St Luke’s Church, Broughton Sulney, Nottinghamshire & Belvoir Angels

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In May 2015, we were travelling through Nottinghamshire, I can’t remember why, the reason is now lost in the mist of time, when I suddenly shouted stop, now I do remember that.  I had seem a wonderful honey golden ironstone church, St Luke’s the parish church for Broughton Sulney, the time was late but, when would we ever pass this way again.  Of course husband stopped and out I jumped, I knew it would be closed, but some exterior photos would be ok.  Before I even got to the door of the church I stopped in amazement, there were ‘Belvoir’ angel headstones everywhere.  

I love coming across these headstones and took my photos quickly before the light faded.  

A little history ………The Belvoir Angel is a motif local to the Vale of Belvoir (Beever) and the Framland, in the East Midlands, carved in slate in the late 1600’s and first part of the 18th century. Usually found immaculately preserved on small slate headstones, it speaks of the blessing of God at the time of passing from the earthly to the heavenly state, with a protective angelic covering.  A typical Belvoir Angel design is a winged angel face on a Swithland slate headstone found in the district, named after the Vale of Belvoir, in the East Midlands.


After the angel photo shot, I did try the door, just in case, but it was closed, although I’m glad I entered the porch, because I found a wonderful fragment of a tympanum, but it wasn’t until I did a little research, I found out it could be Norman.

 I have added a little history about the church, although not much, as it is being researched at the moment.

Luke’s is a small village church built of brown ironstone and has a heavily weathered appearance. There is no mention in Domesday Book of a church here but there is evidence in the porch for a Norman building in the form of a fragmentary tympanum with a crude figure in the right-hand corner.  There were originally two aisles but the south was demolished when the porch was constructed in 1733. However, one bay of this aisle survives, built into the wall, giving a date of c1200. The north arcade is of the 13th century though the rest of the aisle was rebuilt in 1855, as was the chancel. The west tower is also of the 13th century. There is a 14th century font with some carved tracery. In the churchyard are many fine 18th century slate head stones, typical of the ‘Belvoir’ school of carving.

May 2015

6 Replies to “St Luke’s Church, Broughton Sulney, Nottinghamshire & Belvoir Angels”

    1. I love finding them, found a lot in the States, one of the carvers must have gone over with the Pilgrim Fathers 🙂 found lots on Rhode Island and Cape Cod 🙂

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