Harnhill Church, GL7 5PX
St Michael and All Angels
The hamlet of Harnhill, whose lands consisted of "5 hides or as much as 5 ploughs would cultivate in one year", was called Harnhill in Norman times. Later it belonged to the builder of Fairford Church, John Tame.
This diminutive and attractive church, although secluded, is quite easily reached by strolling up the path which leads from the public highway.
The church is Norman in origin, and we are reminded of this by the carved tympanum over the door which depicts St Michael fighting the dragon. The small West tower has stoned slated sides, rather an unusual feature in the Cotswolds. It is surmounted by a fine weather vane.
Passing under the sundial porch, a niche in the east wall may be seen : this last is fairly common in the area and may have contained an image, a crucifix or a container for holy water.
More about Harnhill Church
Within the church stands a completely undecorated font with octagonal bowl, probably dating from the 14th century. The chancel was rebuilt in the 13th or 14th century with a plain chamfered chancel arch.
The East window contains pieces of medieval glass. These fragments, which probably told the story of St Michael, were discovered in 1840, when the foundations of the new Rectory were being dug. The Rector of that time had them set in their present position.
A 17th century Holy Table is kept against the side wall of the sanctuary, and the panelled and inlaid pulpit is dated 1785.
From the churchyard outside, it may be seen how intimately the church is connected to the ancient manor house.
A major work of conservation works to the ancient windows was undertaken in spring/summer 2021 funded in large part by the English Heritage COVID-19 Recovery Fund.