For this church:
Monuments and Memorials
Click the numbers in the key plan for details of the items.
On the south side of the chancel is the Babington Monument, erected by Sir Anthony Babington and completed by his son John in the 1530s as a burial vault for his family, although as far as is known no one was ever interred within the monument. The monument is adorned with shields bearing coats of arms of the Babbingtons and their connected families, carried by angels on the north face.
The whole upper stonework carries effigies of babes, each holding a barrel; these represent the Babbingtons, a pun on the Babington family name (a “tun” is a one hundred gallon barrel).
To the east end of the monument is a carved panel, interpreted as the “Last Judgement” showing our Saviour sitting upon a rainbow surrounded by angels above sounding trumpets, with the dead rising from their graves beneath, the blessed on his right hand ascending the staircase to heaven and the sinners on his left falling into the depths of hell.
At the west end of the monument, secured to the upper and lower wall sections are two large stone plaques, which formed an upper tablet. It is believed they were originally one and should be topping the monument arch, but being too heavy it was split down the centre and both parts secured in their present position. Most of the stonework shows much erosion. From the detail of the carved decorations it seems that the carvers must have had a sense of humour during their commission!
Throsby noted in the 1790s that:
this part of the church and chancel indicates old age, and has now become a dwelling for birds. They sit near the altar, and sing, and scatter their dung so plentifully, that I could scarcely find a place on the communion table to lay my book. The floor in some places is intolerable.
The anonymous author of the ‘Beauties of England,’ described it in 1812, as:
A canopy formed on a semi-circular arch supported by grotesque pillars, and adorned with upwards of 200 heads of a babe in a tun, the common monumental pun on the family name, and which the architect has thought sufficient to designate the owner, without any description.
He went on to complain bitterly of the vandal church-wardens, who had daubed it so completely with yellow ochre, as to have filled up most of the ramifications in the highly embossed foliage of vine leaves, which once adorned it in rich alto relief.
The church was visited in 1819 by William Stretton, when the chancel was in a ruinous state. He was appalled by the dilapidations, but impressed by the ‘singularly beautiful and curious monument’, with its picture of the Judgment. He noted that:
in the Chapel of Saint Genevieve in the Cathedral Church of Notre Dame, in Paris, is a similar carving in a tablet of stone which was executed at the beginning of the 16th century.
Beside the Babington Monument, and not far from the window which is also a memorial of him, is a plaque dedicated to Algernon Henry Strutt, 3rd Baron Belper. It reads:
On the south wall of the chantry area, between the two windows, is a metal plaque inscribed:
The surface of the plaque is now very dark and the inscription somewhat difficult to read in some lights.
On the south wall of the base of the tower (now in effect the bell-ringing room) are two plaques, both of a fairly simple style in white marble on black marble mounts. The uppermost one is inscribed:
Directly below the Tebbutt memorial is a not dissimilar one reading:
The scriptural quotation is taken from Matthew 24.44.
Mr Barton moved from Kingston to Sutton Bonington in 1845, so it seems he did not have long to enjoy his new status as Rector.
On the north wall of the chancel, above the door to the vestry, is a rectangular plaque with coat of arms and a decorative border. It reads:
On the north wall of the chancel, bewteen the vestry door and the sedilia, is a highly polished brass plaque reading: