Church of St Michael the Archangel

Shalfleet, United Kingdom

The Church of St. Michael the Archangel is located in Shalfleet, Isle of Wight. The church is medieval. The dedication to St. Michael was made in 1964 as the previous dedication had been lost.

Shalfleet Church, of which the invocation has been lost, is one of the most interesting in the Island. The original church was built before the Great Survey, as it is there mentioned, and probably served all the inhabitants of the low ground watered by the Newtown River as well as the tenants of the manor. The massive tower, with walls of over 5 feet in thickness, belongs to the end of the 11th century, and till 1889 had no entrance except through the church. The present nave must have been added in the middle of the 12th century, to which period the north door belongs. That a south aisle may have been added later in the century is possible, as there are undefined signs of a widening in the west wall, but it is more probable this aisle belongs altogether, as do its details, to the latter half of the 13th century, at which period the chancel was added with its series of windows of much the same detail as those at Arreton. Late in the 14th century the tower was buttressed at the south-west angle and the original round-headed windows filled in with tracery. The 15th century saw the addition of the south porch, the strengthening buttress to the east of it and a new roof, as well as the insertion of square heads to the south-east and east windows of the aisle.

In 1889 the plaster was removed from ceiling and walls, the latter a questionable proceeding, the tower arch unblocked, a new door cut through the north face and the east window of the aisle reconstructed.

A noticeable feature in the church is that the floor slopes down gradually to the east end without a break at the chancel arch.

The churchyard contains the Commonwealth war grave of a World War II officer of the Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment.



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Founded: 11th century
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

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Judy Faulkner (4 years ago)
A thousand year old church
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