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Parish Church of St Michael

A Grade II* Listed Building in Minehead, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.2109 / 51°12'39"N

Longitude: -3.4805 / 3°28'49"W

OS Eastings: 296679

OS Northings: 146785

OS Grid: SS966467

Mapcode National: GBR LJ.3VG2

Mapcode Global: VH5JY.MTBL

Plus Code: 9C3R6G69+9Q

Entry Name: Parish Church of St Michael

Listing Date: 28 October 1976

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1207000

English Heritage Legacy ID: 391228

Location: Minehead, Somerset West and Taunton, Somerset, TA24

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Minehead

Built-Up Area: Minehead

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

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Listing Text


900-1/3/73 (North side)
28/10/76 Parish Church of St Michael


Parish church. C15 with earlier south porch; heavily restored
1880, restored 1974. Blue lias and red sandstone with
freestone dressings and C19 crested slate roof.
PLAN: Rectangular plan, continuous C14 north aisle and chapel
with a small projecting chapel to north-east corner.
EXTERIOR: The east end has 2 gables which diminish in size
toward the chapel on the right with stepped stone coping and
crosses at the apexes. The left corner has an angled buttress
to the largest gable end; a pointed-arched hoodmould over a
C19 central 4-light Perpendicular-style window with
trefoil-headed lights, the centre of the sill is supported by
a later buttress. The lower central gable to the north aisle
has a pointed gauged stone arch over a hoodmould with figure
stops holding shields; the fine 4-light Perpendicular window
has panel tracery. The small gable end to the chapel on the
right has a pointed-arched casement-moulded hood over a
Perpendicular 3-light window with cinque-foil heads to the
main lights and trefoil heads to the upper lights.
The north side is of red sandstone rubble with a crested slate
roof and offset buttresses. The projecting north-east chapel
has a rectangular dripmould over a 2-light C15 cusped
ogee-headed window.
The rear, west side of this small chapel, now a vestry, has a
C19 brick stack. Adjacent to it, in the north wall of the
north aisle, is a C15 window similar to that of the chapel.
The main part has two C19 3-light windows with geometric
tracery. The C15 Perpendicular 3-light west window to the
north aisle has head stops to the hoodmould.
The large C15 tower of blue lias has deep, red sandstone
buttresses which are set back and offset, finishing below the
crenellated parapet. It is of 3 stages separated by moulded
string courses; that below the parapet has gargoyles to the
corners and centres. The 4 large belfry openings under
4-centred arches, have 3 lights with transoms and a quatrefoil
head to each light. A leaded 2-light window high in the second
stage of the north side is similar.
The west door, in the tower, has a 4-centred pointed arch with
casement moulding over a planked and studded door with an
inserted door to the right leaf. This is flanked by crocketted
niches. Above, the moulded string course rises to form a
hoodmould over a large C15 four-light window with
Perpendicular tracery and an ogee trefoil head to each light.
The south facade of the tower has a crocketed niche on the
second stage flanked by shallow half-columns with round
capitals and sunk panels, all supported by a course of
ball-flower. The taller octagonal stair turret with small
square pinnacles is to the left.
The south elevation has been more intensively restored in the
To the east of the tower are two C19 pointed-arched 3-light
windows. The ornamented merlons to the parapet have heraldic
animal gargoyles to the string course.
The C15 south porch, of mixed red sandstone and lias rubble,
has C19 stepped stone coping to the gable, a slit window in
the apex and a chamfered pointed arch of blue lias through a
wall approx 1m thick. The porch is flanked by weathered
buttresses, that to the left is parallel to the facade, that
to the right is angled. C19 doors.
To the right of the porch is a hoodmould over C16
Perpendicular transomed 4-light window with panel tracery. To
the right of that is a C15 two-storey rectangular stair tower
to the rood loft. This has a double plinth, flat-arched
panel-tracery windows without dripmoulds but with casement
moulding in the arches and reveals.
The returns have a single-light window with a cinquefoil ogee
head to each stage, the front has one similar tall 2-light
window with transom over a single-light window.
The south side of the chancel is of red sandstone, it has
steps up to a C15 small 4-centred arched planked door flanked
by C19 three-light pointed-arched windows with head stops to
the hoodmoulds; each of these has a medieval buttress to the
INTERIOR: the nave and the chancel, without division, are 8
bays with C15 slim octagonal piers and double-chamfered
arches. The tower arch at the west end is heavily moulded. The
chamfered arch to the chantry chapel in the north-east corner,
now a vestry, is of massive oak. The vestry has a waggon roof
with moulded ribs and bosses, C20 panelling to the east end,
but arch-braces are exposed elsewhere.
FITTINGS: the early C15 octagonal font has a richly panelled
stem and a ledge at the foot of the bowl with seated figures.
The rood screen, a very late medieval example in the West
Country tradition, spans the nave and the aisle, it has ribbed
and panelled coving and sharply carved foliate friezes over
4-light sections with the arches subdividing into 2 lights;
the dado with panels similar to the windows of the church, is
restored. The C17 panelled pulpit on a stone plinth is against
the south wall.
To the left of the altar is a C15 chest tomb with 8 crocketed
ogee-arched niches and an effigy of a priest holding a
chalice, thought to be Richard Bruton, vicar from 1401 to
1406; he has two angels at his head; the canopy, later C15
with a panelled vault inside, originally had 6 angel figures
below fine gables.
The Fitzjames Missal of 1320 and great chest with the coat of
arms of Richard Fitzjames, vicar from 1485 to 1497, and 3
books bequeathed by Alexander Ewens, churchwarden in 1639, are
on display at the west end. On the north wall are the coats of
arms of Queen Anne and George II, and painted panelled boards
with the Commandments, the Creed and the Lord's Prayer given
by Robert Quirke in 1634 and 1637.
(The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: South and West Somerset:
London: 1958-: 241).

Listing NGR: SS9667946785

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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