I have visited this church on a few occasions over the years, and like the setting very much. Considering that it is not all that far from the A47, it is remarkably quiet and peaceful here.
The photographs on this page come from mid May 2010, on a very pleasant Saturday morning. I had decided to pop out to see if I could get inside the churches here, and at neighbouring Upton, neither of which I had ever been inside. In the end, I saw inside both and made the short trip home very pleased.
This church was originally built in 1120, as a Chapel-of-Ease to Castor. Originally, there would have been just a simple nave and chancel, until the south aisle was added some 50 years later. A chapel was added early in the 13th century, which was dedicated to St Giles, who was the Patron Saint of lepers ans cripples. The nave walls were raised in the 15th century and three clerestory windows were added at that time.
There is much of interest in the interior of this church. There are similarities in the interior with the churches at Castor and Maxey, leading to the assumption that work on all three was undertaken by a workshop that operated from Castor in the early 12th century. The carvings on the capitals at either side of the chancel arch are exceptional. These are pictured below with a Green Man type figure with foiliage coming out of his mouth catching the eye.
Also of interest is a carved stone lion, with some kind of beast riding on its back. This is thought to be Norman and it is suggested that this might have been either a bench end or the sidepost of a flight of steps. This is pictured below and you will notice holes in it for carrying purposes.
As with most other churches, there was considerable restoration work undertaken at Sutton in Victorian times. The chancel and the south aisle were heavily restored in the 1860's.
There is a bellcote, which supports a single bell, which was cast by Taylors of Loughborough in 1914. The original bellcote dated from the 13th century, and housed two bells. This was rebuilt in the early 1930's. At the time of the renovations of the 1860's there was one bell which was made by J Warner and Son. Going back in to the very distant past, a church inventory in 1552 noted that there were two small bells, a Sanctus bell and two hand bells at St Michael.
On the south wall of St Michael's there are some very worn heads, including one that resembles a dog with floppy ears. There are also a couple of gargoyles over the north door. Quite nice pieces of work. In the church grounds a carved Saxon cross shaft has been built in to the wall of a dovecote at the rear of the church.
The church grounds are well kept and looked very attractive with the late spring flowers still in bloom. To the west, the grounds descend in to woodland. There are a few very nicely carved gravestones to be seen here, but nothing of any real age. I suspect that there is nothing pre Georgian here.