This Mission was opened by the then Vicar, the Rev. F. Brodhurst, opening a Sunday School in the Hardwick Street Infant Council School under the superintendence of Mr. C. B. Beecroft in the early part of 1879. The Vicar next commenced Sunday evening services in the same room at 8-30 p.m., under the charge of the Rev. F. T. Marsh, Curate. On September 15th, 1881, Mr. Marsh having acquired the tenancy of the Ebenezer Meeting House in Hardwick Street, repaired it, built a Vestry, and fitted it up as a Mission Church. On September loth, 1881, this Mission Church was dedicated and licenced by the Bishop for Divine Worship, and the Mission dedicated in honour of Saint Modwenna, Abbess of Burton-on-Trent. The services of dedication consisted of a Celebration of the Holy Communion at 7 a.m., when there were 10 Communicants, and Evensong at 7-30 p.m., when the preacher was the Rev. J. C. Massey, Rector of South Normanton. At first the services in this Church consisted only of a Celebration on Great Festivals and a Sunday service at 8-30 p.m., and a service on Thursday evenings at S p.m. The Sacrament ofHoly Baptism was also administered. In June, 1883, a Monthly Celebration of Holy Communion was established. In August, 1883, Mr. Marsh took a small house in Station Street where Mothers' Meetings, Men's Institute, Guild Meetings, etc., were held. In 1885, it became apparent that if S. Modwen's Mission was to grow, it must have a Curate of its own. Mr. Marsh, therefore, resigned his connection with the Parish Church and took up the Curacy of S. Modwen's, where he commenced weekly and Saints'-day Celebrations and daily Mattins and Evensong; the weekly Celebrations consisting of an Early one Plain, and a Mid-day one Choral, and the Evening Service was now moved to 6-30 p.m., Mr. A. H. Bonser and J. H. Branston being appointed us the first Churchwardens. In 1886, it was found advisable to increase the Church accommodation, and an Iron Church in use at S. Alban's, Sneinton, being available, the Committee of S. Modwen's purchased it and brought it to Sutton, and erected it on a strip of land in Hardwick Street, adjoining the Council School. This Church was capable of seating between 300 and 400 people, and was re-erected by Messrs. Jarvis &Sons, all the furniture, including the Altar, the Screen, and the Bell being transferred from the old Mission Church to the Iron Church. When everything was ready, the Vicar was asked by the Committee to desire the Bishop to licence the Iron Church. This, however, he declined to do, and consequently the work of the Mission came to an abrupt termination, with the exception of the Sunday School and the Mothers' Meeting, which have flourished to the present time. The Church then passed by purchase from the Committee to the Rev. F. T. Marsh, who retained it in his possession, and kept it in repair for seven years, until the advent of the Rev. F. R. Pyper (1893) as Vicar of the parish, who gladly accepted the responsibility of re-opening the Mission, and maintaining the Church. From that time a full complement of Sunday services has been regularly held. A flourishing Guild and other Institutions have been established, and the Mission has taken deep root and is steadily growing in strength. On Sunday, October 28th, 1906, the Rev. F. J. Adams (Vicar) dedicated a new east window (in "glacier" decoration). The Rev. E. H. Perkins is now in charge, having succeeded the Rev. L. A. Pollock in 1905.

S. Modwen's Hall in High Pavement, was erected in 1901-2, the building contract being £257.


The Town Hall

From designs by Mr. J. P. Adlington, architect, of High Pavement, the above commodious red brick building was erected. It stands on a site in full command of the Market Place, with a corner and side views to Low Street and Market Street respectively. It owes its origin to a limited liability company, formed in 1876, with a registered capital of £3,000. The initial cost, however, was £500 beyond that sum, which was paid out of the profits realised from the undertaking. The site, which was rented by the then tenant of the Denman's Head Hotel, and used by him for garden and other purposes, was purchased from the representatives of the Unwin Family for £1,000. The foundation stone was laid by the Duke of Portland on December 10th, 1888, and it was opened with an oratorio performance by the Sutton Harmonic Society early the following year. In the first instance, the hall was approached by a flight of steps from Market Street, but, extensive alterations being carried out in 1906, entailing an outlay of £8,000, a new entrance, with a spacious hall, was made in the Market Place, a large shop taking the place of the old entrance. There is a balcony extending the whole length of the south side of the building, which is surmounted bv a tower, in which accommodation is provided for a clock. The large hall is 90ft. by 45ft., and will accommodate, including the platform, 1,000 persons, the small hall being 60ft. by 28ft. The Secretary of the Company is Mr. J. G. Allsop, High Street.


The Vicarage house stands to the south of the Church, and is a commodious stone residence, built, 1867, on land which, together with the garden and paddock, comprises rather more than two acres, the site of the ancient tithe barn. It was built by a grant from the trustees of Gally Knight, supplemented with handsome donations from the Duke of Portland, and others. The late Rev. C. Bellairs, in 1871, added a dining room, and a large parish room, 30ft. by 18ft., and also enlarged the stables.

In August, 1906, two additional bedrooms were erected—one 20ft by 15ft.. and the other 16ft. by 12ft.—and other improvements carried ont. Towards the cost the Duke of Portland gave £100, and the Eccleciastical Commissioners £100.


In the summer of 1867 the vicarage and the spire of the chnrch were both struck with lightning within a week of each other. The former occurrence happened in the middle of the night.   The then vicar (Rev. Charles Bellairs) had left his bedroom at the height of the storm to watch its progress through a window in an adjoining apartment,  and on re-entering his room the electric  fluid came down  the  chimney,  passing  betwixt himself and his wife,  and throwing the fender and fire-irons to the opposite side of the room. It  then  descended  into  the  room  beneath, and finally  escaped through the aperture made in the wall for the bellwire. The following week the church spire was struck in two places, forcing large and massive pieces of stone to a distance of about 20 yards in the churchyard. In 1885, the Rev. F. T. Marsh, who was then curate at Sutton (now Rector of Sedgberrow.  Evesham.  Worcestershire)  caused the spire, with the aid of  Mr. H. Fowler, architect to the Dean and Chapter of Durham, to be restored. Twenty-five feet of the damaged architecture was pulled down and rebuilt and an addition  of four feet was also made to the spire. The present lightning conductors on the spire and vicarage were also erected at the same time. The work entailed a cost of £160.


THE CHURCH CHOIR consists of 16 men and 16 boys, who wear surplices at all the  services. Surplices were first worn at the Church  in January, 1870, and were then provided by the late Rev. C. Bellairs.


An elegant Processional Cross is used on special occasions at the Parish Church. It was a gift to the Church by Mr. G. B. Armstrong in memory of his late wife, a native of Sutton. It contains the following inscription: — "D. D. Ad Ecclesiam. Sanctae Mariae Magdalenae de Sutton-in-Ashfield. Guilielmus B. Armstrong. In Memoriam, Annae Armstrong. A.D., 1887."


The bell ringers at the Parish Church are—Messrs. W. Allen, L. Slack, and S. Higginbottom, with Mast. G. Allen, who began when 10 years of age, as assistant.


Since the death of the late Mr. Daniel Revill Betts, the parish sexton, on May 7th. 1907, aged 69, it has not been deemed advisable to appoint a successor on account of the churchyard, which is one of the largest in England, being practically full of the dead.


Old Toll Bar and Weighing Machine Houses

We here produce a view of the Old Toll Bar and Weighing Machine Houses that stood near the present Cemetery Gates. The Toll Bar Keeper (Mrs. Shore) is sitting, while the Weighing Machine Keeper may be seen standing. Mrs. D'ewes Ellis was a well-known woman at that time, of strong character and of much experience in family matters. The toll was 11/2d for a horse, 3d. for a horse and cart, more or less being paid according to the width of the wheels and number. This toll went to the repair of the roads, and much might have been said for their continuance as by this means those who wore out the roads had to pay for their repair; now, of course, it falls on the rates. It was impossible at that time for any vehicle to get out of or into Sutton without paying toll, though the Kirkby people could get to Mansfield without a toll (actually using some Sutton road while doing so), but they could not get into Sutton under 41/2d., except by driving two miles further round and saving 11/2d. This injustice to Sutton was. of course, swept away with the Toll Bars in 1872. Toll Bars were originated in AD. 1267, by the payment of 1d. for every waggon passing through a Manor, the first regular toll being paid being between Temple Bar and St. Giles. Mr Alfred Adlington has some of the accounts of the Toll Bars in the neighbourhood about 100 years ago. There were three Toll Bars in the Sutton parish—the one above, one in Forest Street (as mentioned on page 44), and the other at the entrance to Stoneyford Lane.


The Shriving Bell used to be rung on Shrove-Tuesday, though about 1873 it was only responded to by housewives, who used it as a signal for putting the pancakes into the frying pan. The bell was, at one time, rung by the oldest apprentice in the town; and at the period named the school children claimed the privilege on that day of barring out the master and mistress from the school, and taking possession of the same, at the ringing of the Church bell.


  1.  The Vicarage House and Garden, with paddock adjoining.
  2.  A farm at  Edingley, with house and buildings thereon, consisting of about 23 acres, now let at £46 per annum; purchased 1775, for £800, £200 of which were given by the Duke of Devon shire, £200 raised by the parish, and £400 given by Queen Anne's Bounty.
  3.  An ancient payment of £17 6s. 8d. made by the Lay Impropriator in lieu of small tithes.
  4.  An annual grant of £54 made by Queen Anne's Bounty.
  5.  An annual grant of £100 made by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.
  6.  The Vicar's Surplice Fees are: 5s. for a marriage by license. 2s. 6d. ditto by banns; 1s. 6d. for burials; 1s. for banns; for churchings, voluntary. The Clerk receives 2s. 6d. for license weddings: 1s. ditto for banns; and 6d. for banns, Formerly there were Easter Offerings: 4d. from each farm house, and 2d. from each cottage; but they have been discontinued for many years.

The Vicar receives 5s. for brick graves; 5s. for head stones from tradesmen, and 2s. 6d. from the working-classes. The fee for flat stones and tombs varies from 15s. up to £5, according to a scale agreed upon at a Parish Meeting in 1867.

The following is a List of the Church Plate.

  1.  An ancient silver chalice and paten, dated 1571.
  2.  A silver flagon, presented by the late Rev. C H. Prance.
  3.  A silver spoon, presented also by Mr. Prance.
  4.  Two silver patens, presented, one by Mrs. Lancaster, the other by Miss Nona Bellairs.
  5.  Two silver chalices, engraved with the Mackenzie arms and motto, "Luceo non uro," presented, 1872, by Nona Bellairs, in memory of her father and mother.
  6.  A plated flagon, purchased by the parishioners.

A Bier and Velvet Pall were presented, in 1871, by the Dowager Countess of Carnarvon.


The Parish Registers commence with the year 1577. Between the years 1836 and 1847 there appears to be no authentic register of burials. There were a few loose leaves of burials, which the late Rev. C. Bellairs copied into a book as a reference. The Registers contain nothing of peculiar interest, and on the whole have been badly kept.


Connected with Sutton parish is the late Rev. William Rawson, of Seaforth, who imparted the first rudiments of education to the late Prime Minister, the Right Honourable W. E. Gladstone, being private tutor for many years during the Premier's childhood in the family of the late Sir John Gladstone.

IN the year 1867 upwards of 1600 persons were baptized in the Parish Church.

The Huthwaite National Schools were built 1868.

Two Mission Women first employed 1868.