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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.

Harnhill Church May 2020 small_edited.png

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 containing 'Crown Glass' was undertaken in spring/summer 2021 funded in large part by the English Heritage COVID-19 Recovery Fund.

More about Harnhill Church

This lovely, simple and prayerful church is in a hamlet of some ten dwellings with about twenty residents.  Yet, because it is situated next to the 'Harnhill Christian Healing Centre' it is well used by visitors to the centre - for worship, peace, prayer and reflection.  Although it is a little 'out of the way' and in a small hamlet, it is probably one of the most used church buildings in the area.

Attempting to preserve this ancient building into the future is a very real challenge.  Our next challenge is to undertake some structural repairs to the medieval belfry, re-roof it and arrange for the bells to be safely chimed once again.  We also need to re-roof the nave, porch and chancel.  A total estimated cost for these works is c£220,000 (inc fees).

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