Sutton Park - St Edward the Confessor

Sutton Park, Guildford, Surrey GU4 7QN.

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St Edward the Confessor is a church of considerable architectural and historic interest.  It is also the repository of a rare collection of relics.  Standing in a fine parkland setting, its churchyard surrounded by flint walls, it makes an important contribution to the conservation area.  

The vast majority of 19th century churches are built in a Gothic Revival style but are still distinctively Victorian in character.  This church achieves rather more of the feeling of a medieval church than most. 

1875 by James Harris in early English Gothic style.  Flint with stone dressings, plain tiled roof.  Nave, south porch, buttressed apsidal chapel, north aisle Lady Chapel with octagonal baptistery on north side.  Exterior 5 bays corbelled eaves arcade, lancet windows throughout, 3 to west endlinked by a string course; bell turret to west end.  South porch gabled, with seated statue of Edward the Confessor in a niche above the door, south door planked with strapwork hinges.

Interior: 3 bay nave arcade on round piers with foliage capitals, end piers attached to chamfered responds.  C19 fittings, stained glass designed by Mayer and Co.  Drum and stem font in baptistery, altar reredos 1911; C16 and C17 relics in the passage walls to the baptistery.

The architect was Charles Alban Buckler not James Harris (he was the builder).

The stone carving throughout the church was done by R L Boulton and Sons of Cheltenham.

The reredos introduced in 1911 was designed by F A Walters.

The central window in the apse (above the reredos) is a 20th century insertion and contains glass by Hugh Easton (1906-1965).  The designers of the (rather poor) stained glass in the lancets to either side of this are unknown.  The windows in the south aisle are by Hardman  and Mayer of Munich.  Two of the three lancets in the west wall are by Mayer of Munich and the other is by Hardman.  The west window in the Lady Chapel is also by Hardman.

There is much elaborately carved woodwork in the chancel including the pulpit, sanctuary rail, gates and chairs carved by a member of the family.

Charles Alban Buckler (1824-1905) was the son of the antiquarian writer and church restorer, John Chessell Buckler (1793-1894).  Like his father he was a keen student of medieval art and architecture, building many churches in the Gothic manner.  His obituary in Building News states “His first and last love in architecture was for the Early English style, as his numerous works testify, notably at Arundel Castle and the Dominican church at Haverstock Hill.”  He converted to the Catholic faith in 1844, and later became a member of the Order of Malta.  He was one of the most distinguished of the early to mid Victorian Roman Catholic architects.  He is buried in the churchyard at Sutton Park.

Diocese: Arundel and Brighton

Architect: Charles Alban Buckler

Original Date: 1876

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Grade II