Parish Church Of St Michael

19 Aug 1999
Parish Church Of St Michael, St Michael's Road, Minehead, West Somerset, Somerset, TA24 5JP
Photograph (Digital)
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This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.


SS9646 ST MICHAEL'S ROAD 900-1/3/73 (North side) 28/10/76 Parish Church of St Michael


Parish church. C15 with earlier south porch; heavily restored 1880, restored 1974. Blue lias and red sandstone with freestone dressings and C19 crested slate roof. PLAN: Rectangular plan, continuous C14 north aisle and chapel with a small projecting chapel to north-east corner. EXTERIOR: The east end has 2 gables which diminish in size toward the chapel on the right with stepped stone coping and crosses at the apexes. The left corner has an angled buttress to the largest gable end; a pointed-arched hoodmould over a C19 central 4-light Perpendicular-style window with trefoil-headed lights, the centre of the sill is supported by a later buttress. The lower central gable to the north aisle has a pointed gauged stone arch over a hoodmould with figure stops holding shields; the fine 4-light Perpendicular window has panel tracery. The small gable end to the chapel on the right has a pointed-arched casement-moulded hood over a Perpendicular 3-light window with cinque-foil heads to the main lights and trefoil heads to the upper lights. The north side is of red sandstone rubble with a crested slate roof and offset buttresses. The projecting north-east chapel has a rectangular dripmould over a 2-light C15 cusped ogee-headed window. The rear, west side of this small chapel, now a vestry, has a C19 brick stack. Adjacent to it, in the north wall of the north aisle, is a C15 window similar to that of the chapel. The main part has two C19 3-light windows with geometric tracery. The C15 Perpendicular 3-light west window to the north aisle has head stops to the hoodmould. The large C15 tower of blue lias has deep, red sandstone buttresses which are set back and offset, finishing below the crenellated parapet. It is of 3 stages separated by moulded string courses; that below the parapet has gargoyles to the corners and centres. The 4 large belfry openings under 4-centred arches, have 3 lights with transoms and a quatrefoil head to each light. A leaded 2-light window high in the second stage of the north side is similar. The west door, in the tower, has a 4-centred pointed arch with casement moulding over a planked and studded door with an inserted door to the right leaf. This is flanked by crocketted niches. Above, the moulded string course rises to form a hoodmould over a large C15 four-light window with Perpendicular tracery and an ogee trefoil head to each light. The south facade of the tower has a crocketed niche on the second stage flanked by shallow half-columns with round capitals and sunk panels, all supported by a course of ball-flower. The taller octagonal stair turret with small square pinnacles is to the left. The south elevation has been more intensively restored in the C19. To the east of the tower are two C19 pointed-arched 3-light windows. The ornamented merlons to the parapet have heraldic animal gargoyles to the string course. The C15 south porch, of mixed red sandstone and lias rubble, has C19 stepped stone coping to the gable, a slit window in the apex and a chamfered pointed arch of blue lias through a wall approx 1m thick. The porch is flanked by weathered buttresses, that to the left is parallel to the facade, that to the right is angled. C19 doors. To the right of the porch is a hoodmould over C16 Perpendicular transomed 4-light window with panel tracery. To the right of that is a C15 two-storey rectangular stair tower to the rood loft. This has a double plinth, flat-arched panel-tracery windows without dripmoulds but with casement moulding in the arches and reveals. The returns have a single-light window with a cinquefoil ogee head to each stage, the front has one similar tall 2-light window with transom over a single-light window. The south side of the chancel is of red sandstone, it has steps up to a C15 small 4-centred arched planked door flanked by C19 three-light pointed-arched windows with head stops to the hoodmoulds; each of these has a medieval buttress to the right. INTERIOR: the nave and the chancel, without division, are 8 bays with C15 slim octagonal piers and double-chamfered arches. The tower arch at the west end is heavily moulded. The chamfered arch to the chantry chapel in the north-east corner, now a vestry, is of massive oak. The vestry has a waggon roof with moulded ribs and bosses, C20 panelling to the east end, but arch-braces are exposed elsewhere. FITTINGS: the early C15 octagonal font has a richly panelled stem and a ledge at the foot of the bowl with seated figures. The rood screen, a very late medieval example in the West Country tradition, spans the nave and the aisle, it has ribbed and panelled coving and sharply carved foliate friezes over 4-light sections with the arches subdividing into 2 lights; the dado with panels similar to the windows of the church, is restored. The C17 panelled pulpit on a stone plinth is against the south wall. To the left of the altar is a C15 chest tomb with 8 crocketed ogee-arched niches and an effigy of a priest holding a chalice, thought to be Richard Bruton, vicar from 1401 to 1406; he has two angels at his head; the canopy, later C15 with a panelled vault inside, originally had 6 angel figures below fine gables. The Fitzjames Missal of 1320 and great chest with the coat of arms of Richard Fitzjames, vicar from 1485 to 1497, and 3 books bequeathed by Alexander Ewens, churchwarden in 1639, are on display at the west end. On the north wall are the coats of arms of Queen Anne and George II, and painted panelled boards with the Commandments, the Creed and the Lord's Prayer given by Robert Quirke in 1634 and 1637. (The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: South and West Somerset: London: 1958-: 241).

Listing NGR: SS9667946785


This is part of the Series: IOE01/1662 IOE Records taken by R M Rayner; within the Collection: IOE01 Images Of England


© Mr R.M Rayner. Source: Historic England Archive

This photograph was taken for the Images of England project

People & Organisations

Photographer: Rayner, R.M

Rights Holder: Rayner, R.M


Lias, Sandstone, Slate, Stone, Medieval Parish Church, Religious Ritual And Funerary, Church, Place Of Worship, Chest Tomb, Tomb, Funerary Site