Colwinston – St Michael and All Angels Church

History

   The church of St. Michael and All Angels in Colwinston was erected as early as the 12th century. The first reference to the local parish refer to 1141, when Maurice de Londres confirmed the donation to the temple. In the thirteenth century, the church was enlarged by a chancel, and at the beginning of the sixteenth century, by a porch and a tower, which was further raised in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In 1879, the building was renovated. Unfortunately, in 1971, it suffered a fire, although it was quickly renovated, but on the occasion of the northern side, a modern sacristy was erected.

Architecture

   The church originally consisted of a rectangular Romanesque nave, which was an aisleless building, without the chancel separated externally. A separate, shorter, narrower and lower presbytery, also on a rectangular plan, was added on the eastern side in the 13th century. It was illuminated by narrow and high windows ended with trefoils, and it also had a separate entrance portal for a priest in the southern wall. The nave in this period was probably illuminated by similar, small openings, while the entrance for the congregation led from the south and perhaps also from the west.
   At the end of the fifteenth or early sixteenth century, a square tower was slightly embedded in the western part of the nave. At its southern wall there was placed a projection housing a staircase, and it was topped with a fairly high parapet mounted on corbels and a battlement. In the same period, the southern entrance to the nave was preceded by a porch, equipped with a wide, profiled portal topped with a simple frame. In the late Gothic period, the nave windows and the eastern window in the chancel were enlarged into two and three-lights.

Current state

   The church has largely retained its late-Gothic appearance along with surviving older architectural details. In the southern wall of the chancel, two original windows and portal from the 13th century have been preserved, and on the sides of the rood arch, two Gothic niches topped with trefoils with traces of medieval polychrome. The nave windows were replaced during the early modern renovation, but perhaps they imitate the form of older jambs, such as the 15th-century window in the eastern wall of the chancel.

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bibliography:
Salter M., The old parish churches of Gwent, Glamorgan & Gower, Wolverhampton 2002.

Website britishlistedbuildings.co.uk, Church of St Michael and All Angels A Grade I Listed Building in Colwinston, Vale of Glamorgan.