The church porch was built in 1904 and its construction was funded by donations from two important Sadberge residents; their generosity is recorded on this plaque immediately inside and above the church doorway.
The estimated cost of the porch was £150. Mrs H A Wooler, widow of W A Wooler of Sadberge Hall (the rather grand house to the south of Sadberge village) donated £50 in memory of her husband, and Elizabeth Adamson, for 30 years the schoolmistress in Sadberge, bequeathed the residue of her estate (£51 3s. 7d). Her annual salary was £26! Elizabeth Adamson's interesting grave is just outside the church.
The total cost of the porch was less than the estimate - £123 11s. 8d. - and a Mrs Hedley gave the tiles, although her donation was not sufficient to earn a mention on the commemorative plaque!
W A Wooler appears to have been a keen (amateur?) naturalist, A Google search reveals a correspondence with Charles Darwin about primula crosses, and another to the Zoological Society of London about the behaviour of a wild dog in India!
A previous Rector of Sadberge, W L Taylor, was something of an antiquarian and, as well as writing The History of Sadberge (available in Crown Street Library), he collected as many of the artefacts as possible from the Saxon and Norman churches. This plaque in the church porch describes these treasures, several of which can be seen in the current building.
This photograph of the right hand side of the church porch shows the list of rectors dating from 1342 to the present day, and in the left hand bottom corner is the stoup from the Norman church. (A stoup is a basin for holy water, often near the door of a church, in which worshippers dip their fingers before crossing themselves.)
Taylor's book quotes a 1909 letter from a fellow priest: "Dear Mr. Taylor, the placing of Tablets in church is a very meritorious thing to do and may be advantageously followed by others. Canon W Greenwell"
To the left of the church door you can see this stone of Saxon origin (probably ninth century). Although much weathered, it is just possible to convince oneself that it shows Adam and Eve (clearly visible) sitting in a rather lumpy Garden of Eden.
Even more difficult to decipher is this Norman Stone from the East (right-hand) side of the door. It dates from 1266 and shows "Our Lord triumphing over Satan".
Both these carved stones had been built into the kitchen wall of The Glittering Star public house in Priestgate, Darlington and were only recovered by the persistence of Reverend W Taylor and the generosity of the Directors of Cameron's Brewery! They languished for a while in the Rectory garden before being built into the south porch of the church in 1904.