Open House Festival

St Nicholas Church


Edwin Nash, 1864

St Nicholas Way, Sutton, SM1 1ST

Built in the Gothic style with dressed flint and stone dressings. There are monuments to Joseph Glover (1628), Lady Dorothy Brownlow (1699), William Earl Talbot (1782) and Isaac Littlebury (1740). The churchyard has 5 Grade II tombs.

Getting there


213, 80, 151, 164, 280, 407, 413, 470

Additional travel info

Parking at Gibson Road multi-storey car park Gibson Road Sutton SM1 2RF





St Nicholas Church, Sutton is a Grade II listed parish church in the centre of Sutton, London. It is the oldest of the three town centre churches in Sutton and is surrounded by a small ancient graveyard, which is wooded. It also contains some lawned areas with benches. Two well used public footpaths run through these grounds.

The Domesday Book records the church in Sutton in the year 1087: we believe St Nicholas has occupied the present site since that time. The building which exists now reflects the rise in population of the town during Victorian times when the former church became too small for the size of the congregation, so had to be demolished. The present church was built in 1864 at a cost of £7,600 and contains some monuments from the old church.

The Present Building

The present building stands on a site that has been used as a church since Saxon times – an earlier, smaller church occupied the site until the nineteenth century, which apart from its piscina was replaced by the present church building, which was consecrated in February 1864. The previous church was stone and dated mostly from the fourteenth or fifteenth centuries. It had a tower, porch and chancel. Its poor condition, as well as the enlargement of its congregation, necessitated its replacement.

When the church was rebuilt from an earlier one in 1862-4 it was designed by Edwin Nash, incorporating monuments from the old building. He designed it in the Gothic style and it was constructed with dressed flint and stone dressings. Its roof is of red tile. It has a four-bay nave, chancel, organ chamber and vestry, side aisles, south aisle chapel and west tower. Its tower has a doorway in its west side, four tiers of fenestration and a shingled broach spire.

There are aisle windows of three lights with circular tracery over in pointed heads, two-light windows to the south aisle chapel and a chancel window of five lights. There are gabled porches to the north and south sides; the south porch has the following inscription on its bargeboard: "How amiable are thy dwellings thou Lord of Hosts".

Inside the church is a nave with pointed arches supported on circular columns with foliated capitals; timber roofs; and whitewashed walls. The present structure incorporates a medieval piscina and monuments from the old church including the following: monuments to Joseph Glover 1628, to Lady Dorothy Brownlow 1699, to William Earl Talbot 1782 and to Isaac Littlebury 1740.

The organ was built in 1899. It has three manuals and 55 stops.

On the north side of the church, the windows are plain glass. These are a reminder of the bomb, which fell in the churchyard on the night of 24 September 1940. All the windows down this side were blown out, but the church was not severely damaged and services continued to be said by candlelight and torch.

The church is in the process of initiating several building projects that include the demolition and rebuild of the North Porch with the hope of being able to include an accessible toilet. This project is being undertaken in order to make the church more accessible and inviting to the local community.

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