Church History

The Church of St. Michael’s and All Angels, a sacred edifice with roots stretching back to medieval times, graces the eastern end of the parish. Set against the sky, well above the road, it is a structure of ashlar stone, featuring a chancel, a north vestry, a nave with a north aisle and south porch, and a commanding west tower.

Reimagined in 1859 by the architect J. M. Allen, the church was given new life, with the north vestry later added in 1877 and the tower undergoing significant reconstruction in 1882. While the original nave and chancel likely date back to the 14th century, the three-stage tower was a later addition from the early 16th century.

The current church, though inspired by its historical blueprint, showcases features in a simplified 15th-century style, distinct from its predecessor.

Adorning the north aisle are stained-glass windows that depict the Good Shepherd, St. Peter, and St. Paul, crafted by the skilled hands of Philip Palmer of London. These windows are remnants of the original glass installed in the east window post-reconstruction.

The tower’s west window, also a Palmer creation, once displayed a simple patterned glass, but now only its tracery lights remain.

The current east window, a tribute to the Rev. C H Norwood (d. 1888), is the work of John Hardman Powell, while the World War I memorial window in the south nave is by Powells of Whitefriars, London, mirroring figures found in St. Eustace, Tavistock.

The font, a Norman pedestal, appears refined from its original form, likely during the 19th-century renovations.

The altar rail, hailing from the late 17th century, and the pulpit, possibly of a similar era, add to the church’s historical tapestry.

The sacred vessels include a cup from 1574, marked by ‘M.H.’, and the parish registers, dating from 1678, have been meticulously maintained since 1681.

The belfry houses six bells, each with its own story: (i) cast in 1970 by the Whitechapel foundry; (ii and iii) from 1898 by Mears & Stainbank; (iv) from 1921 by Mears & Stainbank; (v) a medieval bell from the 15th century by the Exeter foundry; and (vi) from 1733 by William Knight of Closworth. These bells continue to chime, echoing the rich history of the Church of St. Michaels and All Angels.

Image Church Bells

Church Bells