St Michael's

St Michael's Church

In the 12th century St Michael's was built as a typically squat Norman building with a tower at the western end.

In the 14th century, to make a grander building, the roof was raised by 10ft, and flying buttresses were built on the north side to take the extra weight, and a shingle spire was erected on the tower.

In the 16th century the extra weight had caused the walls to bulge so the roof was lowered to the original height. Sadly the damage could not be undone and by the middle of the 18th century St Michael's was collapsing and St Mary's was built as a replacement.

In 1962, when Richard Bevan became the Rector of Abberley, a dangerous ivy covered ruin was all that remained of St Michael's. With his inspiration and leadership the chancel was closed off and restored, and the villagers reduced the remainder of the ruin to a safe height. During this work five medieval spoons were found and they are now in the British Museum as, following a lengthy case in the coroner's court at that time, the spoons were declared treasure trove.

In the year 2000 a major restoration of the ruin enclosure took place and this was funded by Biffaward, along with a grant from English Heritage.

This photo gives a flavour of the unique and prayerful atmosphere that today makes St Michael's so special. The ruin enclosure area is also worth a visit and it is a wonderful place just to sit and contemplate the centuries of worship on this site. The records show that there was a Saxon church on the site in 920AD

In the year 2003 we replaced the tiles on the north slope of the roof, and carried out some internal stonework repairs.