England // The East Midlands //

Long Sutton

There’s more ecclesiastical excitement just a mile or two to the east of Gedney in LONG SUTTON, a modest farming centre that limps along the road until it reaches its trim Market Place. Here, the church of St Mary has preserved many of its Norman features, with its arcaded tower supporting the oldest lead spire in the country, dating from around 1200. Look out also for the striking stained-glass windows. Long Sutton once lay on the edge of the five-mile-wide mouth of the River Nene, where it emptied into The Wash. This was the most treacherous part of the road from Lincoln to Norfolk, and locals had to guide travellers across the mud flats and marshes on horseback. In 1831, the River Nene was embanked and then spanned with a wooden bridge at Sutton Bridge, a hamlet just two miles east of Long Sutton – and a few miles from King’s Lynn. The present swing bridge, with its nifty central tower, was completed in 1894.

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