Church of St Michael, Minehead

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Church of St Michael
St Michael's Church, Minehead, Somerset (2875292436).jpg
LocationMinehead, Somerset, England
Coordinates51°12′39″N 3°28′50″W / 51.2109°N 3.4805°W / 51.2109; -3.4805Coordinates: 51°12′39″N 3°28′50″W / 51.2109°N 3.4805°W / 51.2109; -3.4805
Built15th century
Listed Building – Grade II*
Official nameParish Church of St Michael
Designated28 October 1976
Reference no.1207000
Church of St Michael, Minehead is located in Somerset
Church of St Michael, Minehead
Location of Church of St Michael in Somerset

The Anglican Church of St Michael in Minehead, Somerset, England was built in the 15th century. It is a Grade II* listed building.[1]


The church was built in the 15th century on the site of a previous building from which parts of the south porch can still be seen.[1] William de Mohun gave the church to Bruton Priory in the 12th century. They held the advowson until the Dissolution of the Monasteries.[2]

Its tower used to display a beacon light for ships approaching the harbour.[3][2] After being caught in a violent storm at sea, Robert Quirke dedicated a ship and its cargo to God's service,[3] as well as donating a cellar near the quay for prayers to be offered for those at sea. Dating from 1628 and known as the Gibraltar Celler, it is now the Chapel of St Peter. Quirke also donated money from the sale of the ship and its cargo to build almshouses.[4][5][6][7]

The church underwent Victorian restoration in 1880 and was further restored in 1974.[1]

The parish and benefice of Minehead are within the Diocese of Bath and Wells.[8]


The blue lias building has red sandstone dressings and a slate roof.[1] It consists of an aisle with a projecting north east chapel. The nave and chancel are each of eight bays and have slim octagonal piers and double-chamfered arches.[1] The tower is supported by set back buttresses.[1] The oldest of the bells in the tower was cast in 1607.[2]

Inside the church at a 15th-century font and late medieval rood screen and rood stair. The pulpit is from the 17th century. There are various memorials and the coats of arms of Queen Anne and George II.[1] There is a stained glass window designed by Sir Henry Holiday, which appeared on postage stamps in 2009.[9][10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Parish Church of St Michael". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Religious History" (PDF). Victoria County History. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  3. ^ a b Leete-Hodge, Lornie (1985). Curiosities of Somerset. Bodmin: Bossiney Books. p. 45. ISBN 0-906456-98-3.
  4. ^ "QUIRKE, James (d.1611), of Minehead, Som". History of Parliament. The History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  5. ^ "History of Minehead". Minehead Town Council. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  6. ^ Holt, Alan L. (1984). West Somerset: Romantic Routes and Mysterious Byways. Skilton. pp. 40–41. ISBN 978-0284986917.
  7. ^ "Point 4: History". BBC. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  8. ^ "St Michael, Minehead". A Church Near You. Church of England. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  9. ^ "St Michael's window on Christmas stamps". West Somerset Free Press. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  10. ^ Wallop, Harry (3 November 2009). "Christmas stamps feature Pre-Raphaelite stained glass". Telegraph. Retrieved 8 October 2017.