Michaelston le Pit – St Michael’s Church

History

   Church of St. Michael probably was erected in the 14th century by the Reigny family, although the first reference to the Michaelston le Pit temple dates from 1254. In the Middle Ages, there was a manor in the parish, whose owners up to the seventeenth century had a advowson over the temple. The church survived in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries without major interference in the historic, medieval substance.

Architecture

   In the fourteenth century, the church consisted of a rectangular nave with a prominent plinth, a central tower with a small, very short transept, and a long, rectangular chancel on the eastern side. The entrance to the nave from the south was preceded by a late-medieval porch, also equipped with a battered plinth. The tower was topped with a gable roof typical of this region and provided only with narrow, four-sided openings, giving it a fortified character. The windows of the nave, transept and presbytery were usually single or two-light, with openings topped with trefoils. Larger window, pointed, filled with a richer tracery was inserted in the eastern wall of the chancel in the 15th century, probably also in the western and southern walls of the nave. A characteristic element of the church, i.e. the arms of the transept, were actually altar niches. In one of them there was a squint facing the presbytery, and in the other aumbry. The space under the tower has been vaulted.

Current state

   The building is a valuable example of a church with an extensive layout for a small village. Its elevations have the original 14th-century windows topped with trefoils, two renovated 15th-century windows (south one in the nave and east one in the presbytery) and a pointed, moulded south portal. Inside the church, a baptismal font from around 1400 has survived.

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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 A Grade I Listed Building in Michaelston-le-Pit and Leckwith (Llanfihangel-y-Pwll a Lecwydd), Vale of Glamorgan.