Llanmihangel: St Michael and All Angels
Narrow lanes lead to the little hamlet of Llanmihangel as one approaches from the B4270 Llantwit Major to Cowbridge road through the village of Sigginstone. Nestling below the 16th century Plas Llanmihangel is the Church of St Michael and All Angels with its characteristic saddle-back tower, built in the 15th century and fortified with arrow slits.
The church itself is earlier than its tower. The earliest records show that it was here in 1254, and the Early English style of architecture suggests it was built in the first half of the 13th century. Its dedication to St Michael and All Angels and the round chancel arch could mean an earlier Norman building, which perhaps in turn replaced a Celtic Christian church, though apart from the llan in its name there is no evidence of a pre-Norman community here.
The simple nave and chancel have been restored over the years, particularly in the 15th and 19th centuries. The arch-braced roof of the nave is from the 15th century, as probably are the windows. Stone corbels either side of the chancel arch supported the former rood-loft, which was accessed by a staircase in the north wall.
It was the Victorians who removed the small Tudor east window of the chancel and replaced it by a much larger one in the Gothic style. The Tudor window is now on the north side of the chancel. On the north and south walls of the chancel are monuments to the Edwin family who lived at one time in Plas Llanmihangel. The one on the south side commemorates Sir Humphrey Edwin, who was Lord Mayor of London in 1697.
There is no electricity in the church, so it is lit by oil lamps and candles.
To the west of the church is St Anne’s Well. It has become so overgrown that the sculpture of St Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary, from whose breasts the water used to flow, is now hidden. The well itself predates the church, and could have been used by a monk or hermit from Llanilltud Fawr or Llancarfan.
Ordnance Survey Grid Reference: SS 9815 7192
Post-code (for Sat Nav): CF71 7LQ
what3words address: ///trackers.such.opened
Times of Sunday services: 9.30am (1st and 3rd Sundays of the month)