All Saints, Sutton Bassett, Northamptonshire
- Site Location
- Sutton Bassett
- National Grid Reference
- SP 772 904
now: Peterborough from 1539
now (or name of monument): All Saints
- Type of building/monument
- Parish church
II General Description
All Saints' is a small two-cell aisleless church with a double bell-cote in the W gable. The nave has a 12thc. S doorway, much restored, and there is a small plain 12thc. window in the N wall of the chancel. The chancel arch responds and capitals are early 12thc., but the arch has been replaced with a pointed head. The interior, including the sculpture, is coated with a thick layer of whitewash. The church was restored in 1861, and the chancel E wall, the nave N wall and the chancel arch completely rebuilt.
III Exterior Features
(i) S nave doorway
Horseshoe-headed, two orders with tympanum The tympanum is carved with a regular diapering of pyramidal lozenges. It is in five pieces. The lowest stone is of full width with an angle roll at the lower edge. It occupies slightly more than half the height of the tympanum, and above it is a course of three blocks, newer looking and carved from a yellower stone. A single stone above them completes the tympanum. It is carried on square jambs, the W original except at the top, the E largely replacement except for three stones below the level of the second-order capitals. Second order. Modern cushion capitals with modern hollow-chamfered imposts on modern en-delit nook-shafts. These extend down to 5-6 courses above the doorstep, where they sit on square jambs built straight out from the inner edges of the doorway. The round-headed horseshoe arch has a heavy angle roll, largely modern but with some original voussoirs. Where original stone survives it is red; the modern replacements are in yellow stone.
|h. of opening||2.14 m|
|w. of opening||0.97 m|
|h. of tympanum||0.72 m|
|w. of tympanum||1.08 m|
|thickness of tympanum||0.165 m|
IV Interior Features
a. Chancel arch/Apse arches
(i) Chancel arch
Of two orders to E and W, with a later, pointed arch of two orders. First order (shared). Half column responds on bulbous bases. The N base has a grooved roll necking above a heavy bulbous base, which is carved with a pair of loosely twining stems in relief. The S base has a similar necking and a grooved roll around the equator of the bulbous lower section. The N capital is of cushion form with a thick roll necking. The W face has a plain shield, but on the S and E faces are a pair of fighting confronted lions, crudely carved in relief. The thick whitewash obscures any surface detail they may have had. The impost is hollow chamfered with a horizontal triple reed on the lower part of the face. The S capital is also of cushion type. The E shield appears to be uncarved, the N is crudely carved in the form of a face recessed in the shield with wide, bulging almond-shaped eyes under a heavy brow-ridge with a vertical central ridge indicating a nose. The W shield is similarly laid out and may also represent a face, but the heavy whitewash makes certainty impossible on this point - it could equally be a tree. The Impost on the S has a hollow chamfer with an angle roll above. The face has the remains of a row of incised lozenges on the E face and the E part of the N, but the rest of it is crudely tooled. Second order (E and W). The second order appears to be entirely modern, with square jambs supporting imposts carved to the same design as the first order N impost.
Robert de Bucy held one hide and two parts of half a hide at Sutton Bassett in 1086, and four sokemen of Countess Judith held half a hide and the third part of half a hide. In neither holding was there a church or a priest recorded.
Benefice of Stoke Albany with Wilbarston and Ashley with Won-by-Welland and Sutton Bassett.
Pevsner notes that the diapering of the S doorway has parallels at Peterborough cathedral (after 1118), and it may be noted that the horseshoe arch does too. The chancel arch is more interesting, and perhaps late 11thc. rather than 12thc. Early bulbous bases also appear in the county at Pitsford and Barton Seagrave, both of which also contain simplified animal carving not dissimilar to that on the chancel arch capitals here. RCHME asserts that its status as a dependent chapel is confirmed by the absence of a graveyard.
- J. Bridges, The History and Antiquities of Northamptonshire, Compiled from the manuscript collections of the late learned antiquary J.Bridges, Esq., by the Rev. Peter Whalley, Oxford, 1791, II, 361.
- N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Northamptonshire, Harmondsworth, 1961, rev. by B. Cherry, 1973, 422.
- RCHME Report, uncatalogued.