are two 'arm-rests' which must be Norman.  Above the arches a roll moulding runs along the whole length of the chancel and forms the base of the four windows.   A similar moulding runs along the east wall but 38cm lower.  A smaller window has been cut into the western arch on the south side.  Above this the blocked archway that once gave access to the Rood Loft.

To the east, a sanctuary area with a two-seat sedilia and piscina to the south, and a wooden-doored aumbry on the north. There are windows to north and south.  The last bay of the seated arches has been cut away by Scott to make doorways and, at the upper level, the opening for the organ.  The chancel arch is a mixture of medieval and Scott work. The hood-mould carvings on the west side are medieval, but the capitals are certainly Scott.

The Choir Vestry and Organ Chamber   top

The organ blower is set below the vestry floor. A trapdoor in the north-west corner of the vestry gives access to the organ itself. There is a fireplace in the north-east angle of the room.

Nave - South Arcade       top

The arcade has three bays: 3.7 3.5 and 3.5 m wide. The top of the capitals are 2.8 from the floor.  The windows above have deeply splayed sills, some 1.4m below the windows themselves.  The walls are 1.9m thick from base to roof.  Now to the design. This is a complicated issue because although most of the features suggest a late 12C date. Pevsner (279) suggests that its 'strange impression' can only be explained ‘by the re-use of the piers and arches, and indeed the outer hood-mould of nailhead'. The piers' bases have been damaged in various ways, and are partially concealed by the pews. The bases would all seem to have two squared sections and then narrow roll mouldings at the foot of the circular piers. The abaci are square. The capitals vary: the eastern respond has water-leaf; the next scallops; and the western respond a series of simple sections. The most interesting is the one east from that. It has a concave shape, and then a frieze with small carvings. These are square flowers and ball and flower, like those on the south porch inner door arch. These are 14th century motifs.  Above the arches on the nave wall are nailhead hood- moulds. Those over this last capital do not reach the capital.  Others do.  The arches are fairly pointed, and the western one shows some degree of collapse: the western half isn’t symmetrical.

The Nave - The North Arcade     top

The walls are slightly thinner than those on the south but the same width throughout at 1.8m. Again there are three bays: 3.6, 3.6 and 3.5 respectively in width from the west. The capital tops are 3m from the floor: .2m higher than the south. The sloping sills begin 2m higher but the windows are at the same height as those on the south. The design is of quatrefoil piers, on octagonal bases and arches with a moulding of two slight chamfers. The eastern respond would seem to have had a much wider base, and part of the east wall of the north aisle intrudes on the respond. The next pier also has a wider square base, and some interesting carvings, not unlike water-leaf, at the bottom of the pier itself.  It seems likely that the south arcade was rebuilt in the early 14th C to balance the 13C arcade to the north.

The Aisles - South and North     top

The south aisle is 5.8m wide and 16m long: the north 5.8m wide and 18.3 long. All the windows are splayed.  The east wall of the north aisle has some strange features at the south end. As we have seen the wall is less thick at this point, but even so it overlaps part of the respond. Then there is a kind of shelf, where the wall is thinner still, and above this there are re-used stones.  The window slopes outwards toward the north. The south aisle east wall has the entrance to the Rood Loft stairs. This is an elegant, four-centred arch. The opening is well off the ground, implying perhaps some wooden steps within the building itself.  Both the aisles have piscinas: on the north, within the east wall; in the south wall, on the south. Next to this, below the south-east window is a recess with blind tracery against the wall. This has two quatrefoils, with mall escutcheons, to either side of a pair of arches each with an escutcheon. This was probably part of a tomb. Above this is the flat inner sill of the window.

The Tower and Spire       top

The interior of the tower at ground level has arches to east (with hood-mould and carved heads on the eastward side), and to north and south. To the west double doors that now lead into the west porch. Above, on the west is a wide ledge below a tall window, the lower part of which has been blocked, presumably when the porch was constructed, assuming it's gable roof is original. There is a grilled entrance into the roof space. On the ledge is a lead water-pipe hopper dated 1632. It is a three light window with the centre light the full height of the window, with a trefoil at the apex. The outer ones are arched with cinque-foils and two triangular areas. The whole has a hood-mould with carved stops.
A door exists on the north-west angle which gave access from the spiral staircase to a platform under the tower. Two pillars from this are said to have been used as supports for the porch on the north side of Lovells in the Square.
The next room of the tower is the Ringing Chamber and above that the Belfry. The final room gives access, via a short fixed ladder to the parapet, and via a long ladder through a central opening into the interior of the spire.

The Tapper Design for the South Aisle   top

The archives contain a set of coloured drawings for this work which was begun, but not completed, in the 1920s as a memorial to those who had died in the First World War.   The two eastern bays of the aisle were to be screen off, across the aisle, and between the two eastern arches. This would have created a space of about 6m x 8^m. Three rows of seats were planned: fours and threes with a wide central passage. A communion rail was to have been set centrally level with the pier, thus diving the chapel into two equal halves. The 'sanctuary' was to be a little over 4m deep with a diagonally tiled pavement and altar.  This part was constructed. The altar has a stone mensa and rests on a strong oak support. It was to have had riddel posts, surmounted by candles held by angels, and rich hangings.  A memorial board with names in black on white and with decorations in green, red and gold was designed to be placed on the outer wall between the two windows, and the memorials presently sited were to be removed to the west porch. In the event, the war memorial was placed in the west porch.  The chapel was dedicated for Our Lady of Victories and St Rumbold on April 20 1926 by the Bishop of Leicester, the suffragan for Peterborough. He celebrated a Pontifical Mass the next morning at 7.15am at which there were 60 communicants.

Our Lady of Victories is a title bestowed on the Blessed Virgin Mary by Pope Pius V after the defeat of Turkish forces at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. The victory was credited to Mary’s intercession and to the Pope who commended the praying of the Rosary to victory.

The St Thomas Becket Chapel Reredos   top

This Reredos, together with the stone plinth and the wooden altar, was designed by Scott probably in 1866.  The reredos has five panels and these originally had plaster figures. A  Crucifix in the centre, then St Mary and St John, to left and  right, and two further saints in the outer panels. These may well have been Peter and Paul.  However, by the 1920s some of the figures were damaged and it was decided to remove the figures. Prof E W Tristram was commissioned to replace these with paintings. The centre panel is again the Crucifixion. From left the right, the other panels are the Annuciation, the Nativity, the Angels appearing to the shepherds and the Adoration of the Magi.  This work was given in memory of Annie Elizabeth Williams.

For more detailed pictures please click HERE

The Reredos, plinth and altar were moved from the Chancel to the north aisle in 1945. The chapel was dedicated on the feast of St Thomas Becket, 29 December, that year.  The plinth had already had an aumbry inserted into it, for the Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament which was restored from April 20, 1946.  Later a tabernacle was placed on the altar, in front of this aumbry.  The reredos was cleaned and restored in 2002 by Clifford Ellison of Long Buckby.

The North Aisle       top

Low-relief wood carvings - these are something of a mystery.  It is said, by Edwin McGinlay, that one of the Vicars was playing Bridge at Lovells and noticed these carvings as a chimney-piece. He remarked that they were probably originally in Church and they were subsequently donated.  An entry in the Terrier wrote of them as depicting the Presentation in the Temple, but there is no child and the iconography does not fit at all.  Each panel, which measures 32 x 49cms is set within a frame which overall is 1.66m long and ?  high, and now forms part  of  the dado.   There are two figures in each panel. Are they sequential?  Is the sequence correct?  And, if so, what is the story?  The left panel shows a woman and man facing each other. She has long hair hanging over her shoulders and wears a long robe,  open at the neck, with broad, long sleeves. There is a girdle around her and one hand is held out towards the man, the other hangs by her skirts.   He is bearded and also with very long hair.  He wears a hat, somewhat mitre like. His robe is long with very wide sleeves. His right hand is extended towards the woman and they look directly at each other.  The centre pair are probably a man and a woman too. The man to the left is bearded with shoulder-length hair. His long robe has sash and girdle. He appears to have held something in his right hand. It may be something is broken off, but something carved away from the main body would be out of style with the rest, so it may be assumed that it is probably some kind of container, and what we see in his hand is the stopper.  The right figure is probably a woman, certainly no facial hair and once again, very long hair, and this time a crown is worn. The hands are held together in prayer.  Both figures look directly out at the observer.  The third pair is two men facing each other. Both are bearded and with long hair. The left one has a wide sash across his shoulder, over a long robe. One hand rests on his breast, the other held out towards the other man. His robe has a belt and above it three buttons. He holds both hands out to the other.

The Screen        top

The Chancel Screen was designed by Sir G G Scott. It is of oak.  The base is a single, chamfered beam that runs the width of the chancel westward of the step. From this eight timbers rise to its full height. On the west side these are carved as engaged pillars. They are jointed in to a cross beam....from the floor.  The lower areas are filled with panels, the centre paired, hinged and forming a doorway. The upper parts of the outer three sections to either side are filled with carved tracery. The centre pair have an arch with cusping below and tracery above.  A number of small flowerets on the cusps are missing.  At the top there are springing points for a tierceron style vault in timber which overhangs the main screen. Across this runs a low balustrade with trefoil openings and a pattern, above those, of billets. At the back, the cross timber is slightly lower and made with small vertical openings.  The whole screen is constructed with pegs and is varnished.   Its overall width is 4.5m and   high. The plaster figures of the Crucifixion, Our Lady and St John which were originally part of the Scott Reredos were placed on the Screen in 1992.

The Pulpit        top

The Pulpit, of oak, was designed by Scott and originally stood on the north side of the nave.  The repositioning of the reading desk is clear: it was originally opposite the staircase.  It is octagonal, with a stair of five steps. The support is also octagonal. The panels have carved tracery arches. Those on the support also have, alternately, linenfold.

The Font         top

The medieval font had been replaced in the 19th century. Then in the 1920s the present font was discovered in the churchyard.  The then Vicar, Fr Maxwell Rennie, believed that they had found  the font removed in the 19th century, and that it was the one  associated with the baptism of St Rumbold in 662AD. He, therefore, wrote about the 'Saxon' font.  Sir Nikolaus Pevsner dates it as Norman, and my own researches show that it is not the one here in medieval times. See attached copies of 19th century drawings. The present cirular base is a mill-stone, said to be from Twyford Mill; Above this is a drum of lime-stone and then the irregular 7-sided bowl. It has crosses incised on it: in 1923? and is lined with lead.   The internal diameter is 82cm. The base is 10cm deep, the drum 39cm and the bowl 35cm.  

Glass (To go to Picture Gallery click HERE)

North aisle: NE window      top

A memorial to Elizabeth Jeffkins, Matron in Charterhouse School. She died April 5 1856 and is buried in the churchyard. The centre light is an illustration of the passage from Revelation 3.20 which is quoted in the glass. 'Behold I stand at the door and knock.' The passage continues:  'if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.' Christ is robed in purple and is seen knocking at a door which is obscured by weeds - a sign of the soul's indifference or worse.  An angel kneels on the ground. He has an extraordinary expression of sadness.

The East Window of the Chancel    top

A memorial to four members of the Willes family: John William d. 1826; William Shippen d.1822 Vicar of the parish;  Margarette Willes d. 1831 and William d.  1865.

The glass at the bottom of the window is a garish, geometric design. This area was once concealed by the Reredos. Above there are six angels with symbols of the Passion of Christ.

The upper tracery has six panels. The inner four have angels with musical instruments: psaltery and harps. The principal lights each have two scenes. They run: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6, 7, 5 and 8.   The agony in the garden of Gethesemane; the arrest  of Jesus (Judas' kiss of betrayal, and Peter wounding Malchus); Jesus being scourged; carrying the Cross; the Crucifixion; The Deposition; the Resurrection; and the Ascension.

The South Wall of Chancel - SW window    top

A three-light window with three quatrefoils in the tracery. The main lights have three apostles: St John the Evangelist, St Philip and St James the Less. They each carry a book. John has the chalice with the emerging dragon; a symbol of the poison which legend says was used in an attempt to kill him. Philip has a processional cross, and James the club with which he was beaten to death.  They stand under richly coloured and ornamented canopies. The tracery has three angels. The lettering reads: To the glory of God and in memory of their father by two sons. Below is a smaller window showing the Old Testament prophet, Samuel. The window has a border of leaves. He stands on a podium with a chequered floor, behind him a rich tapestry which is decorated with initial Ss. Samuel himself, has a blue halo and fair, curly hair. He is dressed as a deacon and is using a thurible.  A brass plaque records that this is a memorial to Charles Adolphus Knight who died in 1872 aged 13.

South Aisle - SE window      top

This has three lights each with two scenes. The tracery again has three octofoil panels and four much smaller panels. The tracery figures represent the three theological virtues '(see 1 Cor 13): love, in the apex, a woman with children; and faith, symbolised by the cross; and hope, symbolised by the anchor (Heb 6.19)

The scenes all show women in the Gospels. In the centre the Annunciation 'Luke 1.26f) and the Visitation (Luke 1.39f).To the right Jesus with Mary, Martha and Lazarus, and the woman anointing Jesus in the house of Simon the leper; and to the left, the women coming to the tomb on Easter Day, and Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalen. A memorial to Mary Patience Willes d. 1871.

The South-West Window      top

Three-lights and 2 quatrefoils and 2 daggers and a sex-foil in the tracery. The last has Jesus Crowned in glory. The daggers have angels with scrolls. The quatrefoils have the letters Alpha and Omega (the first and the last). The six scenes are those of the parable of the sheep and the goats. (St Matthew 25.31ff.) Feeding the hungry, welcoming the stranger, visiting the sick, giving water to the thirsty, clothing the naked and visiting the prisoner.  This is a memorial to Charles Thomas Willes d. 1877.

Robert Kenwrick       top

Robert Kenwrick was born in 1629 at Stokegreene in Worcestershire and baptized at the church of Bradley, near Worcester, October 18th 1629. He married Elizabeth- surname not known - in his early twenties and they lived at King's Sutton, possibly at the Manor House. His first child, born in 1653, was christened Charles and died at 5 weeks old.  It is said that King Charles stayed at the Manor at the time of Edgehill. Perhaps this led to the name of R's first child. He had at least 15 other children: Sarah, Penellopi (sic), Ursula, George, Richard, Robert & Elizabeth (twins), Raphael, Edward, Thomas, Katherine, Elizabeth, William, John and Alexander. He died Oct 6th 1689 and was buried 2 days later in King's Sutton Church.  He seems to have been a person of consequence in the village. His name always heads the list of the churchwardens' levy and is the only one who is given 'Esquire'. His successor Richard seems to have been of less consequence. His name on its first appearance in the levy is followed by 'Esq', but a later hand has erased 'Esq' and written 'Mr'.

Robert paid 4/6 a year on the levy and later 9/-. He also rented the as yet unidentified 'church barn' for £1 a year.

The first few baptism entries of his children stand out conspicuously on the pages of the register, and are accorded details not given in humbler births, e.g. the actual time of birth.

The Renwrick family is now only remembered in the village as having been connected with the Lovells.  It would be interesting to identify present-day descendants.  Notes in pencil on the reverse of a rubbing of the brass in church.  On the front, also in pencil, the arms:  KING'S SUTTON Northants The arm's (sic) are - Ermine, a lion rampant sable.  Crest - On a bundle of arrows in fess or, feathered and headed argent, banded sable, a hawk close of the 2nd, beaked and belled of the first.

S Ward Painting       top

Sophia Ward was born in the village in 1871 baptised September 24 and died here July 1 1946. Her grave is in the village Cemetery. She was the second of 9 children of Thomas Botteril and Annie Ward.  He is described as a butler (presumably at either the Manor House or possible Astrop House), and according to Edwin McGinlay, the family lived at 35 Richmond Street.  He tells how the painting was given to the Church during Fr Rennie’s period (i.e. 1921-1928) but that it had been given to Miss Ward. However, the pencil inscription on the back, records S Ward as the painter. It once hung above the Lady Altar, but for a number of years until recently, high over the inner south porch. It has been restored in 2003 by Christopher Welby of Haddenham, Bucks and is again a focal point of the Lady Chapel.

The original is in the National Gallery in London. It is called ‘The Virgin in Prayer' by II Sassoferrato, whose actual name was Giovanni Battista Salvi (1640-50). His soubriquet comes from the area on the east of the Italian peninsula known as The Marches.

The painting show Mary, palms held loosely together, her eyes almost closed and looking down. Her face is filled with a gentle peace and is joyous and serene. She is a young woman wearing a red, long-sleeved dress with a scooped neck. An inner cuff can be seen at one wrist. Her head is covered with a creamy veil, covering part of her face in shadow, and tightly bound round her shoulders. Over this is a cloak of blue silk.  The background is dark, stressing her composure and the colours:  red, cream, blue and the light flesh tones.    The blue of the original was made from lapis lazuli and suffers from what art experts call 'ultramarine sickness', which is a condition taking away the bloom of the paint tone and which is irremediable.  Miss Ward's copy is very good. It is likely that when she painted it, perhaps around 1900, the original would have been varnished.  Her blue has a green tinge to it. But she was faithfully reproducing what she was in the Gallery.

Rupert Fowke attests that Sophie (as apparently she was called here) was known to be an artist.  Clearly, no-one paints copies of Old Masters to this standard without a good deal of both skill and experience.  Are there other paintings by her, perhaps even in King's Sutton?