Spirit of Sutterby
Spirit of Sutterby is a community heritage project, begun in 2013, originally fostered, funded and supported by Heritage Lottery Fund, Heritage Lincolnshire and the Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service.
What started as a casual investigation into the history of a small Wolds church has burgeoned into an ongoing project researching, surveying and recording one tiny corner of the Wolds. The main trunk of the project remains the church of St John the Baptist at Sutterby, but this has branched out in so many directions. The lost villagers of what is a deserted medieval village have been uncovered through deciphering and transcribing old inventories and wills; the stones of the church itself have led to intriguing discoveries with still so many unanswered questions; the nettle covered churchyard hides a fascinating eco-structure of creepies and crawlies; the night air is filled with moths named by Victorian gentlemen; the fields are littered with the last remnants of Neolithic hunters and the pottery of times and peoples past. Flying silently across it all are the barn owls - previous occupants of the chancel now housed snugly in the west wall. We have learnt, and are continuing to learn a lot. Old tracks lead in new directions. We aim to look outwards from our village towards our neighbours.
In May we start an architectural pilgrimage of local churches - contrasting and comparing with St John the Baptist, Sutterby. Along with the built environment we also aim to compare the natural churchyard environment by extending and expanding our recording of moths - the Moths in Churchyards Project gains momentum in 2018.
Through transcribing old documents, past villagers have names, own sheep, oxen, geese and horses, they have brass pots, beds, linen and hustlements - we now investigate the villagers of Langton, Harrington and Driby. We continue to nurture our owls and to research their lives, habits and habitat. We continue to walk the fields in the footsteps of the village ancestors.
All this encased in a mesh of historical research about real people living real lives.
We are learning their crafts and coming to understand their ways. The Wolds in its historical, natural, geological landscape - brought to life by ordinary people finding that they can do extraordinary things. For more information, or if you would like to be involved in the project, please contact us on 01790 754079 or visit our Spirit of Sutterby website. You would be most welcome.
The project would not have been possible without the help of: Friends of Friendless Churches, who own over 40 former places of worship which they preserve as peaceful spaces for visitors and the local community to enjoy.
Harrington Estate - most of the settlement of Sutterby is situated on private land which forms part of the Harrington Estate, without their kind co-operation, this project would not have been possible.