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St Michael's Church, Llanfihangel-y-pennant

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NPRN43893
Map ReferenceSH60NE
Grid ReferenceSH6714308867
Unitary (Local) AuthorityGwynedd
Old CountyMerioneth
CommunityLlanfihangel-y-pennant
Type Of SiteCHURCH
PeriodPost Medieval
Description
St Michael's Church is situated within a curvilinear churchyard, bounded by a stream on its south-east corner. The churchyard was extended to the north and west in the 1940s, but its original boundary is dilineated by a low bank. The church is medieval in origin and may be that recorded in 1254, although this record may relate to Llanfihangel-y-traethau in the north of Merioneth. There is a tradition that the church was moved from an earlier site (NPRN 43838) some 650m east-north-east. The site of Ffynnon Mihangel;Parson's well (NPRN 32394) is located some 600m to the north-east, very close to the postulated position of the earlier church site. A seventeenth or eighteenth century lychgate (NPRN 43846) is situated within the south-east boundary of the churchyard.

The church is a Grade II listed building, consisting of a continuous nave and chancel, north chapel, south porch and bellcote above the west gable. The rectangular font is thought to date to the twelfth century and is similar to that at St Mary and St Egryn's Church, Llanegryn (NPRN 43890). This has a scalloped base which sits on a round pillar. The only surviving medieval opening is a window in the north wall of the chapel. Parts of the nave walls may date to the twelfth or thirteenth century. A single narrow light in the north wall of the nave may also date to the thirteenth century. The chancel walls are thought to be fifteenth century. A change in the stonework indicates that the building has been extended, meaning the west end of the church is earlier. The remaining windows are sixteenth century and later. The north chapel is sixteenth century in style, and is currently used as a vestry. In 1850 the west window was described as a three-light medieval window, and there was a rood screen and west gallery. The Gothic east window was inserted in about 1871. The seating, pulpit, reading desk and communion rails were added in the early nineteenth century and the 1930s. The rood screen is thought to have been removed at this time. Three modern windows have been inserted into the south wall, with one inserted into the east wall. The porch is modern, as is the door in the north wall of the north transept. The west wall and parts of the south wall have been rebuilt relatively recently.

Sources include:
Beverley Smith, J, Beverley Smith Ll, 2001, History of Merioneth II, 355-6
Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, 2000, Historic Churches of Gwynedd: Gazetteer, 391

N Vousden, RCAHMW, 2 July 2012