St Michael’s dates from the 13th century with fascinating features including a rare two-manual 19th century pipe organ.
It is all that is left of a Cistercian abbey founded here in 1147, and consists of what had been the presbytery, crossing and transepts of the abbey church. Much of it dates from the 12th and 13th centuries, though the tower is 17th century.
At the Dissolution the abbey buildings were sold and much of the fabric was demolished. By 1632 cattle were using parts of it as a shelter. It was at this time that Viscount Scudamore, whose great great grandfather had bought the abbey, began to restore the church, including building the tower.
Much of the building work reused stone from the rest of the old abbey buildings, including items such as the bosses which had been carefully saved from the nave roof. Many of the fittings are from this time, including the ornate wooden screen. The musician's gallery, also of wood, dates from the early 18th century.
The church needed restoring again by the end of the 19th century, and this essential rescue included revealing, protecting and reusing many original features and items.