An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 4, South east. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1923.
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92. SUTTON. (F.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. lxxviii. N.E.)
Sutton is a small parish on the S. bank of the Roach, 2 m. N. of Southend-on-Sea. The church is interesting.
(1). Parish Church of All Saints (Plate, p. xxxii) stands about the middle of the parish. The walls are of ragstone-rubble with dressings of Reigate and Barnack-stone; the roofs are tiled, and the bell-turret is boarded. The Chancel and Nave were built in the first half of the 12th century; the Bell-turret was built in the 15th century, and the South Porch added c. 1633.
The S. doorway is a good example of 13th-century work and the S. porch is interesting as a dated example.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (18½ ft. by 18¼ ft.) has three modern lancet-windows in the E. wall. In the N. wall is a window all modern externally, but with 12th-century splays; it has been lengthened. In the S. wall is a window uniform with that in the N., but with only the E. splay of the 12th century; further W. is a taller lancet-window, mainly old externally; at the E. end of the wall is a partly restored 13th-century doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred arch; it is now blocked. The 12th-century chancel-arch is semi-circular and of two orders on the W. face, the inner plain and the outer roll-moulded; the responds have each a flat half-round attached shaft with moulded bases, modern capitals and moulded abaci carried round as imposts.
The Nave (38 ft. by 22¼ ft.) has in the N. wall two windows, the eastern is modern and the western is a single round-headed light of the 12th-century, restored at the base; below and to the W. of it is the 12th-century N. doorway, with plain jambs and round arch and a heavy oak balk as a threshold; it is disused and now forms a cupboard. In the S. wall are two windows uniform with those in the N. wall, but the western is only slightly restored externally; the early 13th-century S. doorway (Plate, p. 121) has a two-centred arch of three moulded orders and a damaged chamfered label; the moulded jambs, also of three orders, have each one attached and two free shafts with moulded capitals and bases; the E. jamb, except two of the bases, and the middle W. shaft are modern; the splays have attached keeled shafts with moulded capitals and partly restored on the E. side. In the W. wall is a window all modern except the splays and rear-arch, which are possibly of the 14th century; below it are traces, externally, of a former doorway.
The Bell-turret, at the W. end of the nave, stands on four posts with curved braces and curved framing above the cross-beams, all of the 15th century; there are also four inner posts added at a later period, probably in the 17th century.
The South Porch is of timber, and has a round outer archway with a key-block and sunk spandrels carved with the date 1633; the mouldings of the W. post have a high carved stop. The side walls have each a square opening, now blocked, and having three free and two half-balusters all symmetrically turned.
The Roof of the chancel is of the 15th century, with one king-post truss, chamfered main timbers and old trussed-rafters; the square king-post has a moulded capital and base and four-way struts. The roof of the nave is of the same date and character, and has three king-post trusses and old flat trussed-rafters.
Fittings—Bell: one, inaccessible, but said to be by John Clifton, 1638. Coffin-lid: In church-yard—S. of church, with moulded edge and semi-octagonal lower end, Purbeck marble, 13th-century. Communion Rails: with turned balusters and heavy top rail, late 17th-century, probably brought from elsewhere and adapted to present position. Communion Table: with heavy turned legs and shaped brackets, c. 1660. Doors: In N. doorway—disused, of overlapping battens with one old strap-hinge, 15th or 16th-century. In S. doorway—with old inner and modern outer battens. Floor-slab: In churchyard—S. side, to John Staple, 1661. Font: square bowl with five shallow pointed panels on each side, 13th-century, stem, base and half the bowl modern. Painting: In chancel—on splays of 12th-century windows, remains of decoration in red and yellow bands. Panelling: In porch—with partly fluted and partly plain frieze, early 17th-century, three carefully cut names on W. side—Charles Hobson, 1647, Samuell Purchas, 1647, and .... ard Britridge (16)47. Plate: includes a cup of 1601 with baluster stem. Seating: In chancel and W. tower—several plain benches of the 16th century, considerably repaired. Also others with shaped standards of late 17th-century date.
(2). Sutton Hall, 140 yards E. of the church, is of two storeys with attics. The walls are of brick and timber-framing partly plastered and partly weather-boarded; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 16th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N. and W. and has 17th-century and modern additions in the angle. The walls were largely refaced with brick in the 18th century, and modern alterations include the removal of a staircase which projected at the S. end of the E. front. The chimneystacks are rectangular, but have been partly re-built, and there is a small gable on the S. end of the E. front with moulded barge-boards. Inside the building some of the rooms have exposed ceiling-beams, and in one room on the ground-floor is some 17th-century panelling. There is similar panelling on the first floor and a door with 'cockshead' hinges. The roof over the middle part of the front block is original and has cambered tie-beams with curved struts supporting the purlins, but the other roofs are for the most part modern, though incorporating some old timbers.
Condition—Good, much altered.
(3). The Rectory, on E. side of the road, 350 yards S. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It is a small early 17th-century building, L-shaped on plan, with the wings extending towards the S. and E., and has modern extensions on the N., E. and S. In the E. wall of the S. wing of the original building is a partly blocked window of three lights. There is one original chimney-stack. Inside the building two of the main ceiling-beams of the ground-floor are exposed but the others are cased.
(4). Temple Farm, now two tenements, on S. border of the parish, 1,000 yards S.S.W. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It is a rectangular building of early 17th-century date, much altered externally. Inside the building some of the ceiling-beams are exposed, and parts of the timber-construction are visible on the first floor.