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St James the Great, Sutton-on-Hull, Yorkshire, East Riding

(53°46′52″N, 0°18′17″W)
TA 118 330
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, East Riding
now East Riding of Yorkshire
medieval York
now York
  • Rita Wood
07 Jun, 15 Aug 2005

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Feature Sets

A nave and a long chancel in stone with, notably, the west tower, clerestory and aisles in 14th-15th-century brickwork. The church was made collegiate in 1347, which accounts for the length of the chancel; it has the effigy of Sir John de Sutton, the founder of the college (Pevsner and Neave 1995, 565). The church contains a late twelfth-century font and pillar piscina.


By 1086, the recorded landholdings had passed to Drew de Bevriere, and were later parts of the Aumale fee.

Sutton was a chapelry to Wawne, but it ‘gradually became independent of Wawne church and its territory was eventually regarded as a separate parish’ (VCH VII, 199).

In 1115 Wawne church was given to Beauvais abbey, probably to help found Aumale abbey, but in 1150-51, it was given to Meaux (VCH VII, 199). In a charter of c.1160 (EYC iii, 35-6), William, earl of Aumale, confirmed the gift of his father, Stephen, in 1115 to Beauvais abbey; this charter mentions Wawne’s dependent chapel of Sutton (VCHER I, 305).

In 1346, Sir John de Sutton was licensed to found a college at Sutton for a master and five chaplains, and the church was soon enlarged (VCHER I, 306).




Piscinae/Pillar Piscinae



This looks like a cylindrical font re-fashioned. The guide leaflet (Rhode, n.d.) has an illustration, thought to be c.1760, of a cylindrical font with a nailhead rim, which presumably is the present font in an earlier state. At some date, the bottom of the font was recut to its present curve. Both in the illustration and at present, the font is raised on an octagonal pillar.

The cup-shaped profile is normally late twelfth-century or thirteenth-century (compare font now at Hull, St Martin, formerly at Nunkeeling), but the recutting of this font at Sutton seems to have been post-medieval.

For nailhead, compare the font now at Hull, St Michael and All Angels, which was formerly at Wharram Percy.


The piscina has the general pillar form of earlier ones, for example at Easington, Muston and Sherburn, but it is not so tall as these, which range from 0.773m to 0.885m high. However, set in the niche, it gains height.


W. Farrer, Early Yorkshire Charters 3, Edinburgh, 1916

G. Lawton, Collectio rerum ecclesiasticarum de diocesi Eboracensi; or, Collections relative to churches and chapels within the Diocese of York. To which are added collections relative to churches and chapels within the diocese of Ripon, New edition, London, 1842

N. Pevsner and D. Neave, Yorkshire: York and the East Riding, 2nd edition, London, 1995

M. Rhode, St James the Great, Sutton-on-Hull: some interesting features, no place, no date

Victoria County History: East Riding of Yorkshire, I (The City of Kingston upon Hull), 1969

Victoria County History: East Riding of Yorkshire, VII (Holderness Wapentake, north and middle sections), 2002