Full Report for Listed Buildings
Summary Description of a Listed Buildings
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Church of St Michael
Vale of Glamorgan
In the centre of the village, on a steep rise, the churchyard sloping to S.
Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Earliest documents of c 1200 record the area was held by the De Reigny family as a sub-manor of the lordship of Dinas Powys. Le Pit probably derives from the Le Peyts family, their predecessors as Norman lords under the De Sumeris family. Local manor was Cwrt-yr-ala, that name derived from the later Raleigh family. Trefoil-headed lancets suggest an early C14 date, S doorway also C14, later, and porch later medieval; Perpendicular windows added. C19 restoration included windows and insertion of two to N nave.
Small medieval parish church. Plan of narrow nave, south porch, central tower with small attached transepts and long chancel. Of rubble with some ashlar dressings, more roughly dressed quoins; slate roof with coping to gables, cruciform finials and corbel table. Battered plinth. Central tower has saddleback roof and small rectangular belfry and staircase openings and small trefoil-headed lights with spandrels at ground floor to S and N in roofed and heavily battered miniature transepts. W nave has window of 4 cusped lights with Perpendicular-style tracery. S nave has small SW window of 2 trefoil-headed lights under square hoodmould; larger 2-light restored Perpendicular-style window E of porch, small blocked rood-screen light under eaves. Gabled porch with battered plinth has plain pointed-arched doorway, signs of an earlier roofline above; inside, the main S doorway is a pointed moulded arch stopped at base under a relieving arch; polygonal holy water stoup; plank door and 2 bay arch-braced roof. Chancel has 2-light restored Perpendicular-style SE window, some C18 wall monuments, similar 3-light E window; N chancel wall has no windows. N nave has two large square-headed 3-light windows under voussoirs.
Interior nave and chancel are mostly rendered, the crossing mostly unrendered. The arches of the crossing are plain and pointed. Narrow nave has on S side a panelled 3-decker comprising pulpit, reading desk and stalls, stretching along the S wall; opposite is the panelled pew traditionally occupied by the Cwrt-yr-Ala family. Font is medieval, octagonal with round stem and angle spurs, reputedly lost at the time of the Battle of St Fagans and later discovered in a field. Nave floor of flagstones. W window is by Ninian Comper dates 1955. Pointed-arched tower doorway is within the NE crossing; this gives onto a spiral stone staircase leading to a chamber which had an opening overlooking the chancel, now masked by the C19 ceiling. N transept has an aumbry and S a squint, suggesting former altars here, niche in SW tower wall. Remarkably the pews face W, focusing on the pulpit. Chancel floor is of large clay tiles. C19 Commandment Tablets at E end, painted carved oak reredos of 1927. C17 dark oak chairs depicting scenes of the Civil War representing links with Parliamentarians following the battle of St Fagans. Some stained glass and C19 monuments commemorating the Rous family of Cwrt-yr-Ala. Earliest wall tablet 1729, other C18 examples. Nave roof is C19 open and boarded, chancel has ceiling. One bell of 1698.
Reason for designation
Listed Grade I for its exceptional, small-scale cruciform plan, the central saddleback tower rises over the vaulted crossing with diminutive transepts; notable 3-decker pulpit.
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