View of the inside of St Michaels Church in Chagford

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About

Sitting in the heart of Chagford, a stunning market town set in the middle of Dartmoor, is St Michael the Archangel Church. Just off the market square, this 13th century church stands proudly and welcomes all who visit.  

The unusual thing about this church is that we know the exact date it was built, which isn’t typical for many Medieval churches in England. Records show that the church was dedicated by Bishop Branscombe of Exeter in 1261.  

Some parts of St Michael the Archangel were built later on in the 15th century, such as the bell tower. Above the south door there is a painted royal coat of arms of King George IV who reigned from 1820 – 1830, so it’s presumed that this was added sometime during those years too.  

The history of this church is not all so bright... It marks the location of poor Mary Whiddon, a young woman who was tragically shot on her wedding day by a jealous suitor in October 1641. Mary was laid to rest, still clothed in her wedding dress and buried at the church. It’s thought that this event inspired the story of Lorna Doone in R.D. Blackmoor’s Oare. Today, brides still lay flowers to rest of her grave, and it is said that any bride marrying from the Three Crowns Hotel (formerly Whiddon House) will meet Mary Whiddon's ghost. Spooky! 

On a lighter note, the church roof has beautifully carved wooden bosses, including one depicting the Tinners' Rabbits which became the symbol of tin miners. This engraving acts as a reminder that Chagford was one of four stannary towns in Devon; alongside Tavistock, Ashburton and Plympton. 

One of the most outstanding highlights of St Michael's Church is a meticulously handcrafted patchwork applique called Chagford through the Ages. This stunning artwork depicts life in Chagford from ancient Prehistoric times to the present day. 

If you’d like to visit St Michael the Archangel Church it’s very easy to find as it stands tall in the town centre. Find out more about Chagford here.  

 

Facilities

Accessibility

  • Easy access from main roads/good public transport links
  • Facilities for Disabled Visitors
  • Parking Areas for Disabled Visitors

Map & Directions

St Michael The Archangel Church

Type:Church/Chapel

Chagford, NEWTON ABBOT, Devon, TQ13 8BN

Opening Times

Open during daylight hours. (1 Jan 2023 - 31 Dec 2023)