St Michael, Michaelchurch

St Michaels, Michaelchurch


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  • Off A4137/B4521, north of Tretire. Turn off A4137 onto single-track road
  • OS Grid Ref: SO 522 255
  • Open daily
  • Limited parking available
  • Visit the website

Hugging the side of a remote valley, this simple church is set beside a pond and is said to have been founded by Bishop Herwald of Llandaff in 1056. Early features to survive are the narrow window in the west wall, probably of Norman date and, in the north wall, a doorway now partly blocked, with chamfered jambs and a two-centred head. On the inside walls are the vestiges of a remarkable series of wall-paintings: 13th century decoration in the form of masonry lines, borders with chevron design and floriated designs in the centre of each panel. Superimposed are inscriptions from the 16th and 17th centuries. The church’s most extraordinary feature is a Roman altar with a Latin inscription stating that Beccicus dedicated the altar to the god of the cross-roads. Now in the blocked north doorway, the altar was adapted as a stoup or receptacle for holy water.

St Michaels, Michaelchurch