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Visitor information

location

Sutterby
Louth
Lincolnshire
LN11 8RB

OS Reference

TF 385 724

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Open daily

info
  • Sutterby church is situated on private land which forms part of The Harrington Estate. Visitors should note that access to the land, apart from the church and churchyard, is not possible without the specific permission of the estate manager
  • Parking is permitted only in the gravelled carpark outside ‘Shoot Lodge’ (not in front of the farm buildings themselves)
  • Please contact the office if you need alternative access arrangements

Sutterby is a Scandinavian place-name, probably meaning the settlement of a shoemaker. The church of St John the Baptist is 12th century in date.

History

Whilst excavations have revealed an earlier church on this site, the earliest part of the extant church at Sutterby is Norman north doorway on the north side. This is a narrow entrance with an uneven round-headed arch. It is infilled with red brick.

The current entrance is via the south porch of 1743. This porch reuses a 14th-century mouchette as its arch. Inside, the bowl of the font is decorated on each of its eight sides with a traceried panel of 14th-century design.

The nave and chancel are separated by an asymmetrical screen. To the north, the screen has five lights, while to the south it has four. The screen is largely Victorian but reuses some medieval fragments.

We took this church into our care in 1981. If we didn’t, it would certainly have been torn down. During our repairs, we discovered fragments of wall-paintings, these include a Royal Arms painted above the chancel screen. These are most likely to be those of Charles II (1660–1685). It is just possible to discern the unicorn.

Further remains of wall paintings survive over the south door. This is part of a panel incorporating a Biblical quotation, although only the scroll base can be picked out clearly. Stylistically this dates from the 18th century.

Sutterby church is supported by the most wonderful, creative and curious group, the Sutterby Horde. More information about their work can be found by following the Spirit of Sutterby link below.

St John the Baptist, Sutterby, Lincolnshire (5)
St John the Baptist, Sutterby, Lincolnshire (5)

Highlights

  • Norman doorway on the north elevation
  • Reused 14th-century carving in the porch doorway
  • 14th-century font and the graffiti around its rim
  • 19th-century carved timber screen that incorporates fragments of medieval tracery
  • Vestiges of wall-paintings over the chancel screen and south doorway

Further reading

Please use these links if you would like to know more about the church and the surrounding area

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