23-SEP-50 CHURCH OF ST MICHAEL
C12 or C13 in origin, with early C13 lancets and N and S doors. Font is C15. Porch, vestry and bellcote are C19.
Stone rubble with cut stone dressings. Tiled roofs. Shingled bell cot and spire.
Nave and chancel in one. S porch, N vestry in the position of an aisle. Small bell turret over W end of nave.
A tiny church with an undivided nave and chancel and prominent buttresses on the side walls. it was heavily re-pointed in the C19. There is a small shingled belfry with C14 style bell openings and a little broach spire over the W end of the nave. Externally, the C19 N vestry looks like an aisle. It has W and E lancets and is roofed in one with the nave. Two C13 lancets in the N wall to the E of the vestry. C19 chancel E window of three stepped lancets within a single opening with a trefoil in the gable. Four early C13 lancets in the S wall, three to the E of the porch, one to the W. Small, timber-framed C19 porch on dwarf stone walls. Plain early C13 S door with continuous chamfers. One lancet in the W wall with a restored sexfoil window above it.
Very simple interior, plastered and painted, with only the change in roof structure dividing the nave and chancel. The nave roof is C19 and has trussed rafters with simile stencilled decoration. That in the chancel has collars and tie beams of old, but uncertain, date. The former N door, now opening to the N vestry, is C13 and has continuous chamfers. The chancel wall has two aumbries with C19 doors.
Good C15 font, polygonal, with quatrefoils with shields on the bowl and tracery on the stem, which may have been cut down at the bottom. C19 nave benches of a very simple patterns with shouldered ends have C19 paint, including inscriptions and figures of saints on the fronts, a very unusual survival. C19 geometric tiles in the chancel. A few C19 wall tablets and some C19 glass. Some fragments of C12 sculpture of unknown provenance said to be loose in the vestry.
The hamlet of Chettisham is first mentioned in 1170. The church was founded at an unknown date, but may be C12 in origin as there is some irregularity in the masonry towards the W and E ends that suggests that the C13 work was an insertion into earlier fabric. The chancel roof was rebuilt at an unknown, possibly late medieval date, and the font was installed in the C15. The church was elevated to parish status in 1879, and restored in 1889, when the nave roof was rebuilt, and the bellcote, S porch and N vestry built.
VCH Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely, 4 (2002), 82-6
Pevsner, N., Buildings of England, Cambridgeshire (1977), 319
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
The church of St Michael, Chettisham, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* A small high medieval church, retaining considerable C13 fabric.
* Fittings of interest include the C15 front and painted C19 pews.