Church of St Michael, Dundry

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Parish church of St Michael the Archangel
Yellow stone church and tower.
Church of St Michael, Dundry is located in Somerset
Church of St Michael, Dundry
Location within Somerset
General information
Town or city Dundry
Country England
Coordinates 51°23′56″N 2°38′14″W / 51.3990°N 2.6373°W / 51.3990; -2.6373

The parish church of St Michael the Archangel[1] in Dundry, Somerset, England has a tower which was built in 1484, with the rest dated 1861. It has been designated as a Grade I listed building.[2]

History[edit]

The four-stage tower was erected, around 1484,[3][4] by the Society of Merchant Venturers of Bristol as a landmark and is visible from many parts of Avon.[2]

The rest of the church was built in 1861 by G.B. Gabriel, replacing the previous medieval building.[5]

The church became part of a joint benefice with the Church of St Andrew, Chew Magna in 1977 and in 2000 were joined by Holy Trinity Church, Norton Malreward.[5]

In 2015 the church was closed because of safety concerns due to falling plaster from the ceiling. Repairs to the roof have been estimated to cost £225,000.[6] Funding to help with the repairs has been received from the Heritage Lottery Fund and work is expected to start on the reapair of the nave in November 2015. Work will then be suspended in spring 2016 because the roof is used as a roost by Pipstrelle bats. It is hoped that the work, including repairs to the heating system and the installation of toilets will take place in time to fully reopen the church in 2017.

Churchyard[edit]

The Dole Stone

Outside the church is a 5 feet (1.5 m) cube of dressed stone, from Dundry Main Road South Quarry. It known as the dole table, which was used to give alms to the poor.[7] There is also a 3 metres (9.8 ft) high churchyard cross on an octagonal base. The head of the cross was installed in the 19th century to the same design as one which had previously occupied the site. It has been scheduled as an ancient monument.[8]

Chest tombs in the churchyard include those to the Dowling family which is thought to date from the mid 18th century,[9] and one of the same age to the Holbrook family.[10]

Architecture[edit]

The four-stage tower is 97 feet (30 m) high and is a prominent feature in its hill-top position with its tower visible for many miles around.[5] It is supported by buttresses and is topped by four corner turrets with a polygonal north east stair turret. The earliest if the six bells in the tower was made in 1642.[5] The church consists of a nave, chancel, and chapel, with north and south aisles all surmounted by slate roofs.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pages 74-78 of Volume 2 of West Country Churches by W J Robinson, published 1914 by Bristol Times and Mirror Limited.
  2. ^ a b Historic England. "Church of St Michael, Dundry (33648)". Images of England. Retrieved 2007-10-13. 
  3. ^ Scott, Shane (1995). The hidden places of Somerset. Aldermaston: Travel Publishing Ltd. p. 36. ISBN 1-902007-01-8. 
  4. ^ Poyntz Wright, Peter (1981). The Parish Church Towers of Somerset, Their construction, craftsmanship and chronology 1350 - 1550. Avebury Publishing Company. ISBN 0-86127-502-0. 
  5. ^ a b c d "About Dundry". Parish of Dundry. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  6. ^ "Church forced to close over safety concerns.". Chew Valley Gazette. June 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  7. ^ Warren, Derrick (2005). Curious Somerset. Stroud: Sutton Publishing. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-7509-4057-3. 
  8. ^ Historic England. "Churchyard cross in St Michael's churchyard (1015512)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  9. ^ Historic England. "Dowling monument, in the churchyard and c.12 metres north of tower of Church of St. Michael (1129079)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  10. ^ Historic England. "Holbrook monument, in the churchyard and c.2 metres north-east of north aisle of Church of St. Michael (1320999)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  11. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Michael (1129078)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 30 May 2015.