A tiny spire tops a tower nearly 800 years old. The church has been largely rebuilt, but in the north wall can be seen the arches of a vanished 13th century arcade. There is a plain Norman font and a much worn stone carving, (in the floor) of a medieval woman in a hood and wimple. Nothing is known of this early 14th century lady whose face and hands have been worn down by countless feet walking over her as they made their way out of a (now non existent) door through the arcade. The south door has no porch, which is unusual, but has a bolt that can be fastened only from within the church, suggesting another entrance may well have existed.
A tablet in the chancel tells how Sapperton was given two enclosed fields at Ingoldsby.
It is said that the church caught fire at some time and there are traces of black round the dogtooth pattern of the south door arch. Towards the end of the 19th century the church must have been in a sorry state. Tablets in the chancel and on the south nave tell of considerable refurbishment, including the replacement of a clerestory with the present sloping roof.
On Friday, 13th April 1951, during a thunder storm, the south east corner of the tower was struck by lightning causing the steeple to fall in the bell chamber stripping nearly all the tiles off the south facing roof. The repairs carried out by Bowman’s of Stamford.
In the 1960’s, Haceby Church was sadly neglected and closed. The Rood Beam from Haceby chancel Norman arch was brought to Sapperton and placed into the Gothic arch.
Sapperton’s name is derived from the Old English “farmstead of the soapmakers or soap merchants” which gives an interesting, though now barely believable, indication of former activities on this site. In about 1269, Roger de Sapreton had a grant of free-warren in the manor from Henry III. The manor was granted to William, Lord Hastings (executed by Richard III in 1483) by Edward IV in 1461. William, Viscount Beaumont held the manor when he died in 1507. Robert Sapcotes held the manor from Henry VIII in about 1537. The Saunders family, some of who are buried “near this place”, owned Sapperton, John Saunders making presentations of five rectors between 1662 & 1692. Later it was bought by Sir Richard Earle, Bart. Who left it to Richard Welby, of Denton Esq. who died in 1713.
As of October 2011, Sapperton has shrunk to 12 households and a population of 33.
Taken from Church Guide by Arthur Rimmington
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